Lot 151

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James Glasgow
various, ca. 1788-1851
Glasgow Land Fraud James Glasgow Land Grant with 4 Related Documents
A collection of five North Carolina land documents concerning property in Nashville, Tennessee, prior to it becoming a separate state. The first, and most notable, is a 1788 land grant signed by North Carolina Secretary of State James Glasgow, who would later be convicted of land fraud in 1797. The remaining four are transcripts of Revolutionary War grants, dated 1807 to 1851. Two of the four documents have transcribed copies of Glasgow's signature. The signed 1788 document has flattened folds with separations at the fold lines. Toning throughout and some small areas of staining throughout. One fold through Glasgow's bold signature. The remaining four documents have flattened folds and light toning or discoloration at the edges. Minor edge chipping. Very good overall.

The collection includes:
1. North Carolina Revolutionary War Land Grant signed by James Glasgow. 1 sheet (front and back), measuring 8" x 12.25", Fairfield, dated June 16, 1788. Signed "J Glasgow Sec", granting Daniel Fawney 320 acres "within the limited of the lands reserved by law for officers and soldiers in the continental line of this State." Transfer information written on the verso.
2. 1851 Transcript of a Land indenture. 2pp of a bifolium, measuring 8" x 12.5", Sumner County, Tennessee, dated May 27, 1851. The original document was dated December 4, 1795, between William Slade of Newbern and Thomas Overton of Moore County for 1280 acres in Davidson County, Tennessee for a payment of 250 Spanish milled dollars. Thomas Overton was an important military and political figure, best known for acting as Andrew Jackson's second in Jackson's duel with Charles Dickinson in 1806.
3. 1807 Transcript of a Revolutionary War Grant. 1p (front and back), measuring 8" x 12.5", Wilson County, Tennessee, dated December 30, 1807. The original document, No. 3333, was dated December 6, 1797, granting 640 acres to Jeremiah Hendrick, assignee of Holden Simmons who had served as a private in the war. Transcribed signature of Glasgow.
4. 1850 Transcript of a Revolutionary War Grant. 1p, measuring 8" x 12.25", Wilson County, Tennessee, dated September 17, 1850. The original document, No. 397, was dated June 26, 1793, granting 640 acres to John McFarland. Transcribed signature of Glasgow.
5. 185 Transcript of a Revolutionary War Grant. 2pp of a bifolium, measuring 7.75" x 12.5", Wilson County, Tennessee, dated February 3, 1851. The original document, No. 1022, was dated May 18, 1789, granting 1607 acres to Lt. William Slade.

James Glasgow (1735-1819) served as the first Secretary of State of North Carolina from 1777 until he was forced to resign in disgrace in 1798 after a scandal known as the "Glasgow Land Fraud." In 1782, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act that would grant soldiers bounty land at the completion of their military service. However, greedy speculators, aided by Glasgow, set about defrauding a number of former soldiers of their rightful claims to the land. The activities of these men were brought to the attention of future president, Andrew Jackson, who notified the Tennessee legislature. These claims of fraud, Jackson said, had been related to him by John Love of Virginia, who had eavesdropped on the landlord at a lodging house in Nashville. Said landlord, William Tyrell, and his nephew, William Tyrrell Lewis, systematically intoxicated former officers of the North Carolina Continental Line so they would sign fraudulent certificates of Continental military service to be used in procuring land warrants from the office of the Secretary of State. In June 1800, five of the twenty-one men originally accused of fraud came to trial. Of those tried, only three, James Glasgow, Willoughby Williams, and John Bonds, were ever found guilty.

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.


  • 8" x 12.5"
  • Artist Name:
  • James Glasgow
  • Medium:
  • Archive

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