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Lot 159[ELIOT, JOHN]
Documents signed, dated April 4, 1769 from Pensacola, one with the signature of Eliot, the Captain General of and Governor of West Florida.
Consists of a Power of Attorney granted by John Allen Martin of Pensacola, the Comptroller of His Majesty's Customs for the Province, to Ezra Collins of Boston, this signed by Martin and further notarized and signed by Francis Pousset; preceded by a separate confirmation of Francis Pousset as the subscribing witness to the first document, the document signed by John Eliot, the Captain General and Governor of the Province of West Florida, the original blue silk laced through the two documents, to which is affixed the Great Seal of West Florida, wax with covering paper. The Eliot document a single page, secretarially written on a bifolium (conjugate blank), boldly signed by John Eliot, sheet size 15 x 9 inches (38 x 22.5 cm); the accompanying document signed by Martin and Pousset, 2 pp. secretarially written on a bifolium (conjugate blank), same sheet size. Usual folds, some fraying to extremities and rubbing of the seal, some separations to the folds of the Power of Attorney document.

Provenance: Christie's, 26 June 1991, lot 376

Likely one of the earliest procurable documents from the British colonies in Florida, which were established just six years earlier from land acquired from France and Spain after the Seven Years' War. Because of the size of the area acquired, the region was administratively divided into East and West Florida. John Eliot, a Royal Navy captain, was appointed the Governor of West Florida in 1767, but he did not leave for Pensacola until 1769, landing on April 2, just two days before this document was prepared and signed by him. His tenure was exceedingly short, for some time on the night of May 1 or the following morning, he hanged himself, as the result of melancholia or possibly illness. His signature as governor is thus vanishingly rare.


C The Collection of Jay I. Kislak sold to benefit the Kislak Family Foundation

Sold for $3,150
Estimate $4,000-6,000


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