Family Secrets: By Mr. Pratt. Volume III. [From the Library of George Washington].

Samuel Johnson Pratt's Family Secrets; from the library of President George Washington; with a small note in his hand tipped in

Family Secrets: By Mr. Pratt. Volume III. [From the Library of George Washington].

PRATT, Samuel Johnson. [George Washington].


Item Number: 139518

London: Printed for T.N. Longman, Paternoster-Row, 1798.

Octavo, bound in full contemporary calf with a burgundy morocco spine label lettered in gilt, gilt ruling to the spine. Vol. III of the original five volumes. Tipped in to the pastedown is a small clipped note in the hand of George Washington which reads, “with the said” and the bookplate of Benjamin Lincoln Lear. The set in which this volume originated was listed in a manuscript by Washington’s private secretary Tobias Lear titled ‘Catalogue of Books received from Washington’ and bears the bookplate of Lear’s son Benjamin Lincoln Lear. Tobias Lear served as Washington’s personal secretary from 1784 until the former-President’s death in 1799. Washington unexpectedly died while Lear was visiting him at Mount Vernon on December 14, 1799, leading to Lear’s famous diary entry: “About ten o’clk, Saturday December 14, 1799, Washington made several attempts to speak to me before he could effect it, at length he said,—’I am just going. Have me decently buried; and do not let my body be put into the Vault in less than two days after I am dead.’ I bowed assent. He then looked at me again and said, ‘Do you understand me?’ I replied ‘Yes.’ “Tis well’ said he. Lear oversaw the funeral arrangements, even to the detail of measuring the corpse at 6 feet 3.5 inches long and 1 foot 9 inches from shoulder to shoulder. Lear’s only biographer, Ray Brighton, was convinced that Lear destroyed many of Washington’s letters and diary entries, which he had possession of for about a year after Washington’s death. In very good condition. Housed in a custom half morocco and folding chemise slipcase. An exceptional piece of Americana.

American statesman and soldier George Washington served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797 and was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and later presided over the 1787 convention that drafted the United States Constitution. He is popularly considered the driving force behind the nation's establishment and came to be known as the "father of the country," both during his lifetime and to this day.

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