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Resolution Protesting Britain's "carrying away" of
Item Details
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Resolution Protesting Britain's "carrying away" of American "Negroes belonging to the Citizens", Official Manuscript Copy Introduced by Alexander Hamilton

[HAMILTON, ALEXANDER] Manuscript, 4 pp. bifolium, May 26, 1783, Philadelphia, 7.25” x 8.75”. Expected folds, tiny chip to one edge, scattered large spots of toning not affecting legibility of text, else Very Good.

Official Copy of the Continental Congress’s Resolution, introduced by Alexander Hamilton, Protesting Britain’s “carrying away” a “considerable Number of Negroes belonging to the Citizens of these States”. The Resolution, entirely in manuscript, is signed in the same hand, “Chas. Thomson, Secy.”, and was probably written by one of Thomson’s assistants, George Bond, Deputy Secretary.

Excepting minor punctuation differences, this manuscript copy is identical to the printed version in the Journals of the Continental Congress for May 26, 1783. The printed Journal records that the Resolution was introduced on May 26, “On motion of Mr. Hamilton, seconded by Mr. Izard”. Alexander Hamilton, then a member of the Continental Congress, would later assist in founding the Society for the Promotion of the Manumission of Slaves in New York. Hamilton had urged the enlistment of black soldiers in the Continental Army and the emancipation of these soldiers. But his position on slavery was nuanced, at least to the extent that anti-slavery scruples did not hinder his personal ambition; he had married into a wealthy slaveholding family, the Schuylers. Though he may not have owned slaves himself, he participated in transactions for their purchase and sale. Ralph Izard, who seconded Hamilton’s motion, was a South Carolina slaveholder who supported African slavery.

On June 2, 1783, General George Washington transmitted the original Resolution to Sir Guy Carleton, “Your Excellency will be pleased to notice the purport of this Act”, he wrote, “and I am persuaded you will consider it with that attention which you shall judge the nature of its object requires”. Carleton would oversee the evacuation of British troops, Loyalists, and freed slaves from New York.

During the War, the British had successfully recruited American slaves, who were promised freedom in exchange for their service in the British army. American objections to the manumission of those slaves lay at the heart of the May 26 Resolution. As the British prepared for their final evacuation, the Americans demanded the return of American property, including runaway slaves, under the terms of the peace treaty.

A diligent search for another manuscript copy of this Resolution has been without success. The original manuscript appears in the George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799; Series 4.

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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Resolution Protesting Britain's "carrying away" of

Estimate $2,400 - $2,600
Aug 25, 2021
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Starting Price $800
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0016: Resolution Protesting Britain's "carrying away" of

Sold for $2,800
19 Bids
Est. $2,400 - $2,600Starting Price $800
Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books
Aug 25, 2021 10:30 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 25%

Lot 0016 Details

Description
...

Resolution Protesting Britain's "carrying away" of American "Negroes belonging to the Citizens", Official Manuscript Copy Introduced by Alexander Hamilton

[HAMILTON, ALEXANDER] Manuscript, 4 pp. bifolium, May 26, 1783, Philadelphia, 7.25” x 8.75”. Expected folds, tiny chip to one edge, scattered large spots of toning not affecting legibility of text, else Very Good.

Official Copy of the Continental Congress’s Resolution, introduced by Alexander Hamilton, Protesting Britain’s “carrying away” a “considerable Number of Negroes belonging to the Citizens of these States”. The Resolution, entirely in manuscript, is signed in the same hand, “Chas. Thomson, Secy.”, and was probably written by one of Thomson’s assistants, George Bond, Deputy Secretary.

Excepting minor punctuation differences, this manuscript copy is identical to the printed version in the Journals of the Continental Congress for May 26, 1783. The printed Journal records that the Resolution was introduced on May 26, “On motion of Mr. Hamilton, seconded by Mr. Izard”. Alexander Hamilton, then a member of the Continental Congress, would later assist in founding the Society for the Promotion of the Manumission of Slaves in New York. Hamilton had urged the enlistment of black soldiers in the Continental Army and the emancipation of these soldiers. But his position on slavery was nuanced, at least to the extent that anti-slavery scruples did not hinder his personal ambition; he had married into a wealthy slaveholding family, the Schuylers. Though he may not have owned slaves himself, he participated in transactions for their purchase and sale. Ralph Izard, who seconded Hamilton’s motion, was a South Carolina slaveholder who supported African slavery.

On June 2, 1783, General George Washington transmitted the original Resolution to Sir Guy Carleton, “Your Excellency will be pleased to notice the purport of this Act”, he wrote, “and I am persuaded you will consider it with that attention which you shall judge the nature of its object requires”. Carleton would oversee the evacuation of British troops, Loyalists, and freed slaves from New York.

During the War, the British had successfully recruited American slaves, who were promised freedom in exchange for their service in the British army. American objections to the manumission of those slaves lay at the heart of the May 26 Resolution. As the British prepared for their final evacuation, the Americans demanded the return of American property, including runaway slaves, under the terms of the peace treaty.

A diligent search for another manuscript copy of this Resolution has been without success. The original manuscript appears in the George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799; Series 4.

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.

WE PROVIDE IN-HOUSE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE!

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