RARE LAND GRANT DOCUMENT SIGNED BY BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
FRANKLIN, Benjamin. Manuscript document signed. Philadelphia: March 12, 1788. Single sheet of vellum, 15-3/4 by 13-1/2 inches, writing on recto, with fragile paper seal, with later engraving of Franklin. Silk matted, floated and window framed, entire piece measures 22 by 32 inches. $34,000.
Exceptional original manuscript document in a secretarial hand, a deed conveying to "Peter Baker a certain tract of land called 'Baker's Delight' situate[d] in Antrim Township Franklin County," boldly signed by Benjamin Franklin as President of Pennsylvania, countersigned by Secretary Charles Biddle, and with the fragile paper seals of Pennsylvania present and intact.
This rare official document, dated March 12, 1788, is boldly signed by Benjamin Franklin as President of Pennsylvania below the state's embossed seal. Franklin was not only the state's president, but also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, convened in Philadelphia on May 25 of this year. Franklin is the only Founding Father to be signatory to all four key documents in America's founding: the Declaration of Independence, Treaty of Paris, Treaty of Alliance with France and the U.S. Constitution. Franklin served as President of Pennsylvania from October 1785 to October 1788. It is in that capacity that he signed this document.
The document, entirely in manuscript in a fine and legible secretarial hand, reads, in part: "The Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To all to whom these Presents shall Come Greeting. Know ye that in consideration of the monies paid by Samuel Findley to the late Proprietaries at the granting of the Warrant hereinafter mentioned and of the Sum of twenty nine pounds ten shillings lawful money now paid by Peter Baker into the Receiver Generals Office of this Commonwealth there is granted by the said Commonwealth to the said Peter Baker a Certain Tract of Land called "Baker's Delight" Situate in Antrim Township Franklin County… In Witness of whereof His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esq., President of the Supreme Executive Council hath hereto set his hand and caused the State Seal to be hereto affixed in Council the twelfth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight and of the Commonwealth the Twelfth. Attest Charels Biddle Sec'y. [signed in the left margin, with flourish] Benjamin Franklin." The original fragile, ornate, eight-pointed star paper seal is present, faintly embossed with the seal of Pennsylvania. Docketed on verso with two additional embossed paper seals affixed.
Fold lines, a bit of toning to vellum. Star seal at top left is missing one point, and most points have folds. Franklin signature bold and clear. Beautifully framed.