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    NewsUSAAn ancient letter recently found suggests George Washington's financial difficulties

    An ancient letter recently found suggests George Washington’s financial difficulties

    (CNN) — A long-lost letter from George Washington hints at the financial woes of America’s first president, and is expected to fetch $50,000 at auction.

    The Raab Collection, an auction house specializing in historical documents, announced the discovery of the letter in a press release on Sunday.

    According to the statement, the letter was “unknown to scholars” and was kept in a small private collection in rural West Virginia.

    In the 1787 letter, the young politician talks about his need to sell land and get money. He began corresponding with Israel Shreve, a retired colonel, who wanted to use a form of credit to buy a 1,644-acre piece of land on the Youghiogheny River in western Pennsylvania, according to the Raab collection. But Washington insisted on selling the land for cash.

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    “The land you mention is for sale, and I wish I could give it to you for military certificates; but getting money is the only inducement I have to sell it,” Washington wrote.

    “A quarter of the money will be paid in cash, the other three quarters in three annual payments, with interest,” he added.

    Washington wrote the letter just months before he arrived in Philadelphia as chairman of the Constitutional Convention, which led to the creation of the US Constitution. Two years later, in 1789, he was sworn in as the nation’s first president.

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    Coming on the threshold of one of Washington’s great moments, this powerful letter gives us insight into the financial strains and concerns of Washington, a man we think of as mythical but actually had many of our own problems, very humans,” said Nathan Raab, director of the Raab Collection, in the press release.

    Washington came to own 70,000 acres of land in what are now seven states, according to the news release. His estate depended on the labor of hundreds of slaves, according to the National Archives.

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