Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
(800) 937-3880
SELL

Lot #162
Benjamin Franklin Document Signed as President of Pennsylvania, Overseeing an Early Bankruptcy Case (1786)

Benjamin Franklin supervises an early bankruptcy case between Philadelphia merchants, a rare document related to Pennsylvania’s influential passage of ‘An Act for the Regulation of Bankruptcy’

This lot has closed

Estimate: $15000+
Sell a Similar Item?
Share:  

Description

Benjamin Franklin supervises an early bankruptcy case between Philadelphia merchants, a rare document related to Pennsylvania’s influential passage of ‘An Act for the Regulation of Bankruptcy’

Historic manuscript DS signed “B. Franklin” as president of Pennsylvania, one page, 8.25 x 7, July 20, 1786. An affidavit where merchants Peter Kuhn and Gustavus Risberg declare a debt owed by Alexander Russell of York Town, which, exceeding 200 pounds, categorizes him as bankrupt. In full: “Peter Kuhn and Gustavus Risberg of the City of Philadelphia in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, merchants make Oath and say and each of them for himself maketh Oath and saith That Alexander Russell of York Town in the County of York in the said Commonwealth merchant is and standeth justly and indebted to these Deponents as Partners in Trade in the Sum of Two hundred Pounds lawful money of Pennsylvania and upwards And that the said Alexander Russell is become Bankrupt within the meaning of the Act of Assembly of this Commonwealth entitled ‘An Act for the Regulation of Bankruptcy’ passed the sixteenth Day of September last year as these Deponents are informed and believe and each of them is informed and believeth” Signed boldly at the conclusion by Benjamin Franklin and countersigned by both Kuhn and Risberg. In fine condition, with edge toning from prior display, and very old edge trimming affecting Franklin's paraph.

An exceptional document linked to the first modern bankruptcy law enacted in Pennsylvania in 1785, ‘An Act for the Regulation of Bankruptcy,’ one of the first instances the term ‘bankruptcy’ is used in American law. Very few jurisdictions during the later part of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century, and Pennsylvania in 1785, enacted legislation based on the English bankruptcy acts, in which the creditors initiated proceedings against merchants. Franklin, in his capacity, played a role in overseeing the legal proceedings related to bankruptcy, connecting the document to a pivotal period in American legal history. In essence, this handwritten artifact reflects the practical application of early bankruptcy regulations and stands as a tangible link between Franklin's influence, the evolving legal landscape of the late 18th century, and the nascent stages of modern bankruptcy regulation in the United States.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts Featuring Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, and Civil War
  • Dates: #695 - Ended July 10, 2024





This item is Pre-Certified by PSA/DNA
Buy a third-party letter of authenticity for $200.00

*This item has been pre-certified by a trusted third-party authentication service, and by placing a bid on this item, you agree to accept the opinion of this authentication service. If you wish to have an opinion rendered by a different authenticator of your choosing, you must do so prior to your placing of any bid. RR Auction is not responsible for differing opinions submitted 30 days after the date of the sale.