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Original Washington Commission to Commander In Chief Emerges From Private Ownership

A letter from June 1775 commissioning George Washington to Commander In Chief.

An Original of Washington's Commission to Commander In Chief

Image of George Washington Commissioned to Commander In Chief of the Continental Army

Image of George Washington Commissioned to Commander In Chief of the Continental Army

One of the most important documents of American history remaining in private hands, Washington’s appointment to Commander In Chief up for auction.

The only other record of Washington's Commission lies in the Library of Congress.”
— Eric C. Caren, Consignor
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES, April 16, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Undeniably one of the most important documents of American history remaining in private hands, Washington’s appointment to Commander In Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War is up for auction in Eric C. Caren’s latest offering at Potter & Potter Auctions.

One of two Commissions, this pivotal record of American history marks the formal beginning of Washington’s leadership. Known as the Ahlstrom Discovery, the document up for auction is a previously unrecorded original of Washington’s Commission and one of the first to appear since the original Commission was returned to the Library of Congress in 1904.

The document’s authenticity has been previously submitted to the Documentary History of the First Federal Congress Project at The George Washington University, and handwriting expert Helen E. Veits confirmed that “based upon the manuscripts in our possession, I am quite confident that [this] document was written in the hand of Charles Thomson, Secretary to the Continental Congress.”

Recognizing the need for unified military leadership in the face of escalating hostilities between the American colonies and Great Britain, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in June 1775, turning to George Washington for his military leadership. The document, signed on June 15, 1775, formally appointed Washington as Commander In Chief, entrusting Washington with the responsibility of the army in its struggle for independence against British Rule.

“This document symbolizes the formal establishment of the Continental Army and marks one of the most significant milestones in the American Revolutionary War,” shares Eric C. Caren, consignor of the Collection. “The only other record of Washington's Commission lies in the Library of Congress. It highlights the commitment of the colonies to resist British oppression and pursue the path to self-governance, a concept that has governed America’s sense of identity since independence.”

With the 2024 Presidential Election dividing America, the historical significance of Washington’s commission remains profound, representing the courage and determination of those who fought for American liberty during the Revolutionary War.

“There are synergies between what we are seeing today as a nation to what we experienced two hundred and fifty years ago,” shares Caren. “History hasn’t changed much. The American Revolution marked the birth of a new nation, and the founding ideals of democracy and representative government, continue to shape American society today. The principles of popular sovereignty, rule of law, and government accountability remain central to America’s political system and civic culture; I can’t imagine a document more relevant as we look towards election day.”

Caren’s extensive collection offers a birds-eye view of the history of media from a printed, manuscript, and photographic perspective, and offers collectors, historians, and patriots the unique opportunity to own pieces of history from the Gettysburg Address, to Washington’s Commission and Custer’s Last Stand.

Key Offerings of American History:
Lot 29: First Printing of One of the First Appearances of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, New York Times, 1863.
Lot 46: One of Two Originals of Washington’s Commission to Commander In Chief, 1775.
Lot 95: Custer’s Last Stand Manuscript, 1876.

The full collection, and the ninth sale from Caren’s personal archives will be auctioned live on April 18th, 2024 at 10 AM CST at Potter & Potter Auctions, located at 5001 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago. The event will be live-streamed on Potter & Potter’s website at www.potterauctions.com.

Eric C. Caren, now 64, has been collecting since he was 5 years old, and since then has amassed the most significant private collection of historical documents - from newspapers, manuscripts, and photographs in the United States. His personal collection, the Caren Archives, focuses on the history of the world on paper and contains over one million items, dating from antiquity through to present day. The Archives were founded in 1983.

Potter & Potter Auctions, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians.

Media Contact:
Shannon Donogh
Eric C. Caren, Media Relations
hello@caffeinatedcommunications.ca | 780-616-1816

Shannon Donogh
Caffeinated Communications
+1 780-616-1816
email us here

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