[Leslie Hotson and Norman Holmes Pearson on a George Washington letter.] Autograph Letter Signed from Hotson, and Typed Letter Signed from Pearson, both to Robert Beloe, discussing the proposed sale of his George Washington letter.

Leslie Hotson [John Leslie Hotson] (1897-1992), authority on Elizabethan literature; Norman Holmes Pearson (1909-75), Yale academic [Robert Beloe (1905-84), educationalist; George Washington]
Publication details: 
Hotson's letter from Northford, Connecticut (but sent from a museum in Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat, Amsterdam), 29 January 1955. Pearson's letter from 233 Hall of Graduate Studies, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 1 February 1955.
SKU: 21193

Two Air Mail letters, both in fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Both letters are addressed to Beloe (author of the 1960 Beloe Report - education at The Hill House, Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. The subject of the two letters is a letter from George Washington to Lieutenant Governor Dinwiddie, Belvoir, 7 March 1754, beginning ''Honble. Sir | If the Vessel you Honour hir'd of Colo. Eyre has not left York'. The letter is now at Mount Vernon. ONE: Hotson's letter, signed 'Leslie Hotson'. 29 January 1955. 1p., 12mo. Begins: 'You will have thought your note about the Washington letter went astray, but I have been waiting my chance to do something about it. And I have now enlisted my friend Prof. Norman H. Pearson of Yale as the very man who is in touch with the knowledgeable dealers in autographs in New York. I have also taken the liberty of copying out for him your description of the letter and given him your name and address, so that you may hear from him, I hope before long.' He continues by giving the British Museum shelfmark of a catalogue he suggests Beloe consults, adding, that 'there must be a more recent catalogue of known letters I should think - & at least a hand-list at the National Archives in Washington or at Mount Vernon'. He regrets that he does not 'know more about the subject, for I found the taste of the letter you have most alluring'. He ends with the news that he is setting sail that day, will spend February in Holland, and be 'back at King's Cambridge from March 1'. TWO: Pearson's letter, signed 'Norman Holmes Pearson'. 1 February 1955. 1p, 8vo. The letter begins: 'My friend Leslie Hotson, just before he left New Haven to return to his Fellowship at King's, gave me a brief description of a letter from George Washington to Gov. Dinwiddie, which you had and which you perhaps wished to sell'. Having been asked for 'some idea of what it might be worth', Pearson has 'forwarded the description to a dealer in New York who I know to be honest and generous in his dealings', Charles Hamilton of 515 Madison Avenue. After describing what would be necessary to gain a more accurate estimate he quotes from Hamilton's response: 'The letter of Washington Gov. Dinwiddie sounds like an interesting idea. Offhand, and without seeing the letter, I should estimate the value at around $300. It could be worth more, tho it is unlikely that it would be worth much less.' Hamilton always prefers to make 'a conservative estimate' rather than 'extravagant promises', and finds that 'the owner is often delighted to realize more than he anticipated'. He will pay postage should 'Mr. Hotson's friend' wish to send the item to him by registered post, and the 'entire transaction could be completed within a week or ten days!' Pearson encourage Beloe to do as Hamilton suggests, offering to 'straighten it out on this side', if 'anything goes amiss'. With Signed Autograph annotation by Beloe: 'Thanked, said I'd written to Hamilton & wd. Wte to Pearson again. | RB ? 10/2/55'. Also present are three 4to photostats: one of the front page of Beloe's letter; another carries a facsimile of Washington's signature with the date of the letter; a third reproduces a letter from Benjamin Franklin, 'London, Oct. 14 67 - | Cravenstreet' ('Dear Friend | I found here on my Return from France').