Lot 222

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Delaware J.Vining Slave Holder Signs Pay Order to Governor John Penn of Pennsylvania

In this pay order, Speaker of the Delaware General Assembly John Vining orders the Trustees of the General Loan Office in Kent County to pay John Penn £60. A receipt indicates that Vining and his close friend Caesar Rodney, who were the Trustees for Kent County, paid the amount to Joseph Shippen Jr., Secretary of Pennsylvania. Vining's half-brother Charles Ridgely approved the expenditure as treasurer of Kent County.

JOHN VINING, Autograph Document Signed, Pay Order for General Loan Office of Kent County to John Penn, November 1, 1766, Delaware. 1 p., 7.5" x 9.625". Expected folds; separation on vertical folds; holes at left and right margins, not affecting text; small hole affecting signature.

Complete Transcript
Pay the Honble John Penn Esquire the sum of Sixty pounds out of the Interest arising from the Publick money in your hands and the same shall be allowed you at settlement with the Committee of Assembly.
Signed by order of the House
John Vining Speaker
To the Trustees of the General
loan Office of Kent County
November 1st 1766.

C Ridgely

[Receipt on verso:]
Reced Decr ye 30, 1766 of John Vining & Caesar Rodeney Esqrs Trustees of Kent County the Contents of the within order
For the Honble John Penn Esqr.
Joseph Shippen Jr.

Historical Background
The Lower Counties of Delaware were a part of Pennsylvania from 1682 until 1701. In the latter year, the three counties petitioned for an independent colonial legislature, and a separately elected legislature began meeting in 1704. However, Pennsylvania and Delaware continued to share the same colonial governor until 1776. From 1763 to 1771 and again from 1773 to 1776, that governor was John Penn, grandson of Pennsylvania founder William Penn. At the start of the American Revolution, Delaware's assembly voted to break ties with both Great Britain and the colony of Pennsylvania to form the state of Delaware.

The colonial governor granted land, appointed officials, mediated disputes, and created or continued various colonial offices. John Vining was appointed one of two trustees of the General Loan Office of Kent County on May 7, 1759. These trustees were empowered to “receive, re-emit, and exchange, all Bills of Credit of this Government” under the direction of the Assembly.

John Vining (1724-1770) was a prominent and successful lawyer and landholder in the Delaware Colony. He married Phoebe Wynkoop, with whom he had four children. He served as Speaker of the Colonial Assembly and Chief Justice of Delaware. He was a close friend of Caesar Rodney (1728-1784), who signed the Declaration of Independence for Delaware. Rodney served as godfather for John Vining's son John M. Vining (1758-1802), who served as a Continental Congressman (1784-1786), Congressman (1789-1793), and U.S. Senator (1793-1798) from Delaware. At his death, the older John Vining owned seventeen slaves.

John Penn (1729-1795) was born in London, the grandson of Pennsylvania founder William Penn. He was educated in Great Britain and Switzerland and was one of the Penn family proprietors of the Province of Pennsylvania from 1771 to 1776, holding a one-fourth share. He was the final governor of colonial Pennsylvania from 1763 to 1771 and from 1773 to 1776. The American Revolution and the creation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania removed the Penn family from power.

Dr. Charles Ridgely (1735-1785) was born in New Jersey, as the son of Nicholas Ridgely (1674-1755) and Mary Middleton Vining Ridgely, the widow of Benjamin Vining (1685-1735). Ridgely studied medicine at an academy in Philadelphia and became a physician in Dover, Delaware. He was also an officeholder and landowner in Kent County. He served as Kent County treasurer from at least 1769 to 1774, though this document suggests he served in that office as early as 1766. Ridgely was also the chairman of the Committee of Correspondence for the colony at the beginning of the American Revolution. After his half-brother John Vining's death in 1770, Ridgely become the guardian of the two surviving Vining children.

Joseph Shippen Jr. (1732-1810) was born in Philadelphia and graduated from the College of New Jersey (Princeton University) in 1753. He became a captain in the provincial militia during the French and Indian War and was a merchant. Shippen served as Secretary of Pennsylvania from 1762-1775. From 1786 until his death, he served as a judge of the Lancaster County Courts.

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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