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The George Washington Autograph Starts at $6,000 But Can Reach Millions of Dollars

FREE APPRAISAL FOR YOUR GEORGE WASHINGTON AUTOGRAPH OR LETTER.  Email Nate@NateDSanders.com. Some are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and a few can sell in the millions of dollars.  If you would like to appraise, auction, authenticate, buy, consign or sell a George Washington autograph, please email or call the Nate D. Sanders Auction House  (http://www.NateDSanders.com) at (310) 440-2982.

George Washington Autograph

View our current auction here.

Fittingly enough, the most expensive Presidential signature is the first one; a George Washington autograph if we are talking about Presidential autographs not proven to be signed while in office.  A William Henry Harrison autograph signed as President can be $60,000 where not as President is around only $800.  As the title notes, a George Washington autograph starts at $6,000 just for a signature.  George Washington autograph letters signed start at $15,000 but can sell for as high as a million dollars plus if the content is important and historical.  Here are some of the George Washington autograph letters signed and George Washington documents signed that we have sold in our monthly auction at http://www.NateDSanders.com.

Revolutionary War-Dated George Washington Autograph; a Letter Signed — Washington Writes During the “Secret” 1777 Winter Encampment at Valley Forge — “…it is highly probable that Troops may soon have to cross over [the Schuylkill River], which must be kept perfectly Secret…”

Historically important George Washington letter signed “G. Washington” from “Headquarters”, dated 1 December 1777, as Washington was deciding where to encamp his troops for the winter. As this letter demonstrates, he had already secured the location of Valley Forge, a decision which proved to be a major success in the War, as the area was highly defensible and strategically located from British forces. Washington would lead his troops to Valley Forge less than three weeks later, on 19 December 1777, where they would regroup for the winter and learn military training from Baron von Steuben. Letter, addressed to Brigadier General Potter, reads: “Sir, Since Mr. Tilghman’s letter of last Evening to you, I have advice from the City which convinces me that the Enemy do not propose coming out as we then expected. I therefore wish that if you will not have crossed the Schuylkill before you receive this, you may remain on the other side for sometime longer. If the Bridge lately built should have suffer’d any Damage by the late Rains, you will get your men to repair it, in the best order you can, as it is highly probable that Troops may soon have to cross over it, which must be kept perfectly Secret. I am Sir Your most Obe’d Serv / G. Washington”. Letter includes an original Crest Watermark. In good condition, with uneven edges, toning and dampstaining throughout, as one would expect of a letter being carried on field in the winter of 1777.

george washington autograph

George Washington Autograph Letter Signed as President — Concerning the Nations First Official July 4th Celebration, Held in Philadelphia, 1796 — Secretary of War McHenry Lies Concerning Washington’s Absence —  In This Letter, the President Lambastes his Secretary of War on Character, “…that truth or falsehood is equally used…f their object can be obtained…”

George Washington autograph letter signed “G. Washington” as President, one page, 4.5″ x 7.5″. [Mount Vernon, Virginia], 18 July 1796. To the Secretary of War James McHenry and marked “Private” by the President. Integral leaf addressed by Washington to “James McHenry Esq.” Docketed by McHenry “18 July 1796 / from Washington.” In very good to near fine condition with writing dark and clear. Framed with an engraving of Washington to an overall size of 21″ x 28.5″; document has been adhered in several places, but not mounted, to matting of frame.  In full, “I have not segacity [sic] enough to discover what end was to be answered by reporting: first, that I was to be in Philadelphia on the 4th, July, and secondly, when that report was contradicted by my non-appearance, then to account for it by a fall from my Phaeton. If any scheme could have Originated, or been facilitated by these, or any other reports, however unfounded, I should not have been surprised at the propagation of them; for evidence enough has been given that truth or falsehood is equally used, and indifferent to that class of men if their object can be obtained. I wish you well, and am always your Affectionate G. Washington.”  Secretary of War McHenry knew that President Washington was not going to be in Philadelphia on 4 July 1796, to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of Independence. McHenry, from Philadelphia, wrote letters to the President on July 2nd (with enclosures) and July 3rd…each was acknowledged by Washington in a letter to McHenry on July 8th. The Secretary of War would not have sent these letters to Mount Vernon if he knew the President would soon be arriving in the nation’s capital.  Judge Alexander Addison wrote to President Washington from Philadelphia on July 4th. He had heard that Washington would be in Philadelphia, beginning his letter: “Supposing that you would be in Philadelphia when I should arrive here…” Believing that the President still might be traveling to Philadelphia, Judge Addison concludes his letter, “If there is no certainty of your being here before the end of next week, I hope you will take the trouble of giving me the desired information by letter directed to me at Col. Gurney’s Philadelphia.” President Washington answered Judge Addison’s letter on 8 July 1796, giving him the information requested, with no mention of his supposed trip to Philadelphia.  In this revealing letter, Washington cannot understand the reasoning behind a report, presumably propagated by McHenry, that he would be in Philadelphia on July 4th nor his absence attributed to a supposed fall from his Phaeton, his four wheel carriage. The President is not surprised, however, because he knows that there are men who would tell the truth or lie, depending upon the situation, to reach their desired object. George Washington died on 14 December 1799. A few months later, a parson named Mason Locke Weems published “A History of the Life and Death, Virtues and Exploits, of General George Washington.” Weems invented a tale of how a young George Washington received a new hatchet and used it to chop down his father’s prized cherry tree. Faced with telling the truth or lying, when his father asked him how the tree had fallen, George bravely cried out, “I cannot tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet.”  In this magnificent letter, George Washington, in the last year of his presidency, centered around the Fourth of July, reacts to a lie about him and a second lie to cover up the first, evoking the most famous example of his fortitude of character, albeit a fictional tale, when he could not tell a lie. When John C. Fitzpatrick was editing “The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources 1745-1799” for publication (1931-1944), he could not locate this letter. However, he found a copy in the “McHenry Photostats” in the Library of Congress and the text of this letter was published in Volume 35.

george washington autograph

George Washington & Thomas Jefferson Dual Autograph Document Signed

President George Washington autograph document signed, co-signed by Thomas Jefferson. Single page folio dated 27 March 1794, boldly signed “G. Washington / Th. Jefferson.” A trilingual ship’s paper for the ship Hamilton, commanded by Thomas Farrell. Document states that the ship is laden with 227 tons of “Tobacco and slaves”; interestingly, this same ship was seized by pirates in 1795, with its prize taken to Bermuda. Rare ship’s document in that Jefferson had resigned as Secretary of State in December, 1793, months before this document was used (ship’s documents were signed in advance by the President and Secretary of State and then used by the Ports as needed). Has usual folds and some separation, including a clean vertical split through Washington and Jefferson’s signatures, expertly repaired to verso. A few negligible chips to margins, not affecting text, and typical offsetting. Large, clear signatures. Document is overall very good.  An excellent George Washington signed and Thomas Jefferson signed document.

george washington autograph

President George Washington Autograph Letter Signed from 1784

President George Washington autograph letter signed from Mount Vernon, Virginia. Two pages, written entirely in Washington’s own hand, dated June 1784, letter is addressed to Sir Edward Newenham, one of the leading radical figures in late 18th Century Irish politics. Letter reads in full: “Sir, If this letter should ever reach your hands, it will be presented by Col. Humphreys, who is appointed as Secretary to the Commissioner from the United States for forming commercial treaties in Europe. This Gentleman is a particular friend of mine, and until I resigned my military appointment, was one of my Aid de Camps.  He has been uniformly a friend to the rights of mankind.  He possesses in an eminent degree the social virtues and is a man of integrity and worth.  As such I take the liberty of recommending him to your civilities if chance or a visit to Ireland, should throw him in your way. I offer no apology for this freedom, because, from your character I am persuaded none is necessary, and that you will feel pleasure in taking notice of merit.  With great esteem and consideration, I have the honor to be / Sir – Yr Most Ob. Servt. / G. Washington”  Separate address leaf in Washignton’s hand, bearing traces of Washington’s seal.  One split along center fold, faint adhesive remnants to verso, otherwise fine condition.

george washington autograph

All of the above George Washington autograph examples above are worth $20,000 – $30,000 each.

If you would like to auction, buy, consign or sell a George Washington autograph, please email Nate@NateDSanders.com.

View our current auction here.

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