18th and 19th Century American Documents from Joe Rubinfine
Item 29 is a bad case of jumping the gun. It is a letter from future President James Monroe to an unknown recipient, likely a Virginia governor, dated November 18, 1791. Monroe writes about the new constitutional monarchy adopted by the French assembly, which he believes is a wonderful conclusion to the French Revolution. Pens Monroe, "I have to congratulate your Excellency on the completion of the French Revolution... It must gratify the friends of republican government, in every quarter, to behold the splendour with wh. the national assembly have closed their long & interesting career." Of course, this turned out not to be the end of the Revolution, but the precursor of the Reign of Terror, in turn followed by very unrepublican governments. $6,500.
Item 37 is a touching letter from South Carolina from a slave named "Kitty" from 1856. Her owner recently died, and it appears the family will need to sell her and her two children to settle the estate. She writes one of the family members, "We would like to have the privilege of looking for owners to buy us, if we have to be sold...for I am very much worried..." Kitty must have had an unusually beneficent owner, as few slaves were allowed, let alone taught, how to read and write. The stress of knowing what kind of an owner would buy her family, or whether they would even be kept together, must have been unbearable. Fortunately, the owners were able to handle the estate without selling their slaves, but sadly, Kitty died in 1862, never receiving her freedom. $35,000.
You may reach Joe Rubinfine at 321-455-1666 or Joerubinfine@mindspring.com.