Lot #172
Benjamin Franklin Document Signed

Franklin approves the sale of land confiscated from a former member of the second continental congress accused of "High Treason"
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Estimate: $15000+

Description

Franklin approves the sale of land confiscated from a former member of the second continental congress accused of "High Treason"

Manuscript DS, signed “B. Franklin, Presid't,” one page, 31.5 x 13.5, December 5, 1785. As president of Pennsylvania's Supreme Executive Council, Franklin approves the sale of a "Tract of two hundred and fifty acres of Land" to James Clyde, which was confiscated from the estate of Loyalist Andrew Allen, "then or late of the City of Philadelphia, late a Member of the Congress of the Thirteen United Colonies, now States of America for Pennsylvania…attainted of High Treason to all intents and purposes and should suffer such pains and penalties, and undergo all such forfeitures as persons attainted of High Treason ought to do." The document is signed boldly at the conclusion by Benjamin Franklin, with the lower right retaining the original paper seal. Handsomely framed to an overall size of 34.25 x 16. In fine condition.

Allen (1740-1825), a member of the prominent Pennsylvania family that founded Allentown and a vocal critic of imperial attempts to tax the colonies in the 1760s and early 1770s, had been elected as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. On the subject of independence however, Allen was a decided moderate, and when discussions began in earnest on a resolution supporting independence, Allen ceased attending Congress. In December 1776, Allen switched sides and fled to the British lines for protection. As a result, Allen was “attainted of High Treason," and the state of Pennsylvania confiscated his lands to be sold to the public.

Provenance: Christie's, June 2018.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Animation
  • Dates: #620 - Ended November 10, 2021





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