Feb 25, 2010 - Sale 2204

Sale 2204 - Lot 241

Price Realized: $ 2,280
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
ADVISOR TO CHRISTOPHE OF HAITI (HAITI.) SAUNDERS, PRINCE. Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages, written on a large 4to sheet, folded forming an integral Autographed Addressed Envelope; addressed to A. Langsat, 30 July, 1821; an additional note, a reply, presumably in Langsat's hand is on the third page; short, some tearing to the latter where the wax seal was opened; paper toned. Philadelphia, 1821

Additional Details

Prince Saunders was born around 1775 in Lebanon, Connecticut. He was baptized in 1784 at Thetford, Vermont and was raised by Vermont lawyer George Oramel Hinckley, who became his sponsor from 1807 to 1808. Hinkley made it possible for Saunders to attend Dartmouth College. Dartmouth President John Wheelock in turn recommended Saunders, in 1808, to Unitarian minister William Ellery Channing who set him up to work among black students in Boston. Saunders first met with Emperor Christophe of Haiti on February 16, 1816. He became Christophe's official courier after impressing the emperor with his manners and education. While delivering papers in London, Saunders seized the moment to impress officials with his knowledge of the Haitian government. He published both the Haytian Papers (1816) as a commentary on Christophe's rule and the first English translation of Haitian laws. In late fall of 1816, Saunders returned to Haiti with English teachers. Emperor Christophe gave them his support by providing teaching facilities. After less than a month in Haiti, Saunders was appointed as courier to the Court of St. James, in the Caribbean. During his career in the Caribbean, Saunders introduced vaccination into Haiti beginning with Christophe's children. Saunders also organized several schools throughout the nation.
The present letter is written in response to an apparent inquiry regarding money owed to a Mrs. Burnell of Haiti, "who requested me to deliver it to you with my own hand . . . . Please to give me a circumstantial and minute account of all the affairs and articles to which she alludes in her letter so that I may be able to render her an accurate statement of the case alluded to in her letter . . . Prince Saunders." The addressee has replied on the third page of this letter, returning it to Saunders. Making excuses, Langsat more or less ducks the whole issue of the money owed to Mrs. Burnell. Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose.