A detailed ink drawing of a clipper ship signed by George Washington has been discovered by Tom Lingenfelter of the Heritage Collectors' Society. One of America's most successful history detectives, who recently revealed what is now known to be the only True Copy of the Original Declaration of Independence, Lingenfelter has now unearthed a schoolboy drawing signed by a 10-year-old Washington who would later become the first president of the United States.
The wonderfully preserved drawing is signed "March 12th, 1742, Geo. Washington." And like the image of the ship above it, the signature displays a careful and deliberate self-consciousness. While clearly revealing hints of the grace that, years later, would characterize Washington's mature autograph, it is a fascinating item direct from the juvenile pen of one of America's most important historic icons.
Measuring approximately 5" by 7", the drawing and accompanying signature and date can be described as a clumsy, self-conscious but well-observed depiction of a two-masted sailing vessel. At 10 years of age, Washington, even without any real knowledge of rigging or sail mechanics, had a keen sense of detail. Washington's childhood home of Ferry Farm in the state of Virginia overlooked the Rappahannock River. Young George, with his family, moved to the area at the age of six, thus beginning his familiarity with sailing vessels. He was exposed to these sailing images on a daily basis, which clearly explains his detailed visual knowledge of ship construction.
The first public exhibit will be held at the Moland House, site of George Washington's encampment in August 1777, near Doylestown, Pa. Tours of the house will also be available.
And by the way...
HAPPY 331ST BIRTHDAY TO OUR BEAUTIFUL STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA!