AMERICA, RHODE ISLAND - MOSES BROWN

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Lot 152
AMERICA, RHODE ISLAND - MOSES BROWN

Sold for £ 3,000 (US$ 4,115) inc. premium
AMERICA, RHODE ISLAND - MOSES BROWN
Autograph survey signed ("Moses Brown"), and dated in the Quaker fashion at Smithfield [Rhode Island] "15th 7th Mo. [July] 1783", being his adjudication of the boundary between the properties of Jonathan and Benjamin Arnold: "Beginning at the road South of the Meeting House at a heap of Stones by the South East Corner and Run a Streight Line Westward to a Stone under the hill Stuck in the ground near the River and from thence to the Bottom of a Beach Tree Leaning Over the River from thence to an Elm Tree Standing North Westerly from a Peaked Rock, and from thence Northerly to a Stone in the ground with Others about it, from thence North Easterly to a stone in the Middle of a Number of young Chesnuts groing Round an Old Chesnut Stump now Rotten, and from thence to a Stone in the ground in the old Range of Joshua Arnolds Line..."; also signed by his fellow adjudicators, James Comstock and Amasa Gray; followed by the covenant agreeing "to the above Line as Recommended", also in Moses Brown's hand, signed and sealed by Jonathan and Benjamin Arnold, with Brown, Comstock and Gray's signatures as witness; ending with a note made on behalf of Daniel Mowry the Fourth, Town Clerk [son of Daniel Mowry Jr., Delegate for Rhode Island at the Continental Congress, 1780-82], certifying that the agreement has been entered in the Smithfield town registry (Book 7, pp.402-3), 2 pages, integral blank, contemporary docket to latter, pinned to a letter by L.M. Greene, sending it to Mr Bolton, an autograph collector in England (New Bedford, 5 10th mo [October] 1840), some spotting, frayed at edges and weak at folds, folio, Smithfield, Rhode Island, 15 July 1783

Footnotes

  • "A NUMBER OF YOUNG CHESNUTS GROING ROUND AN OLD STUMP NOW ROTTEN": Moses Brown (1738-1836) - author of this survey with its startling dreamline-style capture of a lost American landscape at a precise moment in time, 15 July 1783, fifty days before the signing of the Treaty of Paris and the attainment of full independence - is remembered today for his passionate opposition to slavery and for his part in the foundation of two great educational institutions, the revived New England Yearly Meeting School, later renamed Moses Brown School - which dates its foundation to 1784 - and, with his brothers, of the College of Rhode Island, later renamed Brown University. He also built, with Samuel Slater, the first water-powered cotton mill in the United States, and was a founding member of the Rhode Island Historical Society, where most of his papers are now to be found (MSS 313). John Carter Brown, of library fame, was his great-nephew.
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