2020-07 2 sessions
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/23/2020
KEY, Francis Scott (1779-1843) American lawyer and amateur poet who wrote the words to the United States national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner" Autograph Letter Signed, "F.S. Key" 3pp. quarto, Annapolis, April 3, 1798 to John L. Kerr, a friend and fellow law student who was later a U.S. Senator, commenting on their mutual friends, especially girlfriends, and telling a funny story of a trick he and the girl who turned out to be his future wife played on another young lady. "…I desire you will burn this letter the moment you have read it & never tell any person what I am now going to tell you. I ought not to tell it but it is so good a thing I can't help it. I was some time ago at Miss Lloyds, Maria & myself were standing at the door around 9 o'clock at night, Mrs. Murray's carriage came to the door. We agreed to go to Mr. Cooke's in it. Accordingly that she would call Betsy in & begin to talk to her. When we got there Maria asked for Miss Betsy, who came into the carriage & sat down, little thinking who was there. 'Betsy,' says Maria, 'have you heard that we are talked of all over town about our romping in the mud this morning.', 'No,' replies Betsy, 'who told you.' 'Why,' said Maria, 'Frank Key told me.' Betsy then began 'Well, damn Frank Key. Nobody else saw us but him, I dare say he told it, damn his little soul. I wish I had him here, I'd give it to him, God damn him I say. I'll pay him for it if I catch him. Is he at your house now?" 'Here he is,' says Maria. I then discovered myself which I was very near doing sooner for I could scarcely contain my laughter. She looked a little foolish for the first two or three times I saw her afterwards, but she appears to have got quite over it now. This is the way these pretty innocent creatures talk when by themselves…" Fine and amusing. Had anyone indeed in those days heard what Betsy said, she would have been in real trouble, as swearing was not countenanced, especially by young ladies. It is interesting to not that Key, quite the practical joker in his youth, married Maria Lloyd a few years later, and she bore him 11 children one of whom, Philip, was killed in a duel over a lady by her jealous husband, future Union general Daniel Sickles.
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Francis Scott Key Autograph Letter Signed

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $400.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,690.00
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Auction closed on Friday, July 24, 2020.
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