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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/28/2006
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Washington's Signature

WASHINGTON, George (1732-1799). 1st President of the U.S. (1789-1797). Historic Autograph Letter Signed "G. Washington" as President, pertaining to the nation's cultural heritage. Two pages quarto, Baltimore, September 9, 1790. Written to financier and Signer of the Declaration, Robert Morris (1734-1806). Preparing to move the nation's capital to Philadelphia, in this letter, Washington supervises repairs, alterations and planning for the new Executive Mansion-a rented three-story mansion owned by Morris. This letter is one of the few recorded descriptions and details of the Executive Mansion known to exist, entirely in the hand of Washington. This letter reads in most part: "…that no unnecessary delay may be sustained in completing the repairs and alterations which it is proposed to make, I would beg leave to observe to you that they may be proceeded in without regarding the accommodation [sic] of the furniture, as independent of the space which may be taken up in making the Bow window, there will be ample room for the reception of all our articles in other parts of the House-and I conceive this intimation the more necessary as Mrs. Morris mentioned something to me… about painting the House… The additional building for a Servant hall, and the converting of the Cow House into stalls for horses, may be entered upon I hope without affecting your convenience… although the alteration of the Bow-windows & the painting cannot. Should the delay of your removal (or other circumstances) be longer than we have supposed I beg you to inform Mr. Lear… I am Dear Sir Yr. Most Obedt and Affecte Hble Servant G: Washington… P. S. I intended on Saturday last to have asked the Rent I was to pay, but neglecting it then, should have obliged to you for communicating it to me, when you are [at] leizure [sic], in a line or two....". VG. George Washington arrived in New York on April 23, 1789, and, exactly one week later, was inaugurated as President. However, no sooner had Washington and his family settled down in New York when the capital was moved to Philadelphia. Washington chose to rent a home from Robert Morris, the financier of the American Revolution. Washington was intimately acquainted with the house. After the Revolution, he visited Philadelphia regularly and stayed with the Morrises, and he lodged in the house from May to September 1787 during the Constitutional Convention. In 1790, Philadelphia was named the temporary national capital for a ten-year period while the Federal City (now Washington, D. C.) was under construction. Morris volunteered his house to serve as President Washington's residence, a High Georgian style structure dating from 1767. Even Morris's Market Street residence was not large enough for Washington and his household staff. The President visited Morris in September 1790, on his way to Mount Vernon, and planned the additions to the house: a large two-story bow to be added to south side of the main house making the rooms at the rear thirty-four feet in length, a long one-story servants' hall to be built on the east side of the kitchen ell, the bathtubs to be removed from the second floor of the bath house and the bathingroom turned into Washington's private office, additional servant rooms to be constructed, and an expansion of the stables. When Washington moved into the house in November, there were up to thirty people living on the premises: Washington, his wife, Martha, and her grandchildren, Nelly and G. W. Parke Custis; Chief Secretary Tobias Lear, his wife, and the three male secretaries; eight black slaves from Mount Vernon; and about fifteen white servants. Washington wrote this superb letter to Morris concerning his planned renovations to the mansion so that the abode could be made more roomy and inhabitable. Despite the renovations, the chambers were no more spacious. The house was still too small. Washington squeezed his private study and personal dressing room into a back building. Historically, the two most important areas within the house were the bow of the first floor rear room where the President stood (Washington, and later Adams) on ceremonial occasions - levees, an ambassador presenting his credentials, speeches, etc.; and the second floor private office (the former bathingroom) which was the equivalent of the Oval Office, and probably served as the Cabinet room. Washington lamented that people coming to the mansion for business had to ascend two sets of stairs and pass by the public rooms, as there was no room for the office on the lower level. This is one of the only known records by Washington of the Executive Mansion, which was gutted in the 1830s, and went through a long period of decay, until, ironically, what remained of it along with the eastern wall were demolished in 1951 to create Independence Mall.
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President George Washington Writes Robert Morris Pertaining to Plans for the Executive Mansion

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $35,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0.00
Estimate: $70,000 - $100,000
Auction closed on Tuesday, February 28, 2006.
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