Historic Correspondence will Auction at Rago’s on September 16. Lambertville, NJ: On September 16, Rago’s will auction a collection of correspondence belonging to George T. Downing, an abolitionist, businessman and civil rights advocate.
News-Antique.com - Aug 24,2012 - Lambertville, NJ: On September 16, Rago’s will auction a collection of correspondence belonging to George T. Downing, an abolitionist, businessman and civil rights advocate.
Lot 2627 contains twenty letters, including one from Abraham Lincoln dated 1862, one from President Grant, and others from prominent civil rights leaders and abolitionists. It is estimated at $6,000-$8,000. It came to Rago’s from a private Pennsylvania collector who purchased it from a member of the Downing family.
George Downing was born in New York City on December 30, 1819 into a prominent African-American family. Over the course of his life, Downing acquired prominence and wealth as a successful businessman, but his true legacy rests in his unremitting advocacy for African-American equality. Downing was involved with the Underground Railroad, participated in several fugitive slave rescues, and, in 1857, he began and funded a successful campaign to integrate the public schools of Newport, Providence and Bristol, Rhode Island. He helped to form the Colored National Labor Union in 1869 in response to the racial intransigence of the all-white National Labor Union and he was a vigorous opponent of the American Colonization Society’s efforts to persuade free blacks to migrate to Liberia. Lot 2627 illustrates his involvement in the struggle for African-American equality in the era of the Civil War.
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About Rago Arts and Auction Center
Since 1994, Rago's has served thousands of sellers and buyers with a singular blend of global reach and personal service. Originally specialists in 20th century design, today Rago's expertise covers centuries of fine art, decorative arts, furnishings, jewelry and ethnographic property. It is a world-class venue through which to buy and sell. It is also a destination for those who seek to learn and share knowledge about art, antiques and collecting, offering free valuations for personal property (from a single piece to collections and estates), appraisals and auction exhibitions in house and online. Rago's, the largest and leading auction house in New Jersey, is located midway between Philadelphia and New York.