University Archives

Lot 227

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Gen. Joseph Shelby Interesting Doc with W.H. Gratz

Single page manuscript document signed, as a suit between Joseph Shelby vs The Steam Boat Alonzo-Child. 7.75" x 12.25". Dated " 9th day of April 1854", and signed by both Shelby and Gratz "J. O. Shelby", and "H. H. Gratz". Near fine with expected folds and a small separation along the fold line. A suit between Joseph Shelby vs The Steam Boat Alonzo-Child

Joseph Shelby lost his father at age five and was raised by a stepfather, Benjamin Gratz, who was a member of wealthy Lexington elite. Shelby's leadership in the Missouri–Kansas border war damaged his business ventures and partnership with his stepbrother, Henry Howard Gratz. In December 1855, their new sawmill burned, and evidence suggested the use of an incendiary. The mill was uninsured and losses exceeded $9,000. This document was for a lawsuit the year before the loss of their mill, shown in part below:

".. For the sum of Sixteen hundred dollars, for the payment of which will and truly to be made we hereby jointly and severally bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators by these presents, sealed with our seals and dates this 9th day of April 1854… said Joseph G. Shelby is about to comment suit against the Steam Boat Alonzo - Child, under the act of the General Assembly … entitled "an Act Concerning Boats and vessels, Approved November 29, 1855" for seven hundred dollars damages …right now if said Shelby plaintiff will prosecute his suit with effect, or pay all damages that may accrue to the said Steam Boat Alonzo … then this obligation shall be void…"

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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June 24, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

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