1778 letter from George Washington to Philadelphia leaders up for sale

     Images courtesy of The Raab Collection.

    Images courtesy of The Raab Collection.

    A letter written by George Washington to the leaders of Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War could be yours for $120,000.

    Washington wrote the letter in 1778, shortly after British forces evacuated the city, according to Nathan Raab, a dealer in letters and autographs based in Ardmore.

     “Philadelphia was a symbolic national capital, so having that back in the hands of the Americans, the Colonists soon-to-be Americans was very important,” Raab said.

    “I congratulate you Gentlemen that this State is again in possession of its Capitol,” Washington wrote in flowing script on the now worn paper. “And I sincerely hope that a persevering exercise of the same national virtues which have hereto frustrated the designs of the enemy will perpetuate to this city a full enjoyment of all the blessings which have been the objects of the present glorious and important contest.”

    The text, Raab said, “breathes with the optimism that Washington instilled and that made him famous.”

    After the British withdrew from Philadelphia, the focus of the fighting shifted to defending New York City and Philadelphia was restored to its place as the Revolutionary capital.

    The letters of the general-turned-president sell for anywhere from thousands of dollars to millions.

    The Raab Collection in Ardmore purchased the letter from a private collector.

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