Lot 3: George Washington Free Frank
6th February 2019
Extremely desirable Revolutionary War–era free-franked address panel, 5.5 x 4, addressed in another hand to "Colonel Daniel Brod[head]" at "Fort P[itt]," and beautifully franked in the lower left, "G:o Washington." Marked "Public Serv[ice]" in the upper left, and annotated vertically on the left side in ink, "Rec'd 7th Oct'r by Mr. Postlewaite." Matted and framed with a gilt-edged porcelain ‘Oval Office Collection’ portrait by Christian Bell Porcelain and nameplate to an overall size of 11.75 x 14.75. In very good to fine condition, with intersecting folds, light overall soiling, and scratching to the top of the frame. Colonel Daniel Brodhead IV was an important military officer during the American Revolution who earned Washington's respect for his leadership early on in the war, which included the defense of Philadelphia in 1777 and the winter at Valley Forge. From his headquarters at Fort Pitt, Brodhead directed numerous raids against hostile native tribes, often leading the expeditions personally. This free frank addressed to Brodhead by Washington likely dates to circa 1780, at which time the two were corresponding about the supply shortage at the fort. Washington would ultimately order Brodhead's removal from command at Fort Pitt in 1781, over concerns about mishandling supplies and money. The "Postlewaite" referenced in the annotation is presumably Capt. Samuel Postlethwaite, who served as Fort Pitt's deputy quartermaster from October 1777 to December 1782.
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