SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — An original letter written by one of the founding fathers will be auctioned off in Sacramento this week. The document belonging to a local family was penned by Alexander Hamilton more than 230 years ago.
“That’s where it identifies him as Col. Hamilton,” said Brian Witherell, with Witherell’s Auction House.
The contents of the letter have little significance, except who wrote it.
“You will much oblige me by getting the captain of the troop to sign the enclosed receipt and send it to me by the bearer,” read Witherell. “Alexander Hamilton.”
The original document dates back to 1782 when Hamilton was a colonel in the military.
“You’re holding an actual document that Alexander Hamilton handled,” explained Witherell.
“It’s not a recorded document,” he continued, “It’s not in his papers at this point.”
Witherell set the starting price at a modest $500, but wouldn’t be surprised if it sells 10 to 20 times that.
“You can just look at it with the original stamp, color of the paper, the texture of the paper,” said Witherell going over the details of the letter.
The document was found in a Connecticut schoolhouse by Jay Feagles’ grandmother. She was a music teacher at the time.
“She found it in an attic between the pages of a book,” explained Feagles.
Feagles, who lives in Sacramento, has kept it in a safe for decades. The letter was passed down to him and now, he says is a good time to attract a buyer.
“We’ll see what happens,” said Feagles.
“You’re touching real history linked to one individual,” said Steven Crain.
He’s a high school teacher, history buff, and cataloger for Witherell.
“We are all part of that history whether we know it or not,” said Crain.
He says his students, like millions of others, have become fascinated the “Hamilton” musical. The popularity of the work, he says, is likely to drive up the letter’s selling price.
“There certainly is more value when things kind of ring that little chime with people,” said Crain.
In 2017, hundreds of documents, manuscripts, and letters from Alexander Hamilton’s desk were auctioned off in New York. The total sale of all the items was roughly $2.6 million.
The live auction of the recently discovered Hamilton letter will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. and will be accompanied by more than 300 World War II items.