Lot 241

Previous image preload Next image preload


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.


Accepted Forms of Payment:

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Paypal, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer


Unless otherwise indicated, we do our own in-house worldwide shipping!

Applicable shipping and handling charges will be added to the invoice. We offer several shipping options, and remain one of the few auction houses who proudly provides professional in-house shipping as an option to our clients. All items will ship with signature required, and full insurance. Most items are sent via Federal Express, with P. O. Box addresses being sent through USPS. We insure through Berkley Asset Protection with rates of $.70 per $100 of value, among the lowest insurance rates in the industry. Our shipping department cameras document every package, both outgoing and incoming, for maximum security. In addition, we compare our shipping and handling rates against those of other auction houses, to ensure that our charges are among the lowest in the trade.

Upon winning your item(s), you will receive an invoice with our in-house shipping and handling fees included. ***We will ship to the address as it appears on your invoice. If any changes to the shipping address need to be made, you must inform us immediately.***

International shipments: In order to comply with our insurance provider, all international shipments will be sent via Fed Ex and customs paperwork will show a value of $1.00. International buyers should contact our office directly with any questions regarding this policy.

Third Party Shipping Option: If a third party shipper is preferred, the buyer is responsible for contacting them directly to make shipping arrangements. For your convenience, we have provided some recommended shippers. For your protection, we will require a signed release from you, confirming your authorization for us to release your lots to your specified third party Please copy and paste this following link into your browser: http://universityarchives.com/UserFiles/ShippingInfo.pdf. At that point, our responsibility and insurance coverage for your item(s) ceases. Items picked up by third party shippers are required to pay Connecticut sales tax. Items requiring third party shipping due to being oversized, fragile or bulky will be denoted in the item description.

Please see our full terms and conditions for names of suggested third party shippers.

After payment has been made in full, University Archives will ship your purchase within 10 business days following receipt of full payment for item.

Please remember that the buyer is responsible for all shipping costs from University Archives' offices in Wilton, CT to the buyer's door. Please see full Terms and Conditions of Sale.

University Archives

You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 25% and any applicable taxes and shipping.

View full terms and conditions

Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000