Very Rare War Dated LS by Declaration Signer Arthur Middleton Re: "Two Hundred fresh milled dollars", Additionally Signed by Founding Father John Rutledge
Letter Signed by Arthur Middleton (1742-1787) as "A. Middleton", 1p, 7" x 4.5", West Philadelphia, May 20, 1782. Additionally signed by John Rutledge (1739-1800) as "J. Rutledge", and David Ramsay (1749-1815) as "David Ramsay". Cut close at left affecting only a few letters, but nothing else of significance, 2.25" x 1" patch at the bottom far away from Middleton's signature.
Boldly penned letter, likely by Rutledge, reads in full, "At four months sight be pleased to pay the Revd. Robt. Smith on order Two Hundred fresh milled dollars & charge the same to (the) State of So. Carolina."
Endorsed on verso, "1782 Oct. 4th Rec'd the contents in full" and signed, "William Geddes".
In our 42-year tenure, this firm has likely handled more declaration signers than any firm still in existence. We strongly believe that Middleton should rank behind Button Gwinnett as the rarest signer to obtain. It is surmised that Middleton often did not sign his name, or that he signed with his initials during the Revolutionary War to avoid detection and possible retribution.
An unsigned example, but with a 1776 date, sold at Christie's in 2008 for nearly $100,000. We were fortunate enough to sell two in our auctions which were very similar, but were sold before the recent uptick in the Americana market. The first sold in 2019 for $42,000 and the second in 2020 for $40,625. Although similar, neither had the all-important numismatic connection like the present document. The "milled dollars" referred to here were undoubtedly Spanish silver. The use of foreign money was virtually exclusive in British North America during the colonial period. Spanish silver, including coins minted in the overseas dominions, made up the bulk of the scant special media of exchange.
This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.
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