Plain Facts; Being an Examination into the Rights of the Indian Nations of America, to Their Respective Countries; an a Vindication of the Grant, from the Six United Nations of Indians, to the proprietors of Indiana, against the Decision of the Legislature of Virginia; together with Authentic Documents, Proving that the Territory, Westward of the Alleghany Mountain, Never Belonged to Virginia, &c.

Philadelphia, (PA): R. Aitken, 1781. First edition. 8vo. 164, (1, errata) pp. [with the appendix leaf in facsimile]. With the ownership signature of George Morgan ("George Morgans") in the margin of the title page and one interior leaf; Morgan (1743-1810), born in Philadelphia was an American merchant, Indian agent, and land speculator; after engaging in the fur business in the Illinois Territory in the 1760s, with Samuel Wharton, the author of this pamphlet, among his associates, and becoming interested in a large tract of land in present-day West Virginia, he helped form the Indiana Company in 1776, in part to challenge Virginia's claim to the land, a challenge that ultimately failed. A later ownership signature "Robert G. Harper Esq / Baltimore" appears on the verso of the errata leaf; Harper (1765-1825), best remembered for his phrase "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute," served in the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina, 1795-1801, and the U.S. Senate from Maryland in 1816. Howes W-307: "Disputes Virginia's claim to territory west of the Alleghanies where the Walpole interest proposed establishing their colony of Indiana. Attributed also to Anthony Benezet and to Benjamin Franklin." Sabin 63221: "It is an able treatise on the tenure of the Indian claim to the title of the lands occupied by them." Evans 17437. Field 1224. Streeter sale 1302: "Wharton, a Philadelphia merchant, was one of the principal members of the Indiana Company, whose holdings in what is now West Virginia, were being contested by Virginia." Siebert sale 538: "The first twenty-five pages of this gem of frontier history are a remarkable summary of land claims in America." For a detailed look at Morgan's role with the Indiana Company, see George Lewis's "The Indiana Company, 1763-1798" (Glendale, CA: Arthur Clark, 1941) and Max Savelle's "George Morgan, Colony Builder (NY: Columbia U. Press, 1932). With the major defect noted, a very good copy with a significant association. Disbound pamphlet (part of top margin of title page clipped, not affecting text). (#6285). Item #58745

Price: $6,500.00

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