1874 Alexander Cartwright Thrice-Signed Business Document

Sold For: $2,160

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1263

Item Year: 1874

Category: Autographed Baseballs/Flats/Photos

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One-page handwritten document, dated May 13, 1874, signed three times by Alexander J. Cartwright, one of the founding fathers of baseball. Cartwright's signature appears once, formally at the base, and twice within the body of the handwritten document. Alexander Cartwright is best remembered today as the man who helped formulate the modern rules of baseball in 1845. Soon after, however, he left New York and headed West to strike it rich in the California Gold Rush. Failing to hit "pay dirt," he traveled on to Honolulu, Hawaii. Within two years he opened his own firm as a whaling and commission merchant. The business soon expanded to include matters of banking, handling of trust estates, insurance and real estate, which later led to the formation of Cartwright and Company Ltd., a firm that survives to this day. Because Cartwright was one of the Island's most prominent and well-respected businessmen, he formed a close friendship with the royal family of Hawaii, which resulted in his becoming the family's business manager. The offered document directly relates to his business dealings with the royal family and is a record of the interest owed to Cartwright on a note held by "Dowager Queen Emma." Cartwright has formally signed the document "Alex J. Cartwright/Atty in Fact for Queen Emma." Two additional "Alex J. Cartwright" signatures can be found within the body of the document as he records the money owed to him. The text, as well as all three signatures, are beautifully scripted in black fountain pen and grade "10." A few additional notations regarding the repayment of the interest appear on the reverse. The document (8 x 9.75 inches) displays five horizontal folds, pinholes along the top border, minor foxing, and a few light creases. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000.


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