FRANCIS SCOTT KEY, author of "THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER"- Autograph Signature ALS
FRANCIS SCOTT KEY, author of "THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER"- Autograph Signature ALS:
KThis is an ORIGINAL Autographed Letter Signed (ALS) by FRANCIS SCOTT KEY (1779-1843) American attorney best known for writing the "The Star-Spangled Banner" the lyrics for the American National This is a one page letter from Key (Georgetown, May 9, 1824 to Dr. Eli Ayres (1778-?) a Baltimore physician and the first colonial agent of the American Colonization Society. "I rec'd your letter last week, but have been extremely engaged in court ever since. I think you have done wonders in Phila. and have managed Mr. Walsh peculiarly well. We must let him get off smoothly (?) and I think will, after a little while, see him advocating our cause. I have a letter from Mr. Boyd stating his willingness to engage for us in the way we proposed. I do not see from the constancy of my engagements for some weeks to come, how I can go to Philadelphia - Besides I have no doubt all is done in the way of speech-making that will be of any use. The begging part of the business ought now to begin - indeed it ought to have begun at once. If I can get time I will call & see the Secretary about your accounts )or what will still be better) I will try to get Genl. Mason to call on him & urge him to settle them...P.S. What do you think of this news from Africa? Can the Ashanties get to Mesurado (part of the future Liberia)?" FS Georgetown attorney from a wealthy family of Maryland planters, Key is most famous for penning the lyrics to what became America's National Anthem. In the wake of the 1814 British invasion of Washington, DC, Key was aboard a British ship where he had been negotiating the exchange of an American prisoner. From the ship's deck Key witnessed, for more than 24 hours, the British assault on Fort McHenry on the Chesapeake Bay in September 1814. As the sun rose on September 14th, Key was astonished to observe that the oversize American Flag, which had been raised prior to the British bombardment, was still flying, inspiring him to set down the lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner." During Key's long legal career, he frequently argued cases before the Supreme Court, successfully defending Aaron Burr against conspiracy, serving as US Attorney for the District of Columbia, and advising President Andrew Jackson as part of his "kitchen cabinet."However,, Key was a slave-owner and opponent of abolition who both represented slaves fighting for their freedom after escaping to non-slave states as well as slaveowners who sought the return of escaped slaves. Key also "is believed to have helped spark the Snow race riot of 1835 by his overly aggressive prosecution of a young black man who was accused of trying to kill his mistress. On the other hand, it was Key who stood in front of a jail door and faced down the white lynch mob that wanted to skip the trial and hang the suspect, Arthur Bowen, from the nearest tree." Adding to Key's complex relation to race is the rarely sung third verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner" which exults in the death of the "hireling and slave" whose "blood has washed out their foul footsteps pollution," referring to escaped slaves recruited by the British to form the Colonial marines that helped lay siege to Washington and burn the White House in August 1814. Following the American Revolution, the population of freed blacks grew exponentially in part due to the manumission of slaves by owner inspired by revolutionary ideals and the abolition movement. Many slaveowners feared that the growing number of freed blacks would encourage millions of slaves to revolt after the failed rebellion planned by Gabriel Prosser of Virginia in 1800. A "solution" to the "problem" of freed blacks was the establishment of the Society for the Colonization of Free People of Color of America, later called the American Colonization Society (ACS), founded in 1816 by Key, among others. The ACS counted among its supporters Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, James Madison, Henry Clay, John Randolph, Bushrod Washington (Nephew of George), and later, Abraham Lincoln. Chapters of the organization were established in every state, finding supporters on both sides of the slavery issue. This presentation has a 6" x 6" engraved metal plate with a short biography of Key's life and accomplishments. There is also a full-color photo copy of the painting of Francis Scott Key observing the American Flag still flying after the all-night bombardment by British ships on Fort McHenry. The other main part of the presentation is the letter completely written in the hand of Francis Scott Key. This is not a legal or court document where he signed it as a participating attorney. This is something much more valuable and of historic note as Key was very concerned about the struggling democracies in other parts of the world and in this case, Liberia, Africa. I have not seen this long a letter written by Key anywhere else. This is indeed a rarity. This presentation was professionally framed using acid-free double matted materials as well as TRUVIEW Plexiglas that protects documents against UV light from sunlight that can cause fading of historic documents. This is TRUE PRESERVATION of documents that will allow display of this presentations many lifetimes. The framing molding is beautiful and very attractive. Comes with TWO CERTIFICATES of AUTHENTICITY. One from "Lion Heart Autographs, Inc." and the other from me, Charles K. Bird Collector/Dealer. I guarantee the authenticity of this stock certificate without any hesitation. If you are not satisfied, return this presentation to me in the same same condition received for a full refund of the purchase price (less S & H). I guarantee your satisfaction. You have nothing to lose. There are documents (court orders) that Key has signed but RARELY do you find a COMPLETE LETTER ENTIRELY WRITTEN by Francis Scott Key. This is truly an exceptional presentation. He wrote poetry that is in a vault in the Frederick County Historical Society building in Frederick, MD as I have had a chance to hold them in my hands but they were not sold to the public.This is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity.