January 26th Rare Autograph & Book Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/26/2023

Manuscript DS, signed “Go: Washington,” one page, 8.75 x 16, June 25th 1787. Potomack Company document for sum rum and a carriage.

In full: Alexandria June 25th 1787 Recd. of William Harshorne and Co. one Rum & four dollars for the carriage which I promise to deliver to Richardson Stuart at the Shenadoah Falls. Jacob Syler. Endorsed on the reverse by George Washington, John Fitzgerald, and George Gilpin as directors of the Potomac Company. In very fine condition, an amazing bold Washington signature. Esquseitley framed and matted showing both sides.

One of George Washington's greatest interests in the period between the end of the Revolutionary War and the start of his presidency was the development of the picturesque Potomac River as a navigable inland transportation route. The Potowmack Company, formed to accomplish this task using a series of locks and canals, was formed in 1785 and Washington was named the company's president. The company's 1785 charter provided 'liberal wages' for 'any Number not exceeding one hundred good Hands with provisions and a reasonable Quantity of Spirits.' These laborers led a difficult life, being required to remove a certain amount of rock and debris before receiving their rations of spirits.

With an eye toward the greater good of the nation, Washington's ambitions surpassed those of the ordinary businessman—he believed that improved infrastructure would strengthen the fledgling United States, with the Potomac Canal forming a literal link from east to west and binding together territories in a 'chain which could never be broken.' The project was beset by constant difficulty: insufficient funding and constant legal trouble contributed to the company's ineffectiveness and eventual failure. A fine document associated with a major early American infrastructure project.

Rare George Washington signed Potomac Company DocumentRare George Washington signed Potomac Company DocumentRare George Washington signed Potomac Company Document
Rare George Washington signed Potomac Company Document
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $11,254.50
Number Bids: 19
Auction closed on Thursday, January 26, 2023.

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