We specialize in Americana, especially manuscript materials. We offer manuscript letters and archives, diaries, journals, personal and business correspondence from the 17th century through the 20th.

  • Letters by Albert Gallatin's Partner in Frontier Land Speculation
    folio and quarto, three letters, 9 pages, plus integral address leaves, old folds, last letter heavily damp-stained, and with old tape repairs, else in good legible condition.
    In these letters, two of which were written from the western frontier, in western Virginia and Pennsylvania, Savary, who could not write in English, and had come to America as agent of a French creditor of the state of Virginia, details his western land speculations in partnership with Albert Gallatin1, an adventurous Harvard instructor and future Secretary of the Treasury, who had immigrated from his native Switzerland in 1780. Having purchased 120,000 acres of western Virginia land in the Ohio River valley, mostly along the Great Kanawha, in the spring of 1784, the two young men went to Pittsburg to organize a party of experienced scouts and woodsmen for an expedition to inspect their holdings, establishing a base of operations on a 300 acre farm at Georges Creek, which flowed into the Monongahela River.  (There Gallatin had a chance meeting with a visiting General George Washington, who he first nearly insulted and then impressed). In May 1785 Savary and Gallatin, in the  company of 15 hired guides, hunters and surveyors, set out by boat down the Monongahela, stopping each night to camp in tents on the river bank. On June 8, the party reached the mouth of Sandy Creek, a branch of the Ohio River, where they built a log cabin for what they hoped would be… more >