ROBERT MORRIS (January 20, 1734 – May 8, 1806) was a Founding Father of the United States, American merchant who financed the Revolutionary War, oversaw the striking of the first coins of the country and signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. He, Alexander Hamilton and Albert Gallatin are widely regarded as founders of the U.S. financial system. Morris declined George Washington’s offer to appoint him as the nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Washington appointed Alexander Hamilton instead. Morris was accused by Tom Paine and others of war profiteering. He was vindicated. After the Revolution, he speculated wildly in land, was imprisoned for debt and died in Philadelphia in poverty and obscurity.
JAMES WILSON (September 14, 1742 – August 21, 1798) was a Founding Father of the United States and a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He was elected twice to the Continental Congress, where he represented Pennsylvania. Wilson was one of the six original justices appointed by George Washington to the Supreme Court. He was a delegate to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention and served on the Committee of Detail, which produced the first draft of the Constitution. Along with Roger Sherman, he proposed the Three-Fifths Compromise, which counted slaves as three-fifths of a person for purposes of representation in the United States House of Representatives and the Electoral College. In 1789, Wilson became one of the first Associate Justices of the Supreme Court. Wilson suffered financial ruin from the Panic of 1796-97 and was briefly imprisoned in a debtors’ prison.
8 x 13, Manuscript DS, with slightly scalloped top. Scripted on three sides and witnessed and docketed to last page. Dated “this thirteenth day of October in the year one thousand seven hundred & ninety four.” Boldly signed by both Robert Morris as “Robt Morris” and co-signed by “James Wilson” on the last page, acting as the witness and recorder. An indenture between Morris and Arthur Breeze of Whitestown, New York, in which the latter for “the sum of Three hundred pounds,” is assigned a “parcel of Land, situate, lying & being in the County of Onondaga & State of New York…being half of the Lands granted by the State of New York to the Soldiers serving in the late war against Great Britain, distinguished, & known by the Military Lands.” Also docketed and signed by Thomas Morris, the son of Robert Morris and a future New York congressman.
Overall toned with handling marks and expected folds. Expert paper restoration to separation along a fold. Slight brush to last letters in Morris’s signature. Remnants of red wax seal is present. Vibrantly scripted with a strong contrast and bold signatures and an elegant and highly desirable example of a rare union of Declaration signers. Engraving of Morris included.
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