The Raab Collection announced today the acquisition of and sale of an exceptional letter of Founding Father Paul Revere, with insight into the creation of the U.S Navy. The letter, sold to a private collector, was acquired directly from a descendant of the recipient.
In the letter, Revere, recognized leader of the copper industry in the U.S., writes the designer of America’s first Navy, Joshua Humphreys, for information needed on the subject of producing copper products like bolts for new 74-gun ships.
Autograph letter signed, Boston, June 8, 1800, to Joshua Humphreys, on the subject of producing copper products like bolts for the new 74-gun ships. “Mr. Higginson Naval Agent here has purchased the copper which Mr. Stoddert the Naval Secretary has directed him, & has delivered it [to] me. There is upwards of 500 lb., it is for making bolts, spikes etc. for the two seventy four gun ships which are to be built here and at Portsmouth. Would you be kind enough to write me the sizes of bolts & spikes, which you may think proper for building said ships, and what proportion of each. The Secretary directed me to apply to you for the sizes, etc. The sooner I have them the sooner I shall be able to fulfill my contract. That this may meet you and family in as good health as it leaves me is the wish of…Paul Revere.” The address leaf in his hand is still present, with an apparent docket by Humphreys.”
This letter is an extraordinary rarity. A search of public sale records for the past decade shows no other Revere ALS relating to the Navy or Revolution, the two things for which Revere is most famous.