Rare Documents & Artifacts of New Hampshire Representative up at auction

RR Auction is pleased to announce their first American Patriots auction in February. This stunning assemblage of letters and relics come straight from the very hands that birthed our nations’ freedom on July 4, 1776, as John Hancock, Josiah Bartlett, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin and 52 other delegates signed the formal copy of the Declaration of Independence, on August 2, 1776 nearly a month after the First Continental Congress approved the official document.

Among the museum quality pieces relating to the New England region: 

New Hampshire representative receives payment for signing the Declaration of Independence

Rare New England Patriots Documents & Artifacts up at Auction

Josiah Bartlett, a New Hampshire Patriot and signatory of the Declaration of Independence who also served as the state's governor and Supreme Court chief justice. 

Bartlett who was born in Amesbury, Massachusetts, in 1729 and initially began his career as a physician in Kingston, New Hampshire— by 1765, had become active in colonial politics, serving in the New Hampshire legislature from 1765 to1775, when he became a member of the soon-to-be revolutionary Continental Congress.

A rare document detailing Bartlett’s payment for signing the Declaration of Independence is part of a special American Patriots auction, from New Hampshire based RR Auction.  

“The manuscript is an outstanding financial account, penned nearly entirely in Barlett’s hand, which outlines payment from the state of New Hampshire for his time serving in the Continental Congress from September 1775 through November 1776,” says Bobby Livingston, with RR Auction.

“Bartlett was the first representative to be asked regarding a declaration of independence from Great Britain, adds Livingston. As the second signer, he made his affirmation official on August 2, 1776, when he penned his signature to the formal copy of the Declaration, right after John Hancock’s.”

Exceptionally scarce and impeccable set of six spoons, crafted by Boston’s renowned silversmith Paul Revere

An impeccably-preserved and magnificently scarce set of six silver spoons, crafted by none other than the Midnight Rider himself, have stood the test of time and, after 220 years, remained steadfastly together. One of the most celebrated and sought-after silversmiths of his time, Revere personally crafted this set for the prominent Boston couple, Daniel and Mary Turner Sargent. This original set heralds from the prized collection of noted silversmith and Revere collector, George Gebelein, who first came into possession of the collection in 1938.  (Bidding is currently at $55,612.)

“The Troops are now landing at Charlestown from Boston” A battlefield dispatch of the British advancement on Bunker Hill, docketed by John Hancock

An historically-exciting letter signed by “Azor Orne p’ ord,” to to General John Thomas.

Colonel Azor Orne, who had joined the militia prior to the start of the Revolution (1731–1796). In 1775, he and fellow Marbleheaders Elbridge Gerry and Jeremiah Lee joined John Hancock and Samuel Adams on the Massachusetts Committee of Safety.

Following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the Continental Congress adopted the Massachusetts militia and formed the Continental Army with Washington as its commander. That battle was the start of the Siege of Boston. 

“On the day this letter was written, says Bobby Livingston, with RR Auction, Orne and Hancock looked out and saw the British as they fired shots and began marching on and burning Charlestown as part of another offensive attempt to gain strategic positions on the hills surrounding the city.”

The letter was quickly dispatched to advise Thomas of the situation so that he might have the information necessary to decide whether to hold his position or join Prescott's forces. This was the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The letter reads in full: “Sir, the Troops are now landing at Charlestown from Boston. You are to Judge whether this is designed to deceive or not[.] In haste leave you to judge of the Necessity of your movements.” Reverse bears an address panel in another hand, “To Genl John Thomas at Roxbury,” and also docketed in the hand of John Hancock, “From the Committee of Safety.”

Whether heeding this warning or for other reasons, Thomas opted to keep his troops defending Dorcester Heights instead of coming to Prescott's aid. It was from this position almost a year later that, with a cannon Henry Knox brought from Fort Ticonderoga, Thomas would fire upon the British fleet in the harbor forcing them to evacuate Boston and end the eleven month-long siege. This a fascinating piece of correspondence regarding one of the revolution's most famous battles as it was happening; signed by Azor, who was elected to the First Continental Congress, and docketed by Hancock who would later serve as its president.

This specialized collection, also including an entirely handwritten financial account of New Hampshire delegate, Josiah Bartlett’s, compensation for signing the Declaration; an ironically hopeful letter from John Andre, penned just a month before his execution after being captured as a spy; a riveting letter from Colonel Azor Orne, the man who exclaimed, “The Troops are now landing at Charlestown from Boston,” and many, many more desirable signatures and relics, will be available for bidding January 27. 

Rare handwritten letter from a New Hampshire signer, just months after the Declaration

In another letter by Josiah Bartlett, signed “Your loving father, Josiah Bartlett,” on December 7, 1776. Letter to his son Levi Bartlett. In full: “I hope this will find you well as it leaves me & your mother & the rest of the family. Mr Thayer is to be ordained here on Wednesday the 18th Day of this month and if you are Desirous to come up and have got well of your laments you may set off on Tuesday morning before the ordination and come a foot as far as Almsbury ferry and I will send an horse to meet you there unless the weather is very stormy; if it is, I would not have you set out in the rain. Write me word by Mr Noyes whither you are better of your lameness. If you know of any better way that you can come up let me know it by writing.” Second integral page bears an address panel in Bartlett‘s hand to “To Levi Bartlett att Dummer’s School.” In very good condition, with intersecting folds, one through a single letter of signature, scattered toning, and small area of paper loss to second page from wax seal. 

"In the last 40 years, only four Josiah Bartlett letters from 1776 have ever been offered for sale at major public auctions," says  Bobby Livingston, of New Hampshire based RR Auction.



The upcoming American Patriots auction from RR Auction contains over 40 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, including three notoriously scarce individuals like George Taylor, Thomas Nelson, Jr., and the most obscure of all, Thomas Lynch, Jr., the American Patriots auction will breathe fresh life into the revolution, once again honoring the congressmen, delegates, generals, and soldiers who laid the foundation for our nation as we know it. The auction which began on January 27 and runs through February 15. For details, go to rrauctions.com.



For 30 years, RR Auction has offered collectors more than 1,250 quality, fully guaranteed signed items each month, including photos, documents, letters, and books from a variety of categories. We employ well-regarded in-house experts to examine every item they auction, as well as coordinated with third-party authenticators in their fields of expertise. RR Auction offers a full 100% lifetime guarantee of authenticity for each of their autographed items