Catalog Preview: A Great American Rarity: B Free Franklin

Preview: Our newest "Historical Treasures" catalog contains a previously unpublished letter of Benjamin Franklin to William Trent, the agent for firms who had engaged in trade with the Indians, and sought restitution for losses they had suffered during the French and Indian War and Pontiac's Rebellion. As part of the Treaty of Ft. Stanwix, they obtained a vast tract of land in the expanding colonies (read the full description).  This letter, part of a very old private collection, sent information crucial for the negotiation of that great Treaty. 

The story of this letter does not end here, as on the verso of the letter is the address panel, which contains the great rarity of a "B Free Franklin" free frank. Only a handful of these have reached the market in decades, and our research has turned up no other known "B Free Franklin" free frank with intact letter in private hands. Along with John Hancock's, this signature is the quintessential (and much more uncommon) signature of an American Founder.  The frank is addressed "To William Trent, Philadelphia, via New York packet. BFreeFranklin."  

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