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HARRISON, Benjamin (1726-1791), Signer (Virginia). Autograph letter signed ("Benj. Harrison"), to unidentified, 3 September 1763. 1 page, 4to, slight moisture stains at lower left and top right corners.

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HARRISON, Benjamin (1726-1791), Signer (Virginia). Autograph letter signed ("Benj. Harrison"), to unidentified, 3 September 1763. 1 page, 4to, slight moisture stains at lower left and top right corners.

STOCKING UP ON SUGAR LOAVES. Father of one President and great-grandfather of another, Virginia signer Benjamin Harrison was an active leader among the Virginia revolutionaries. A member of the Committee of Correspondence in the early 1770s, he served in both the First and Second Continental Congresses, and during the war sat on the committees for foreign affairs, war and ordinance, and the navy. Here, in the months following the end of the Seven Years War, and just seven months before the imposition of the Sugar Act (1764), he writes a merchant for a number of different household goods, including: "...four Loaves of Dble Refined Sugar if none single will do. I have sent you some measures for girls shoes. Please to send to me two pr of Calimenco to each and two of Leather." In a postscript he also asks for "4 quire of paper & a yd of Irish Linen, first cost 18p or 19 pence the yard." The high cost of the war forced London to try and squeeze more revenue out of the colonies. The Sugar Act actually lowered duties on that colonial delicacy, but beefed up collection and enforcement measures. It all backfired, of course, as all the new revenue-raising measures sparked the American resistance movement that culminated with Harrison and 55 others putting their name to the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

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