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1786 Patrick Henry Signed Land Grant - "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death"
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,320
Land grant signed by Patrick Henry (1736-1799), American Revolutionary figure best known for his famous line "Give me liberty, or give me death!" The document, dated December 2, 1786, grants a parcel of land to "Nicholas Leurs" and has been signed in black ink (grading "9") by "P. Henry" in his capacity as Governor of Virginia. Prior to the American Revolution, Patrick Henry was one of the most vocal opponents of British rule. As a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1774 he urged his fellow colonists to unite together against the oppression of British tyranny: "The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers and New Englanders, are no more. I am not a Virginian, but an American." One year later, while attending the Virginia Convention, he delivered a speech that exhorted the colonists to take arms against British tyranny: "Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? . . . Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!" When war broke out in 1776 he became commander in chief of Virginia's forces, but resigned shortly after and was later elected as Virginia's first governor. Henry served as governor of Virginia for two terms: 1776-1779 and 1784-1786. The document, which is partially printed and handwritten, displays three vertical and three horizontal folds, along the lines of which are both numerous tears and discoloration. Two small pieces of tape are evident along the lower left border. While technically in Fair to Good condition, nearly all of the text remains perfectly legible and Henry's signature remains unaffected by any of the defects. (Most of the flaws could easily be addressed by professional restoration.) Matted and framed together with a small illustration of Henry to total dimensions of 28 x 26 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,320
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