September 23, 2021 10:00 EDT

Books and Manuscripts

 
  Lot 5
 

5

[American Revolution] Hillegas, Michael
Document, signed

(Philadelphia), September 12, 1782. One sheet, approximately 7 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. (194 x 209 mm). Partially-printed group of two uncut sight drafts, being the third and fourth bills of exhange, issued to Albany-based merchant, Jacob Van Schaick, for "Eighteen Dollars, in Ninety Livres Tournois, for Interest due on Money borrowed by the United States", signed by Michael Hillegas, as the first treasurer of the United States; counter-signed by the Commissioner of the Continental Loan-Office in New York; undated MS. on verso transferring funds to Amsterdam-based American mercantile firm, Ingraham & Bromfied.

"These bills were issued in an uncut sheet of four and were redeemable in Paris...If the first bill was lost or captured at sea (ship captains had standing orders to weight bills of exchange and throw them overboard if stopped by a British ship of war), the holder would then send the second bill; if it too was lost, he would send the third, and so on. In several instances Congress authorized duplicate sets issued when all four had been lost at sea. As soon as a bill made it to Paris, the others in the set lost all value. (William G. Anderson, The Price of Liberty: The Public Debt of the American Revolution, Charlottesville, 1983, p. 87-88).

Typically found cut into their different exchanges, uncut sheets are scarce. A fine example.

Sold for $1,260
Estimated at $800 - $1,200


 

(Philadelphia), September 12, 1782. One sheet, approximately 7 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. (194 x 209 mm). Partially-printed group of two uncut sight drafts, being the third and fourth bills of exhange, issued to Albany-based merchant, Jacob Van Schaick, for "Eighteen Dollars, in Ninety Livres Tournois, for Interest due on Money borrowed by the United States", signed by Michael Hillegas, as the first treasurer of the United States; counter-signed by the Commissioner of the Continental Loan-Office in New York; undated MS. on verso transferring funds to Amsterdam-based American mercantile firm, Ingraham & Bromfied.

"These bills were issued in an uncut sheet of four and were redeemable in Paris...If the first bill was lost or captured at sea (ship captains had standing orders to weight bills of exchange and throw them overboard if stopped by a British ship of war), the holder would then send the second bill; if it too was lost, he would send the third, and so on. In several instances Congress authorized duplicate sets issued when all four had been lost at sea. As soon as a bill made it to Paris, the others in the set lost all value. (William G. Anderson, The Price of Liberty: The Public Debt of the American Revolution, Charlottesville, 1983, p. 87-88).

Typically found cut into their different exchanges, uncut sheets are scarce. A fine example.

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