ITEMS OF SIGNIFICANT HISTORIC IMPORTANCE:
The Lap Desk and Quill That Penned
the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.
The quill and brass-bound lap desk have generated an immediate response from institutions recognizing the historic importance of the artifacts, as they were used in the writing and signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on Feb. 2, 1848. These historic items were owned by Nicholas Philip Trist, the discharged U.S. diplomat who brokered the peace accord.
They will now be auctioned here, in Pierce, Nebraska
Friday, Sept. 7 approximately 11:00 AM Central time
In conjunction with MCHJ Auctioneers
A rare find such as this does not even come along once in a lifetime. This must surely be among the rarest of opportunities: To be able to own historical items that shaped not just our country and the destinies of our ancestors, ourselves and our descendants, but the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo had implications for Mexico as well. This Treaty forever changed the futures of the citizens of both countries. Try as we might, it isn’t possible to comprehend the scope of importance of these items. This signing was second in size and importance only to the Louisiana Purchase; the deal completed the United State’s territorial expansion during the era of Manifest Destiny.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War and resulted in Mexico ceding 55 percent of its pre-war territory, for which the United States paid $15 million. Second in size only to the Louisiana Purchase, the land acquisition involved 525,000 square miles, including all or part of 10 states: Texas, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Oklahoma, Kansas and Wyoming. Unknown by both Mexico and the U.S. at the time, this treaty was signed 9 days after gold was discovered in California.
Click the "PHOTOS" tab at upper left to view items
One day you will see these items in a museum and you can tell your children and grandchildren you watched them sell
on a small farm in Nebraska.
DESCRIPTION OF THE HISTORIC ITEMS:
The lap desk was made between 1831 and 1837. It bears a brass nameplate engraved "N. P. Trist" and a maker’s label, "N. Starkey, Manufacturer of Portable Desks, Dressing Cases, Medicine Chests, and Ladies Work Boxes, No. 52 Walnut Street, Opposite the Exchange Philadelphia."
The quill, filled with plaster and whittled to allow an inscription, is lettered "Treaty of Peace, Feb. 2, 1848, Triplicate, N.P.T.’s [illegible]." (Last word looks like "Signature" - but we are uncertain.)
THE HISTORY OF THESE ARTIFACTS:
Nicholas Philip Trist (1800-1874) was commissioned in 1847 by President James K. Polk to serve as executive agent and to travel with General Winfield Scott and, when the time was right, negotiate an end to the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). During the 16 months of the war, the Mexican presidency changed nine times among six men. With the Mexican government in chaos, two attempts at a peace agreement failed.
Both Trist and Scott determined that the only way to deal with Mexico was as a conquered enemy. In September 1847, American forces led by Scott took the capital, Mexico City, forcing Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna to call for an armistice.
Frustrated with the lack of a quick treaty, Polk recalled Trist in early October 1847, but that news didn’t reach the U.S. agent until 6 weeks later, Nov. 16, 1847, after a Mexican special peace commission had finally been appointed. Sensing that possibly the only opportunity for an agreement was finally at hand, Trist defied the president and continued negotiations with the Mexican peace commission. In a letter to his wife on Dec. 4, 1847, Trist wrote, "Knowing it to be the very last chance and impressed with the dreadful consequences to our country which cannot fail to attend the loss of that chance, I decided today at noon to attempt to make a treaty; the decision is altogether my own."
Finally, all issues were agreed upon and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed at the main altar of the old Basilica of Guadalupe at Villa Hidalgo in Mexico City on Feb. 2, 1848. Unknown to the signers at the time, the treaty came nine days after the discovery of gold in California (January 24, 1848). The members of Mexico’s special commission to negotiate peace, and the same men as the signers of the Treaty were: Don Bernardo Couto, Don Miguel de Atristain, and Don Luis Gonzaga Cuevas.
Trist sent the document to Washington by the fastest means possible, but no one could foresee how the Polk administration would receive an agreement negotiated by a then-unofficial agent. Since the treaty met the minimum demands set forth by Polk, the president had no choice but to forward the accord to the Senate, where after great debate, it was ratified on March 10, 1848. (Ultimately, this treaty also deepened the debate over the expansion of slavery and pushed the US closer to Civil War.)
Although the treaty was ratified, Polk was furious with Trist and immediately fired him from public service. Expenses from Trist’s time in Texas went unpaid until 1871, leaving him in financial ruin. Trist returned to practicing law. In 1870 he was appointed postmaster at Alexandria, VA., a post he held until his death on February 11, 1874.
Nicholas Trist has another significant connection among American historical figures; he married Virginia Jefferson Randolph, the granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson. She was the sixth child and fourth surviving daughter of Martha Jefferson Randolph and Thomas Mann Randolph. Nicholas Trist was the grandson of an old friend of Jefferson’s; the two were married at Monticello on 11 September 1824. They remained at Monticello while Nicholas studied law and acted as Jefferson’s secretary, and then again while Nicholas helped his brother-in-law, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, settle Jefferson’s estate after his death in 1826.
Why did this important historic Lap Desk and Quill surface on a small farm in Nebraska of all places? Some of Trist’s descendants ended up in the Omaha, Nebraska area. So here it has been - wrapped in a quilt and hidden in a closet for years - until now.
We will be offering this significant quill and lap desk as a single lot during the Friday, Sept. 7 live antique auction in Pierce Nebraska at approximately 11:00 AM Central time. We are selling these in conjunction with MCHJ Auctioneers. The live auction will be simulcast on the Internet to facilitate bidders unable to attend. Please review the multiple photos, additional information, terms of the auction. If you find you need anything additional, please don’t hesitate to contact us. [email protected] or Kelly Aumann at 1-888-282-8648.
85807 Highway 81
Pierce, NE 68767
(North of Norfolk, NE on Hwy 81)
TO VIEW A LISTING OF SOME OF THE HOTELS IN THE AREA CLICK ON THE ’TRAVEL’ TAB. PLEASE NOTE A SPECIAL OFFER AT THE HAMPTON INN!
PERSONAL PROPERTY LIVE BIDDING TERMS
PLEASE READ AND REVIEW THE TERMS THOROUGHLY PRIOR TO BIDDING.
IF YOU HAVE NOT READ AND UNDERSTAND THESE TERMS – PLEASE DO NOT BID.
BY BIDDING ON THIS AUCTION, BUYER AGREES TO ALL TERMS AND CONDITIONS SET FORTH AND ENTERS INTO A CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT TO PURCHASE THE ITEM(S) UNDER THE FOLLOWING TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
CATALOG: Aumann Auctions and MCHJ Auctioneers have put forth every effort in preparing the catalog for this auction to provide accurate descriptions of all items. All lots are sold “AS-IS, WHERE-IS”, with all faults, imperfections and errors of description. Due diligence is the responsibility of the bidder/buyer. Printed statements or descriptions by staff are provided in good faith and are matters of opinion.
PAYMENTS: All sales are final. All accounts must be settled at the conclusion of the auction. We accept Cash, Checks, Visa & MasterCard ONLY. There is a 5% fee for purchases charged with a credit card. No credit card charge backs will be allowed. There will be a 10% fee for Internet Purchases. There is NO Buyer's Premium for purchases to the live gallery with cash or checks. Note: Checks may be processed the day of the auction; be sure to have adequate funds in your account. Each transaction necessary to collect insufficient funds will have a $25 fee imposed.
DEFAULT OF BUYER: Successful bidder not paying for items at the end of the auction will be considered in default. Such default by the Successful Bidder will result in that Bidder’s liability to both the Seller and both auction companies. Seller shall have the right to (a) declare this contractual agreement cancelled and recover full damage for its breach, (b) to elect to affirm this contractual agreement and enforce its specific performance or (c) Seller can resell the items either publicly or privately with Aumann Auctions, Inc. and MCHJ Auctioneers and in such an event, the Buyer shall be liable for payment of any deficiency realized from the second sale plus all costs, including, but not limited to the holding/transporting/storage costs of the items, the expenses of both sales, legal and incidental damages of both the Seller and Aumann Auctions, Inc. In addition, Aumann Auctions, Inc. and MCHJ Auctioneers also reserve the right to recover any damages separately from the breach of the Buyer. The purchaser agrees to pay all reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred by Aumann Auctions, Inc. and MCHJ Auctioneers in the collection of funds.
The purchaser also agrees that a storage/handling fee of 2% per month be added to the balance of any unpaid balance due Aumann Auctions, Inc. and MCHJ Auctioneers and any other costs or losses incurred by the Buyer’s failure to adhere to these terms. Any debt collection or dispute proceedings will be litigated or arbitrated in either Montgomery County, Illinois or Pierce County, NE at the option of both the Seller and Aumann Auctions, Inc. and MCHJ Auctioneers.
Both the Successful Bidder and Seller shall indemnify Aumann Auction, Inc. and MCHJ Auctioneers for and hold harmless Aumann Auctions, Inc. and MCHJ Auctioneers from any costs, losses, liabilities, or expenses, including attorney fees resulting from Aumann Auctions, Inc. or MCHJ Auctioneers being named as a party to any legal action resulting from either Bidders or Sellers failure to fulfill any obligations and undertakings as set forth in this contractual agreement.
CONDUCT OF THE AUCTION: Conduct of the auction and increments of bidding are at the direction and discretion of Aumann Auctions, Inc. and MCHJ Auctioneers. Aumann Auctions, Inc. and MCHJ Auctioneers reserve the right to reject any and all bids for any reason and also reserves the right to cancel this auction, or remove any item or lot from this auction prior to the close of bidding. All decisions of Aumann Auctions, Inc. and MCHJ Auctioneers are final.
TECHNICAL ISSUES: In the event there are technical difficulties related to the server, software, internet or any other online auction-related technologies, Aumann Auctions, Inc. and MCHJ Auctioneers reserve the right to extend bidding, continue the bidding, or close the bidding. Neither the company providing the software, nor Aumann Auctions, Inc. or MCHJ Auctioneers shall be held responsible for a missed bid or the failure of the software to function properly for any reason.
Your bid on this auction indicates both an understanding and an acceptance of the terms of this contractual agreement between yourself and both Aumann Auctions, Inc. and MCHJ Auctioneers and the Seller(s) and that you, as the Bidder, are prepared to purchase items under these terms and conditions.