Lion Heart Autographs has announced an extraordinary auction of American presidential documents just in time for this year’s election. The auction is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26, 2016, just twelve days before the U.S. votes for the country’s next President. From George Washington’s eloquent words written at the very birth of our nation to the horrific 9/11 attack against the United States, Lion Heart Autographs’ auction, “Presidential Letters & Speeches Plus Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts,” will give collectors and political aficionados an opportunity to acquire some of the most remarkable moments in United States political history.
Penned over 225 years ago, a significant fragment from the conclusion of George Washington’s handwritten draft of his first inaugural address offers an inspiring insight into the General’s thoughts as he prepares to assume the role of America’s first president. The 73-page handwritten draft survived into the 19th century when it was discovered by historian Jared Sparks who was permitted to move Washington’s archive from its Mount Vernon home to work on it at his Harvard office. Seeing no value in the discarded first draft, Sparks, regrettably, dismembered the entire manuscript and gave precious snippets to autograph seekers. Only a small number of these remnants survive and they are published in The Papers of George Washington. Lion Heart Autographs will proudly offer one of the few fragments still in private hands at their October 26th auction. The message to Congress, written in Washington’s elegant script, provides an illuminating and profound understanding of the “father of our country.” (Estimate: $130,000-$150,000).
Another auction highlight is John F. Kennedy’s full page of autographed notes for a 1960 presidential campaign speech, mentioning his movement’s most famous catchphrase, “The New Frontier.” These notes were intended for a September 9, 1960, rally in Los Angeles. As transitory as today’s news is, this sheet of paper, treasured for decades in a private collection, survives as a shining example of a brief moment in time captured in the handwriting of one of America’s most beloved presidents. (Estimate: $2,500 to $3,500).
Franklin D. Roosevelt, our 32nd president, contracted polio at age 39, an event that could have thwarted his political career. Included in the auction is an exceptionally rare letter by FDR written on White House stationery shortly after becoming president, to a fellow polio victim, Edward H. Barker, that underscores the president’s encouragement to those afflicted by infantile paralysis. Interestingly, Barker invented the Barker Feeder, the earliest device to assist polio victims to feed themselves. (Estimate: $1,200 to $1,500).
President Bill Clinton’s renewal of China’s Most Favored Nation status is another auction highlight and a timely topic of conversation as America watches the political debates unfold. Dated June 5, 1993, the mint condition letter is written on White House stationery and bears the blind-embossed Great Seal of the United States. It was sent to Senator Daniel P. Moynihan and speaks of Clinton’s Executive Order to renew China’s Most Favored Nation status for one year, emphasizing that China, “will be held accountable for its human rights record and its trade and weapons proliferation practices.” (Estimate: $800 to $1,000).