Sale 895 — 2005 Rarities of the World

Sale Date — Friday, 3 June, 2005

Category — Free Franks and Autographs

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
1
 
Sale 895, Lot 1, Free Franks and AutographsBenjamin Franklin. Free frank as Deputy Postmaster General "Free B. Franklin" on large portion of cover front only to "The Revd. Mr. Clap, President of the College at New Haven", faulty and silk mounted

FINE APPEARING EXAMPLE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S FREE FRANK AS POSTMASTER GENERAL FOR THE AMERICAN COLONIES.

The Reverend Clapp was president of what is now Yale University until 1766. In 1753, Franklin was appointed Deputy Postmaster General for the Colonies in America.

Signed Charles Hamilton. Last offered in our Sale 646, May 1985.

Sale 895, Lot 1, Free Franks and Autographs
Image 2
Sale 895, Lot 1, Free Franks and Autographs
Image 3
E. 12,000-15,000
9,000
c
Sale 895, Lot 2, Free Franks and AutographsHenry Laurens. President of the Continental Congress (1777-78), delegate from South Carolina (1777-80), free frank "On public service Henry Laurens" as President of Continental Congress on folded cover to "His Excellency Thomas Wharton Esquire, President of the Council of Pennsylvania, Lancaster", vertical file fold, some minor repairs, Very Fine appearance

E. 5,000-7,500
0
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Sale 895, Lot 3, Free Franks and AutographsRobert Morris. Signer of the Declaration of Independence, delegate from Pennsylvania (Continental Congress of 1776-1778), Superintendent of Finance (1781-1784), known as the "financier of the Revolution" and Senator (1789-1795), free frank private R. Morris" on cover front only addressed "To The Honble John Hancock Esq., President of Congress, Baltimore", attractively matted and framed with portraits of both sender and recipient and with metal plaques summarizing the achievements of both, Very Fine, a great historical display item

E. 2,000-3,000
0
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c
Sale 895, Lot 4, Free Franks and AutographsGeorge Washington. Free frank "G. Washington" on folded cover with "On public Service" and addressed entirely in his hand to Thomas Jefferson as Governor of Virginia in Richmond, docketed "Gen'l Washington Dec. 10, 1780 & rec'd Jany. Deposit of Specifics", some splitting along folds and expertly silked

VERY FINE. AN IMPORTANT AND EXTREMELY RARE WAR-PERIOD FREE FRANK FROM GEORGE WASHINGTON, ADDRESSED ENTIRELY IN HIS HAND TO THOMAS JEFFERSON. ONE OF THE RAREST AND MOST DESIRABLE FREE FRANKS BETWEEN FOUNDING FATHERS.

The contents of this cover (not included) are known, which read: "Head Quarters, New Windsor, December 10, 1780. Sir: The specific supplies required of your State, by the Act of Congress of the 4th of last Month, being all allotted to the use of the southern Army, I must beg leave to refer your Excellency to Major General Greene or Officer commanding in that department for the places of deposit. These, by the Resolve, are left to my determination, but as the commanding Officer to the southward will be so much better enabled to judge of the proper places, from circumstances, I hope your Excellency will think I am justifiable in referring the matter to him. I have the honors &c."

E. 20,000-30,000
19,500
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c
Sale 895, Lot 5, Free Franks and AutographsJohn Adams. Free frank "J. Adams" in a clear and steady hand as ex-President on folded cover to William Meredith in Philadelphia, clear strike of "Boston Ms. Jun. 27" circular datestamp with matching "Free" handstamp, 1806 docketing, faint vertical file fold affects free frank, fresh and Very Fine example of John Adams's free frank

E. 2,000-3,000
2,600
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Sale 895, Lot 6, Free Franks and AutographsAndrew Jackson. 3pp autograph letter signed and franked as ex-President, address panel with "Free Andrew Jackson" and addressed to Col. Mounsel White in New Orleans

VERY FINE. AN IMPORTANT AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED AND FREE FRANKED BY ANDREW JACKSON, IN WHICH HE DISCUSSES HIS PERSONAL VIEWS ON THE PANIC OF 1837 AND HOW REGULATIONS SHOULD BE CHANGED.

This fascinating letter reads (in full):

"Your kind favor of the 29th ultimo came to hand whilst I was confined to my bed with a severe case of fever, was laid by, and never brought to my view until yesterday, which is the only apology for my not acknowledging it sooner -- I was seriously attack'd from which I am slowly recovering -- have not been out of the House for three weeks.

"I am happy to find you put a just construction upon my views as to the merchants deal -- When a class of men or politicians are [sic] spoken of, it is always the majority, & the minority are [sic] he exception -- or instance where Banks violate their charter by over issues, it can only be the majority of directors that are [sic] censurable who rule the board, not the minority whose voice are [sic] against it. But good will grow out of the evils that have swept over our country -- banks will be brought to conduct their business within proper banking principles -- the government being separated from all Banks will be a godsend to the Banks, as well as the people. The great evil to both are [sic], any connection with either, and the most experienced, and talented directors of our Banks, here, are in favor of the perpetual divorce of all Banks and the Government -- This will give stability to the banks and the influx of specie by the revenue which is daily receiving & daily disbursing will give a sufficient metalic [sic] correction for the wants of labour, and the stability and security of the Banks, whilst they are left free to supply the wants of commerce founded upon the just principles of credit, whilst it will prevent over issues to wild speculators -- the bane of all countries." The remainder of the letter (five paragraphs) discusses their business relating to selling bales of cotton.

Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, held that office from 1829 to 1837. As the nation struggled under the Panic of 1837, Whig politicians increasingly charged that Jackson's anti-Bank policies were the cause of the panic. In fact, Jackson's destruction of the Second Bank of the United States left the federal government with no means to regulate the state banks. Excessive issues of paper money above available specie reserves by the state banks had largely contributed to the collapse. This letter was written as ex-President from his home at the Hermitage in Tennessee. His health, both during and after his presidency, was often poor, as is indicated by the contents of this letter.

E. 20,000-30,000
0
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Sale 895, Lot 7, Free Franks and AutographsAndrew Jackson. 2pp autograph letter signed as President, datelined "Washington D.C. December 12, 1836" and addressed to Dr. James Weatherspoon, contents reads (in part): "I am sure that the postmaster is not to blame in this matter. If you look into the Globe you will find he acts with energy, by imposing heavy fines on all delinquent contractors, for every failure by them in delivering the mails agreeable to their specific contracts. The post office Department, by the energy of its talented head, & the system adopted by him, is now in a prosperous condition and he is now about extending its facilities to every part of the Union, when its improved financial means will authorize, and the wants of the public require... There has been a severe inroad upon my health lately, by a Hemmorhage from my lungs. The Doctor says he took upwards of 60 oz. blood from me...", pristine condition

VERY FINE. A REMARKABLE AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED BY ANDREW JACKSON, DEFENDING THE POSTMASTER AND COMMENTING ON THE STATE OF EXPANSION OF THE POST OFFICE.

The Postmaster General under Jackson at this time was Amos Kendall. He remained Postmaster General into Van Buren's presidency as well. He improved accounting procedures, and extended the railroad mail service.

E. 6,000-8,000
6,000
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c
Sale 895, Lot 8, Free Franks and AutographsWilliam Henry Harrison. Signed as General "Public Service from Gen'l Harrison Paid" on one-page autograph letter signed to Lieutenant Robert Buretia at 24th U.S. Regiment in Illinois Territory, military contents, datelined "Head Quarters Cincinnati 25th May 1813", "Cincinnati 25 May 1813" ms. postmark and matching "17" rate, some slight wear, expertly silked

VERY FINE. A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO ACQUIRE TWO SIGNATURES OF WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON -- ONE AS A FREE FRANK AND ONE ON A MILITARY LETTER IN HIS HAND.

Only two free franks are recorded during Harrison's term as President, as he died approximately one month after taking office. Harrison's military endorsement is a desirable form of his "free frank".

E. 5,000-7,500
0
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Sale 895, Lot 9, Free Franks and AutographsAbraham Lincoln. Free frank "A. Lincoln" as President on cover front only with one side flap, addressed to "Hon. David Davis, Bloomington Illinois", clear strike of "Washington D.C. Aug. 27, 1861" double-circle datestamp, some toning does not affect frank

VERY FINE. A RARE FREE FRANK OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

At this time Lincoln had been President for a little over five months. The addressee, David Davis, who later became Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1862–77), presided over the eighth judicial circuit in Illinois, where Lincoln practiced law. Judge Davis was a close friend and political ally of Lincoln. He successfully managed Lincoln's campaign to secure the Republican nomination for president in the 1860 campaign.

E. 15,000-20,000
0
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10°
c
Sale 895, Lot 10, Free Franks and AutographsMary Todd Lincoln. Widow of assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, free frank "Mary Lincoln" on mourning cover addressed in her hand to David Davis at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C., bold strike of "Chicago Ill. Jan. 16" circular datestamp with day slug inverted

FRESH AND VERY FINE. A RARE MOURNING COVER FREE FRANKED BY MARY TODD LINCOLN, WIDOW OF THE MARTYRED PRESIDENT.

In May 1865, Mary Todd Lincoln and her sons, Robert and Tad, left Washington D.C. for Chicago, where they resided until leaving for Europe in 1868. During this difficult time, Mary attempted without success to sell her clothing through merchants in New York City. The addressee, David Davis, was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1862-77). The style of Chicago postmark points to a date of mailing in 1866 or 1867.

E. 5,000-7,500
0
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10A°
 
The previous two lots offered as one lot. If the high bids of the preceding two lots are exceeded by a bid for the pair, then they will be sold as one unit.

0
0
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11°
c
Sale 895, Lot 11, Free Franks and AutographsAbraham Lincoln. Cover addressed in Lincoln's hand to "Hon. Simon Cameron, Washington, D.C.", receipt docketing at left reads "Mr. Lincoln Jan. 3 & 13/61", original contents are contained in the Library of Congress (transcript accompanies), a letter which discusses cabinet appointments

A SCARCE ENVELOPE ADDRESSED IN LINCOLN'S HAND, SENT AFTER HE WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES BUT BEFORE HE ASSUMED OFFICE.

Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861. The clear docketing indicates that this was sent in January of that year. The recipient, Simon Cameron, was a contender for the position of President at the Republican convention that nominated Lincoln. He was appointed by Lincoln as Secretary of War, but his aggressive measures conflicted with Lincoln's policies. Cameron resigned the position and was immediately appointed Minister to Russia, where his influence helped to secure that nation's friendship during the Civil War.

E. 4,000-5,000
0
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12°
c
Sale 895, Lot 12, Free Franks and AutographsRutherford B. Hayes. Free frank "R.B. Hayes" as President on engraved Executive Mansion cover to L. J. Cist in Cincinnati O., endorsed "Personal", purple "Washington D.C. Aug. 20 8 P.M. 1878" circular datestamp, receiving backstamp, some slight wear, still Very Fine, scarce Hayes free frank as President

E. 1,000-1,500
1,600
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13°
c
Sale 895, Lot 13, Free Franks and AutographsDwight D. Eisenhower. Free frank "Dwight D. Eisenhower" on legal-size cover with printed "Headquarters U.S. Forces, European Theater, Office of the Commanding General" on top flap, addressed to Mrs. Lillian Stone in Forest Hills N.Y., bold strike of "U.S. Army Postal Service A.P.O. Nov. 9. 1945" postmark, Very Fine, desirable with the Headquarters printed envelope

E. 1,500-2,000
1,500
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14°
c
Sale 895, Lot 14, Free Franks and AutographsGeorge S. Patton. Free frank as General on legal-size penalty envelope with typed address to Mrs. M. Sielicki in Plainfield N.J., "U.S. Army Postal Service A.P.O. 408 Nov. 23, 1945" machine cancel, faint vertical file folds, Very Fine, scarce late free frank of Patton, he sustained serious injuries in a car accident on December 9 and died on December 21, 1945, less than a month after this was written

E. 2,000-3,000
0
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