Lot #86
John Jay Handwritten Manuscript

John Jay's handwritten list of claims from New York Loyalists—including British officers and a "negroe" spy

This lot has closed

Estimate: $5000+


John Jay's handwritten list of claims from New York Loyalists—including British officers and a "negroe" spy

Handwritten manuscript by John Jay, unsigned, 11 pages, 8.25 x 13, no date. Jay compiles a "List of Claims" made by Loyalists in New York for loss of property during the American Revolution. The alphabetized four-column ledger lists "Names" with their associated "Claims for Property, Debts, Income." The rightmost column is a field for notes, where several of the claims have been marked "R" or "H." Jay explains this code at the conclusion of the document: "N.B. Those claimants ag[ains]t whose names H is not[ed] have been heard & Enq[uire]d by the Com[missione]rs and those whose names R is not[ed] have been reported to the L[an]ds Com[missioner]rs of the Treasury." Among the largest claims are those by British officers Lt. Col. George Campbell, Brig. Gen. Oliver De Lancey, and Col. Beverley Robinson. Prominent Loyalists James Jauncey, Philip Skene, and Hugh Wallace are also named. Benjamin Whitecuff, a black Loyalist spy, is denoted as a "negroe." In fine condition. Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA.

Though undated, this incredible list appears to have its basis in the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War. By agreeing to Article V of the peace treaty, Congress pledged to 'earnestly recommend it to the legislatures of the respective states to provide for the restitution of all estates, rights, and properties, which have been confiscated belonging to real British subjects.' Jay had been a key negotiator and signatory of the historic Paris treaty, and therefore had been involved in hashing out this provision. A remarkable historical record tracking the outcomes for Loyalists following the Revolution.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #643 - Ended September 14, 2022

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