Contact Siegel
6 West 48th Street
9th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Contact by phone:
New York: (212) 753-6421
Dallas: (214) 754-5991

Sale 1237 — American Free Franks and Historical Documents

Sale Date — Tuesday, 22 June, 2021

Category — Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
3
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 3, Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceBenjamin Franklin, Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin. Free frank "B Free Franklin" at lower left of restored cover front only "To Jonathan Williams, Esq. Merch., Boston"

VERY FINE. A DESIRABLE AND SCARCE EXAMPLE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S FREE FRANK.

Jonathan Williams (1719-1796) was the husband of Grace Harris, daughter of Franklin's half sister Ann. Franklin seems to have relied on him to look after several of his Boston relatives.

E. 10,000-15,000
12,000
4
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 4, Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceElbridge Gerry, Elbridge GerryElbridge Gerry. Signer of the Declaration of Independence, delegate to the Continental Congresses of 1776-81 and 1782-85 from Massachusetts, a framer of the Constitution, member of Congress, Governor of Massachusetts and Vice President under James Madison, Gerry's political maneuvering inspired the term "gerrymandering", autograph free frank "free E. Gerry" on small neat folded cover addressed in his hand to Mrs. Gerry at Cambridge Mass., brownish-black "25/IA" Franklin mark and matching "FREE" handstamp, both of Philadelphia, 1791 docketing on backflap, Very Fine and scarce Signer's free frank, ex Grunin

E. 500-750
2,100
Back to Top
5
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 5, Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceElbridge Gerry, Elbridge GerryElbridge Gerry. Signer of the Declaration of Independence, delegate to the Continental Congresses of 1776-81 and 1782-85 from Massachusetts, a framer of the Constitution, member of Congress, Governor of Massachusetts and Vice President under James Madison, free frank "free E. Gerry" on folded cover addressed in his hand to James T. Austin in Boston, light vertical file fold barely affects free frank, Very Fine

E. 300-400
600
Back to Top
6
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 6, Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceJohn Hancock, John HancockJohn Hancock. Signer of Declaration of Independence, delegate from Massachusetts, free frank " Congress Philada. John Hancock" and "on Publick Service" as President of Continental Congress on folded 1pp ALS addressed in his hand "To The Honble Nicholas Cook Esq., Lieutenant Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island at Newport", receipt docketing on flap reads "Continental Congress June 20, 1775", contents datelined "Philadelphia 20th June 1775" and reads "I am directed by the Congress to forward you the enclosed Resolve which passed yesterday, and to desire an immediate compliance herewith, so far as it relates to the Troops in your Colony. I am Sir your most obedt. servt.", some minor splitting along folds (the letter could be separated from the address sheet), small erosion spot in address

VERY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL JOHN HANCOCK FREE FRANK AS PRESIDENT OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, WITH HIS SIGNED LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR OF RHODE ISLAND COLONY. THE RESOLUTION HANCOCK REFERS TO IS THE COMMISSION OF GEORGE WASHINGTON AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE CONTINENTAL ARMY. A PHENOMENAL HISTORICAL ITEM.

On June 19, 1775, the Continental Congress commissioned George Washington as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. He was elected over other candidates, including John Hancock, based on his experience and the hope that a leader from Virginia would help unite the colonies. The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought just a few days before, on June 17. After receiving his commission, Washington left within days to assume command of the troops at Cambridge Mass.

Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 6, Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceJohn Hancock, John Hancock
Image 2
E. 5,000-7,500
35,000
Back to Top
7
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 7, Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceJohn Hancock, John HancockJohn Hancock. Signer of Declaration of Independence, delegate from Massachusetts, free frank "Congress Baltimore John Hancock" and "on Publick Service" as President of Continental Congress on cover front only with flaps added, addressed in his hand "To The Honble. The Convention of the State of New York at Fish Kills", expertly mended in places including along vertical fold

VERY FINE AND RARE EXAMPLE OF JOHN HANCOCK'S FREE FRANK AS PRESIDENT OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS.

The Second Continental Congress was in Baltimore from December 20, 1776 to February 27, 1777, before moving back to Philadelphia, so this must have been sent during that period. New York at this time was represented by a Committee of Safety while its constitution was being drafted.

E. 4,000-5,000
12,000
Back to Top
8
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 8, Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceRichard Henry Lee, Richard Henry LeeRichard Henry Lee. Signer of Declaration of Independence, President of Continental Congress and U.S. Senator from Virginia, free frank "R. H. Lee" to John Page at Williamsburg Va., manuscript "Free" at upper right, extensively restored with flaps reattached and mended splits, the free frank itself is barely affected, otherwise Fine, a rare free frank from this well-known early statesman to John Page, who served under Washington in the French and Indian War, was an officer in the Revolutionary War, congressman and governor of Virginia

E. 1,000-1,500
1,400
Back to Top
9
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 9, Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceRichard Henry Lee, Richard Henry LeeRichard Henry Lee. Signer of Declaration of Independence, President of Continental Congress and U.S. Senator from Virginia, free frank "R. H. Lee" on legal-size folded cover to the Governor of Georgia in Savannah, "N. York May 2" straightline datestamp with matching "FREE" handstamp, docketing reads "Received June 28th 1785 Letter & Resolution of Congress Apl. 30th respecting a fuller representation. Rec'd in Council 8th July 1785", some faults, expertly silked, still Fine, the free frank is in excellent condition

E. 400-500
1,100
Back to Top
10
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 10, Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceRobert Morris, Robert MorrisRobert Morris. Signer of the Declaration of Independence, delegate from Pennsylvania (Continental Congress of 1776-78), Superintendent of Finance (1781-84), known as the "financier of the Revolution" and Senator (1789-95), free frank "Free R. Morris" on cover front only to John Hopkins at Richmond Va., bold " 10/SE" Franklin mark with matching "FREE" handstamp, endorsed "On public service", some expert restoration, still Very Fine

E. 1,500-2,000
1,600
Back to Top
11
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 11, Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceWilliam Whipple, William WhippleWilliam Whipple. Signer of the Declaration of Independence, delegate from New Hampshire, autograph free frank "W: Whipple" and address on folded cover to John Langdon, fellow delegate from New Hampshire, straightline "PHILA MARCH 24" struck on back, neat docketing with 1779 year date, splits along folds neatly reinforced, Very Fine, Whipple free franks are scarce, ex Grunin

E. 2,000-3,000
3,500
Back to Top
Copyright 2021. All rights reserved by Siegel Auction Galleries Inc. Information and images may be used with credit to Siegel Auction Galleries or siegelauctions.com subject to guidelines and restrictions.
Website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy