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Documents of Quaker merchant hanged in 1778 up for auction

Written by The Associated Press | May 28, 2015 7:25 AM

(Albany, NY) -- Documents belonging to a wealthy Pennsylvania Quaker hanged during the Revolutionary War for treason against the American cause are up for auction.

The items being sold by Skinner auctioneers in Boston include a ledger kept by John Roberts III of the Philadelphia area. In November 1778, he and another Quaker were hanged after being convicted of siding with the British.

The Roberts documents, previously unknown to scholars, include business transactions he had with the Continental Army before his then-controversial execution. They shed light on the dealings of a pacifist merchant caught between warring armies.

The owners of a Schenectady, New York, antiques store say they recently bought the Roberts documents from a man who says the items had been in his family for years.

The online auction began Wednesday and lasts through June 7. The estimated sale price is $6,000-$8,000.

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