Lot 5 of 419:
Archve of Benhamin Bourne letters 1783-1796  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,200
$500 - $800

Archive of approximately 20 autograph letters signed by Benjamin Bourne, plus 2 signed promissory notes

Bourne, Benjamin

Various places



Various sizes, in ink, from Bristol, CT; Boston; Philadelphia, etc. Letters from Benjamin Bourne, or Bourn (1755-1808), jurist and politician from Bristol, Rhode Island. He represented Rhode Island in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as a judge in both the federal district and federal appellate courts. A Federalist, he was instrumental in persuading Rhode Island to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Most of the letters relate to legal, judicial, and political matters, though a few are personal. In 1792 he writes of his arrival in Philadelphia and lodgings: "This will aquaint you with my arrival here on the 30th ult. without any occurrence worthy of notice... I have now taken lodging in Market Street nearly opposite the President's with Mrs. Ames her Husband , Judge Livermore & Mrs. Thatcher... Our weekly board is at the price of 7 dollars, including the use of the family servants..." On Feb. 7, 1794, from Philadelphia, "Mr. Morris Brown is here & I don't know when he returns. I believe he means to see the event(?) of his petition against the slave trade & tho' I believe it will be granted, sometime will probably elapse before the Bill gets thro'..." It may be that the Morris Brown referred to is the free black shoemaker from South Caroline who later moved to Philadelphia and co-founded the country's first African Methodist Church. Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia, is named after him. An interesting and historically valuable collection of papers, shedding light on politics, judicial matters and finances in the early days of the republic. Provenance: A private California collection.

Lot Amendments

Varying amounts of wear, a few torn and chipped; overall very good.

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