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President George Washington Purchases a Gold, Engraved Family Crested Seal Pipe Tamp Arranged By His Personal Secretary Tobias Lear as a Gift for His Nephew George Augustine Washington, From Silversmith Joseph Cooke

(GEORGE WASHINGTON). 1792-Dated Philadelpia Silversmith Joseph Cooke's Purchase Receipt for a Wax Seal Tamp made of Gold as a Gift or George Washington's Nephew Major George Augustine Washington (1758-1793).

June 11, 1792-Dated Federal Period, Unique Manuscript Document Signed, "Joseph Cooke," being Philadelpia Silversmith Joseph Cooke's Purchase Receipt for a Wax Seal Tamp made of Gold for George Washington's Nephew George Augustine Washington (1758-1793), arranged in Philadelphia by Tobias Lear, George Washington's acting personal secretary, Very Fine. This historic original Document measures 4" x 7.5" and is nicely handwritten in rich brown ink on fine quality laid watermarked period paper. Some tone along the bottom edge, well away from any of the text. Here, Philadelphia Silversmith Joseph Cooke writes this receipt and signs the Document twice, acknowledging the payment received in the amount of 7 Pounds, 10 Shillings, 0 Pence received from Tobias Lear, who was George Washington's Personal Secretary at that time. This Manuscript Document Receipt is written for:

"Tobias Lear Esqr ---- Phila. June 11th, 1792 --- Bot (bought) of Joseph Cooke --- 1 Gold Seal with Cyphor (Cipher) G A W & Crest - 7.10.0 -- Recd Paym -- (Signed) Joseph Cooke". Docket, possibly in the hand of Tobias Lear, on the blank reverse reads, in full: "Rec. - Mr. Cooke for a Seal etc Maj. Washgt - 20 dolls (dollars)"

George Washington himself has no middle name, so the only close "GAW" member of his family was (Major) George Augustine Washington, his nephew, and the son of his brother, Charles Washington. Also, George Augustine Washington was born about 1763 and would have been 33 years old in 1792. This lavish Gold, Engraved Crested Seal Tamp would have been a generous gift from his historic uncle, the President. Sadly, George Augustine Washington died in 1793 (aged 33-34), preceding both his father and his uncle George Washington in death.

Joseph Cooke was a Philadelphia Silversmith. A well documented letter within the "Letter Book" contained in the "Washington Papers" about this same time is recorded as being sent to Silversmith Cooke from Tobias Lear on December 21st, 1790. It reads, in part:

"It having been intimated to the President of the United States that you are about to have his arms (Family Crest) fixed over your shop, with the addition of your being silver Smith to the President. He has therefore directed me to inform you that the carrying of the foregoing intention into effect will be very disagreeable to him and he requests you would not do it."



Additional Information:

Major in the US Army, George Augustine Washington was the Son of Colonel Charles Washington by his wife & 1st cousin once removed Mildred Thornton daughter of Colonel Francis Thornton of Fall Hill, Spotsylvania County, Virginia, by his wife Frances, daughter and co-heiress of Roger Gregory, by his wife Mildred Washington, and first husband of Frances Bassett Washington Lear, and nephew of President George Washington.
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