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Citizen Genet, Gentleman-Farmer and Unsuccessful

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Citizen Genet, Gentleman-Farmer and Unsuccessful
Item Details
Description
Genet Edmond

Citizen Genet, Gentleman-Farmer and Unsuccessful Businessman

2pp autograph letter signed by French ex-diplomatic envoy Edmond-Charles Genet (1763-1834), known more commonly in history as "Citizen Genet", as "=E.C. Genet" at the top of the second page. Written at Genet's farm Prospect Hill in East Greenbush, New York on January 18, 1834. On cream paper. Docketed verso. Expected folds and overall light toning. Isolated edge darkening, and a few closed tears, else very good to near fine. 7.5" x 10.5".

After a checkered diplomatic career, Genet had settled down to the life of a gentleman-farmer at Prospect Hill--located approximately 10 miles southeast of Albany--by the early nineteenth century. Genet's successful transition into American society was secured when he married Cornelia Tappen Clinton, daughter of New York Governor George Clinton. Genet spent his time managing the farm, writing and publishing original literary and scientific works, and dabbling in various unsuccessful entrepreneurial endeavors including investing in plaster manufacturing. This last business pursuit appears to be the subject of this letter.

In part, with untouched spelling and grammar:

"Gentlemen

I have duly received your letter dated the 19th instant, - containing your account against me, and I take the liberty to observe, that I have to offset against the balance remaining due

1o. a supply of Boilu (?) plaster made to your Mills at Greenbush

2o. A verbal agreement with M. Jq. (?) Townsend, by virtue of which, I have kept, subject to his order, the amount of the balance outstanding, in calcined plaster, which he intended to have used to finish, he told me, several houses…"

Calcined plaster, also known as Plaster of Paris, was indeed used in home construction, as mentioned in this letter. Another interesting and unexpected use of plaster during the early nineteenth century was as manure for flax crops.

Genet began his career as a diplomat who often alienated himself from his host countries. He was expelled from the imperial court of Catherine II in 1789, and George Washington threatened to recall him from the United States four years later. "Citizen Genet", as he was known by American Francophiles, was charged with encouraging France's former ally, the newly liberated United States, to repay its debts. Another more dubious diplomatic goal was to ensure support for France's war with Britain, either through obtaining credit or supplies in the United States, or as Genet would attempt, by entangling the new nation in the conflict.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

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Citizen Genet, Gentleman-Farmer and Unsuccessful

Estimate $200 - $300
Jan 16, 2020
See Sold Price
Starting Price $70
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Ships from Westport, CT, United States
University Archives

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0126: Citizen Genet, Gentleman-Farmer and Unsuccessful

Sold for $80
2 Bids
Est. $200 - $300Starting Price $70
Autographs Books Declaration Signers FDR Plus
Jan 16, 2020 10:30 AM EST
Buyer's Premium 25%

Lot 0126 Details

Description
...
Genet Edmond

Citizen Genet, Gentleman-Farmer and Unsuccessful Businessman

2pp autograph letter signed by French ex-diplomatic envoy Edmond-Charles Genet (1763-1834), known more commonly in history as "Citizen Genet", as "=E.C. Genet" at the top of the second page. Written at Genet's farm Prospect Hill in East Greenbush, New York on January 18, 1834. On cream paper. Docketed verso. Expected folds and overall light toning. Isolated edge darkening, and a few closed tears, else very good to near fine. 7.5" x 10.5".

After a checkered diplomatic career, Genet had settled down to the life of a gentleman-farmer at Prospect Hill--located approximately 10 miles southeast of Albany--by the early nineteenth century. Genet's successful transition into American society was secured when he married Cornelia Tappen Clinton, daughter of New York Governor George Clinton. Genet spent his time managing the farm, writing and publishing original literary and scientific works, and dabbling in various unsuccessful entrepreneurial endeavors including investing in plaster manufacturing. This last business pursuit appears to be the subject of this letter.

In part, with untouched spelling and grammar:

"Gentlemen

I have duly received your letter dated the 19th instant, - containing your account against me, and I take the liberty to observe, that I have to offset against the balance remaining due

1o. a supply of Boilu (?) plaster made to your Mills at Greenbush

2o. A verbal agreement with M. Jq. (?) Townsend, by virtue of which, I have kept, subject to his order, the amount of the balance outstanding, in calcined plaster, which he intended to have used to finish, he told me, several houses…"

Calcined plaster, also known as Plaster of Paris, was indeed used in home construction, as mentioned in this letter. Another interesting and unexpected use of plaster during the early nineteenth century was as manure for flax crops.

Genet began his career as a diplomat who often alienated himself from his host countries. He was expelled from the imperial court of Catherine II in 1789, and George Washington threatened to recall him from the United States four years later. "Citizen Genet", as he was known by American Francophiles, was charged with encouraging France's former ally, the newly liberated United States, to repay its debts. Another more dubious diplomatic goal was to ensure support for France's war with Britain, either through obtaining credit or supplies in the United States, or as Genet would attempt, by entangling the new nation in the conflict.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

WE PROVIDE IN-HOUSE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE!

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