1 full page, small folio, integral blank with legal endorsements, slight browning along folds." /> READ, George (1733-1798), Signer (Delaware). Autograph document signed ("Geo:Read"), New Castle County, docketed "May 1761." <I>1 full page, small folio, integral blank with legal endorsements, slight browning along folds</I>. | Christie's
  • Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2011

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    12 June 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 56

    READ, George (1733-1798), Signer (Delaware). Autograph document signed ("Geo:Read"), New Castle County, docketed "May 1761." 1 full page, small folio, integral blank with legal endorsements, slight browning along folds.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    READ, George (1733-1798), Signer (Delaware). Autograph document signed ("Geo:Read"), New Castle County, docketed "May 1761." 1 full page, small folio, integral blank with legal endorsements, slight browning along folds.

    A VERY EARLY DOCUMENT OF READ, who was admitted to the bar in 1753 and became Attorney General of the Three Lower Counties (Delaware) in 1763. In a fine cursive hand, Read files a brief in the case of Thomas vs Harper, a legal matter involving a blacksmith, John Harper, "late of New Castle County Read" who has been sued by one Joseph Thomas for payment of a debt of £20 12s. "current money of Pennsylvania." Thomas, "by George Read his attorney" has produced documents dated 1756 in which Harper "by his certain writing...did grant himself to be held & firmly bound unto the said Joseph" for that amount. Now, deeming himself to have suffered for Harper's non-payment, Thomas claims additional damages of £10 "and brings here into court the writing obligatory" and testifies as recorded by attorney Read.

    By the time of the American Revolution, Read was a logical choice to represent Delaware in the Continental Congress. Read was a relatively conservative delegate and initially voted against the Declaration of Independence on 2 July 1776, necessitating Caesar Rodney's famous overnight ride to Philadelphia to break the deadlock in his delegation in favor of independence. Once it was approved, Read did not hesitate to sign the engrossed declaration.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766