The penultimate for autograph collectors must be that of John Hancock. I can think of no one else who is best remembered for his autograph. That is quite a feat as Hancock was a President of the Continental Congress and Governor of Massachusetts. He was one of the most important of revolutionary era leaders, yet he will forever be best remembered for his bold signature on the Declaration of Independence. He left little doubt where he stood. Some have felt Hancock a bit egotistical and such, but anyone with misgivings about the man should read this letter to his wife. It is that of a loving, family man. It's hard not to like him as you read his words to his wife: “Kiss little John for me as often as you please, do let the little fellow be well fed...pray let me hear of you & from you as soon as possible & as often as you can...I will write you by every oppory.” Item 23. His signed franking envelope is included. $28,000.
Item 62 is a letter from General “Mad” Anthony Wayne to his wife Polly on January 3, 1777, from Fort Ticonderoga. It was not affectionate as Hancock's. They had a difficult relationship. However, his is also a stirring letter as he writes about the war, which was not going all that well at the time. Wayne predicts that America's coastal towns “will in all probability fall into their hands, and they may Distress us much. But they never can they never shall subjugate the free born sons of America.” He then goes on to predict, prophetically in light of Yorktown, “Our growing country can meet with Considerable Losses and Survive them but one Defeat to our more than savage Enemy Ruins them forever.” $15,000.
Joe Rubinfine may be reached at 321-455-1666 or