THE FIRST VISIT TO THE U.S. BY A MEMBER OF THE BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY
EDWARD VII, KING OF GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND. Signature as Prince of Wales, with seven related signatures, no place, no date [probably Philadelphia PA, October 1860]. In pencil. 1 page, 6" x 8".
Signatures dating from the historic visit of the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, to the United States in the fall of 1860 – the first visit ever by a member of the British royal family to the U.S.
The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Edward was eighteen years old at this date; he would become king in 1901. Between July and November of 1860, he visited Canada, where he was the first heir to the British throne to visit that country, and then the U.S. Although his tour of the U.S. in September and October was considered private and not official, Edward was received warmly everywhere, especially after this great-grandson of George III visited Mount Vernon and planted a chestnut tree by the side of Washington’s tomb.
According to the profile of Edward in the Dictionary of National Biography, “growing confidence and maturity were seen during the prince's visit to Canada and the USA.... In Washington and New York, Albert Edward was especially successful in a context where royalty was not necessarily welcome. The tour defined the public role and character of the prince of Wales. He was genial and undidactic. He enjoyed himself and transmitted his good humour.... The prince, moreover, had shown he could play a role different from that of his parents, that of the roving royal ambassador.“ Edward’s visit promoted good relations between England and the U.S., and by some accounts, influenced British attitudes during the Civil War, helping to forestall English sympathy for and recognition of the Confederacy.
Edward has signed this four-page lettersheet, “Albert Edward,” in dark, clear pencil on the inner leaf (that is, on page three of the lettersheet). Beneath this, seven members of his party have also signed in pencil. On the first page, in a clerical hand, it is noted that the lettersheet contains “The Signatures of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales & the suite who accompanied him thro’ the North American Colonies & the United States.” Below this, each of the signers is identified, for example, “The Prince of Wales,” and then “The Duke of Newcastle, Colonial Secretary of State,” etc. It is also noted on this page that the sheet of signatures was “Given to Dr. Morton Phila. by Dr. Acland on leaving the States.” Sir Henry Acland was the Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford and the Queen’s physician, and he is one of the individuals in the Prince’s party who has signed on the inner leaf.
The lettersheet and signatures are in fine condition. $750.00
The page with the signatures is shown above;
below is the accompanying page that identifies these individuals
and the occasion
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