• 1776 Revolutionary War Pay Order Signed by Oliver Ellsworth

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    OLIVER ELLSWORTH (1745-1807) was one of Connecticut's first state senators, was very involved in revolutionary politics and helped draft the U.S. Constitution. This Yale and Princeton graduate also trained as a lawyer and was appointed by 1st U.S. President George Washington (1732-1799) to serve as the 3rd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court between 1796-1800.


    JONATHAN LAWRENCE served as treasurer before, during, and after the American Revolution, when Connecticut was first a colony and then a state. Financing the Revolution laid a heavy burden upon each colony, especially those which balked at levying taxes. In order to meet immediate needs such as wages, the colonies relied upon wealthy revolutionaries, foreign loans, and taxes and gifts from abroad. Connecticut issued promissory notes such as this. Issuing paper money was only a temporary solution, and worthless without specie or gold and silver backing. The U.S. established its standard monetary system in 1791.


    One page, 5 x 8 ¼, DS by Ellsworth to Lawrence asking him to pay Capt. Reuben Rose thirty-three pounds, six shillings and five pence “for billeting his company ordered to New York in January last & charge the state. December 12th, 1776.” Superb docketing on the verso with the magic year of 1776 mentioned again as Rose signs as having received the money.


    Folds, toning, but excellent condition.


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