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Sale 38 Lot 504

LAKE ERIE PURCHASE CHRISTIAN FEBIGER(1749-1796) Prominent officer in the Continental Army, who served under Arnold at Quebec and later under Daniel Morgan at Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth and Stony Point and Yorktown. Important A.L.S. as Treasurer of Pennsylvania, 2pp legal folio (with formerly integral address leaf), "Treasury Office" [Philadelphia] Dec. 16, 1791 to Alexander James Dallas, then the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania concerning the final purchase of land that would produce the final form of Pennsylvania, The Lake Erie Purchase. Febiger writes, in part: "...When Mr. Nicholson said he would make out the Amount of the Certificates to pay for the Lake Erie Purchase, I thought it was Certificates in his Hands; Butt [sic] on Enquiry and Examination find, that they are promiscuously scattered among a large Number. I was just going about to [illeg.] for loaning, when Mr. Banks sent me the Note...his Account and neither of the Gentlemen, whom I employ'd in this laborious & very Hazard our Business are willing to proceed any further without being assured of an Adequate Compensation for their Services and to attempt to procure [illeg.] Hands now the Business is nearly compleated [sic] would be attended with much Trouble risk & Inconvenience; Besides such as would be fully equal to the Task I know from Experience would not be procured on lower Terms. You will readily perceive Sir, that I am no further personally concern'd in the Business, than having engag'd the Gentleman to doth & pledged myself to see, that they would receive just Wages for their services - my Superintendence and other Attention to the Business, I conceive a part of my official Duty. I respectfully wish that His Excellency the Governor would represent to the Legislature the immediate Necessity of appropriating a Sum out of the Fund for Expences of Government equal to their present Demand and that such a further Sum be set apart as will be necessary to satisfy them in preparation to what is pass'd; for what is yett [sic] to be done and with his Excellency's Approbation I will deposit one of the Six Accounts made out in the Committee Room as a Specimen of the Magnitude of the Subject...". The purchase of the Lake Erie tract, known as the Lake Erie Triangle, was the culmination of a long-simmering dispute between Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts who all laid claim to the area. The dispute was resolved through pressure from the new federal government in 1790, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut dropped their claims to the tract in light of Pennsylvania's landlocked status and in exchange for $151,640 (75˘ an acre). Also in exchange, Pennsylvania agreed to a western border far short of her original claims. Weak at folds, extremely light toning at margins, else near fine.
Estimate $ 700-900

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