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Lot 2: 1777 JOHN ALSOP + JAMES DUANE Signed Document for Representing NY in Congress
29 October 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
1777 JOHN ALSOP & JAMES DUANE (Both Later NYC Mayors) Signed for Continental Congress Member's Pay!
JOHN ALSOP (1724-1794). Merchant and Politician from New York City during the American Revolution and Delegate for New York to the Continental Congress, 1774-1776. JAMES DUANE (1733-1797). Member of the Continental Congress and later the Mayor of New York.
January 17, 1777-Dated Revolutionary War, Autograph Document Signed, "John Alsop," 1 page on both sides, measuring 7.5" x 4.5", Choice Very Fine. Boldly written and easily readable, minor edge reinforcement at bottom left on reverse, some marginal spotting and few other minor spots. This Document being a Salary and Expense Payment request from Alsop to, The Province of the State of New York, for 224 in compensation for his attending the Continental Congress from that State.
Also Signed on the verso, "Jas. Duane" by James Duane (1733-1797) who was an American lawyer, jurist, and Revolutionary Leader from New York. Duane served as a Delegate to the Continental Congress, a New York State Senator, and became the historical 44th Mayor of New York City being the First Post-Colonial American Mayor! Later, Duane was a U.S. District Judge, a Signer of both the Continental Association, and the Articles of Confederation. Three additional signatures appear on verso. A very rare original payment request for representing New York in the Continental Congress.
JOHN ALSOP (1724-1794). During the first phases of the American Revolution, the Province of New York Assembly could not reach a conclusion about the Continental Congress. As a result, delegates were selected by the revolutionary committees in each county.
In 1774, John Alsop, along with James Duane, John Jay, Philip Livingston, and Isaac Low were named by several counties, extending from Long Island to Albany. When the Congress convened on September 5th, 1774 it accepted these credentials when John Jay presented them. Alsop wasn't able to attend until he arrived in Philadelphia on September 14th, 1774.
As the American Revolution escalated in 1775, Alsop was one of the leaders of the Committee of Sixty which became the Provisional Patriot government in New York City. He actively supported the non-importation agreements that he had signed the previous October in the Congress, despite the costs to his business. He was active in recruiting militia and in efforts to equip and arm them. As the Assembly continued to refuse to recognize the national Congress, he was elected to the alternative revolutionary New York Provincial Congress, and they in turn returned him to the second Continental Congress.
1776 was a critical year in the struggle for New York. Alsop began the year at Philadelphia, in a session of Congress. He made several trips between there and New York, acting as an agent of the Continental Congress through his business to acquire supplies, and particularly powder for the Continental Army.
After General Washington visited Congress in late May 1776, Alsop returned with him to New York in early June. He added efforts to find housing for 8,000 Continental Army troops to his earlier and continuing work on the supply problems.
When his home in Newtown was captured by the British in August, he kept working from Manhattan. By September1776 the British had occupied Manhattan as well, ending his effective contributions to the revolution. He escaped to Middletown, Connecticut and remained until the British occupation ended in 1783.