You'e welcome. I never thought of going to a University. There are enough around that I could contact. One place I did contact was Mt Vernon for the George Washington printing plate I have that was for a $200 request for payment. The original paper it was made from was considered a collectible at it's time The copper plate was basically some sort of copy of the original piece of paper from 1798, at least I thought it was up until now.
What I just found out from the researchers at Mt Vernon is that the doc represented on the copper plate was a forgery from one of the most prolific forgers of Washingtons signatures, His name was "Robert Spring". Robert Spring was a book seller located in Philadelphia in the mid 1800's. Robert saw that there was an interest back then for autographs and he decided to recreate documents and forged signatures and then sell them. He was found out and was arrested and somehow got away and made it up to Canada where he continued to do the same. He was eventually caught in 1858, convicted and put in prison. This plate represents one of his forgeries. It turns out that he was so well know for doing it that anything related to him is highly desirable to folks who collect items from George Washington.
I did look on the internet and I did find forged Washington docs for sale from Robert Spring and people pay a good price for them, they are sought after. In the case of the copper printing block I have it's different because it is from that timeframe but it is unusual as well. As we know paper will deteriorate aover time if not properly stored. I know that from looking at items at the bottom of the "Steele Box" before I saved it.
I am still in contact with Mt Vernon and I am trying to find out if this block is something that they would want. I am waiting to hear back I also want to give them a big KUDOs. They went all out and found information about the block, found the connection for the name "Gilmer" which is the esquire that Washington supposedly wanted the $200 doles (dollars) to be handed to and a number of pages that talked about the forgeries, They even found an old book/digital pages that had a print made from the coper plate I have. It's fascinating and amazing. I have to say I am blown away with what the Mt Vernon researchers skills and capabilities are and what they found.
Next I will be looking into the "Woodward trial at Newton, Sussex Co., New Jersey" I believe there are papers in the box from this person. Not sure what subject they were on, it may just be a bullhead or a few checks.
I would have posted a pic of the block and some links so folks could see what I am talkings about but according to the rules I really should not be doing that.
If anyone is interested here are a few searches in google you can do to find out more about Robert Spring...
You can search for....
- "robert spring" forgery washington
- George Washington to John Greenwood, 7 December 1798 "founders archives"
- "the great washington forger" washington collection raab
There are many articles and sites you can go to to read more about Robert Spring.