Current Auction Is Open For Bidding
 
Home |Sitemap|Contact Us| Past Auctions  
 How to Bid   Register to Bid   Auctions   Consign   About Us   Featured Lots   Reviews 
If you don't have a Bidder Number, register now to bid!
back button 30 Minute Rule Begins on the Evening of July 10 at 7:00PM ET
An Initial Bid Must Be Placed By 6:00PM ET To Participate After 6:00PM ET NEXT LOT PREVIOUS LOT
Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
2   George Washington  $2500 $5981 $6580 10 You must login to place a bid.
click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Mouse Over to Zoom/Click to Enlarge

#2 - George Washington Estimate: $25,000+

President Washington references the physicist-turned-British spy

ALS as president signed “Go: Washington,” one page, 8 x 9.75, December 22, 1796. Letter to Rufus King, the United States Minister to the United Kingdom, in full: "The enclosed, is a copy of a letter I took the liberty of writing to you, agreeably to its date. Permit me to take the further liberty of entrusting the letters herewith sent to your care. That to Count Rumford, is in answer to one without date or place, accompanying the first volume of his Essays, Political, Economical and Philosophical. This mark of his politeness required an acknowledgment on my part, but in truth I know not where to direct to him. His Essays are dedicated to the Elector Palatine, reigning Duke of Bavaria, and dated in London, in July last, hence, I conclude he is not there. My best respects attend Mrs. King, & with very great esteem & regard." In fine condition, with a small chip to the left edge, and professional overall silking.

President Washington makes reference to volume of essays by Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, an American-born physicist and inventor who had served as lieutenant-colonel of the King's American Dragoons during the Revolutionary War. After refusing a commission in the Continental Army, Thompson joined the British Loyalist forces as an advisor to both General Thomas Gage and Lord George Germain, relaying valuable information about the American troops. He saw action at Long Island and Charleston, while also conducting experiments to measure the force of gunpowder. Renowned for his scientific work, Thompson moved to Bavaria in 1785, where he helped to reorganize the army and established workinghouses for the poor. For these noble efforts, he was made Count of the Holy Roman Empire in 1791, taking the name "Rumford" to honor the New Hampshire town in which he was married.

What is most interesting about this letter is that Washington may not have realized that he aimed to acknowledge a former adversary—one who would have hanged as a traitor had he been captured. The president would have been familiar with the name Benjamin Thompson from his Revolutionary days, but the book of essays was published in London under the name 'Benjamin, Count of Rumford,' and transmitted under the name 'Rumford'—Washington may not have been aware of this Bavarian title, and thus not have made the connection between Thompson and Rumford. A fascinating and immensely desirable autograph letter from America's first president, boasting an interesting association with his heroic service in the Revolution.

This item is Pre-Certified!
Purchase a third-party full letter of authenticity for $250.
No extra postage and no long delays!
Click here if you are interested.


back button
Help links  
Learn more about our autograph authentication experts...
Buyer's Premium   The Bidder acknowledges and agrees that a 25.0% buyer’s premium will be added to the hammer price on all individual Timed Auction lots. For additional information view our complete terms and conditions.
Your bid is a contract  Placing a bid online means you agree to abide by the terms and conditions listed by RRAuction.
Payment methods accepted  Money Order, Cashier's Check, Personal Check, or Wire Transfer.
Payment for items won in auction 560 is due by Monday, July 22nd unless prior arrangements have been made. Late payment may result in suspension of your bidding privileges.
Condition An item’s general condition is rated on an ascending scale of 1 to 4: good, very good, fine, very fine. Additional specific details that would not be obvious from the illustration, if any, are mentioned in the description.
Further descriptions You can call us or email us if you'd like us to answer questions about these items.