Lot 223

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Patriot Paul Revere Buys Supplies for His Silversmith Business 2 Mos. After The Constitution Was Signed!

Boston silversmith and businessman Paul Revere pays for 4 chaldrons of coal from Boston merchant Elijah Williams. After the Revolutionary War, Revere used the profits from his expanding silversmith trade to take up casting and forging iron, bronze bells and cannon, and copper bolts, spikes, and sheeting for naval vessels.

In post-revolutionary America, a "chaldron" equaled 36 bushels or 1.44 net tons. Revere would have used the coal to fire his furnaces for metalworking of all types.

PAUL REVERE, Autograph Endorsement Signed, on Bill of Elijah Williams to Paul Revere, November 10, 1787, Boston, Massachusetts. 1 p., 8.5" x 3". Foxing; chipping; wrinkled. Professionally matted and displayed to the right of a high-quality photo reproduction of Paul Revere's portrait after John Singleton Copley.

Complete Transcript
Boston, Novr 10th 1787
Coln Revere
Bot of Elijah Williams
4 Chaldron Coals @ 33 /     £6..12
                         Carting             10..8
Recd pament  E Williams      7.. 2..8

[Endorsement by Revere:]
Cash for Carting Recd Ten shillings & 8 pence
Paul Revere

Historical Background
On June 5, 1787, Paul Revere announced to his customers through the Boston newspapers that he had moved his place of business from Dock-Square, to No. 50, Cornhill, where he sold "a general assortment of hardware, consisting of Brass, Copper, Pewter, Ironmongery and Plated Wares" and that he and his son were carrying on all branches of the "Gold and Silversmith's Business."

That same month, on June 18, 1787, Elijah Williams also turned to the Boston newspapers to inform the public that the co-partnership of "E. Williams & Co." was being dissolved, but that Elijah Williams would continue to sell "a general assortment of goods" from his store at No. 44, Cornhill.

Paul Revere (1734-1818) was born in Boston's North End and became an apprentice to his father, a French Huguenot silversmith, at age 13. He served briefly in the provincial army during the French and Indian War but soon returned to run the family silver shop. He married Sarah Orme (1736-1773) in 1757, and they had eight children. Because of poor business, Revere took up dentistry, through which he met local physician Joseph Warren. Revere became a member of the Sons of Liberty in 1765 and began to produce engravings with political themes. His almost entirely fictitious depiction of the Boston Massacre helped galvanize colonial resistance to British rule. After his first wife's death, he married Rachel Walker (1745-1813) in 1773, and they had eight children. He served as a courier for the Boston Committee of Public Safety and took considerable risks when organizing the colonial resistance and intelligence networks. Revere was a leader of the Boston Tea Party in December 1773, and in April 1775, he became most famous for alerting the Massachusetts militia to the approach of British forces before the Battles of Lexington and Concord. He later served as a Massachusetts militia officer and established a mill in Massachusetts that produced tons of gunpowder for the patriot forces. Following the war, Revere returned to his silversmith trade and used the profits from his expanding business to finance his work in iron casting, bronze bell and cannon casting, and the forging of copper bolts and spikes. He became the first American to roll copper into sheets for use as sheathing on naval vessels, working from the mill he erected in 1801 in Canton, Massachusetts, south of Boston.

Elijah Williams (1732-1815) was born in Newton, Massachusetts, and married Sophia Partridge in 1772. He established two iron works in West Stockbridge in western Massachusetts near the New York border, one in 1766 and another in 1783. He also opened marble quarries and became a well-known merchant. Williams also purchased jewelry from Paul Revere.

Paul Revere, gg grandson of Paul Revere to Mr. Fletcher, March 8, 1948

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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