COLORFUL CITY OF BOSTON DONATION RECEIPT, SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE BARCLAYS OF BOSTON"

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Item Code: L15630

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Very decorative preprinted receipt from the city of Boston given to a Samuel William Trench for a donation “FOR THE SOLDIERS WHO LEAVE BOSTON UNDER THE REQUISITION OF THE PRESEIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.”

At center is the seal of the city of Boston surrounded by six full-color US flags. There are also swords, bayonetted muskets, cannons, rammers, a spread-winged eagle and at top an upraised arm holding a sword. Above this in red is “CITY OF BOSTON” surrounded by decorative scrolls. At lower left is George Washington in uniform holding a drawn sword, standing on a canon trail and pointing with his other arm. At lower right is “BOSTON 1861.”

Document is signed in bold ink by MRS. HARRISON GRAY OTIS”

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1796, Mrs. Otis was the daughter of William Bordman, a Boston merchant, who afterward changed his name to William Henderson Boardman; he married Eliza Henderson, the daughter of the High Sheriff.

On May 6, 1817, she married lawyer Harrison Gray Otis (1792–1827), the eldest son of U.S. Senator Harrison Gray Otis. They were the parents of Arthur Henderson Otis, Ellen Otis, Harrison Gray Otis, and Edmund Dwight Otis.

After her husband's death in 1827, Mrs. Otis went to Europe, residing there for several years to educate her children.

Upon her return to Boston, she became a leader in social circles and philanthropy. In 1840 she organized a fair and its proceeds were used for the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument. She organized a ball and with its proceeds, she secured $10,000 towards purchasing Mt. Vernon. She was the first to celebrate George Washington's birthday regularly, and finally induced the legislature to make 22 February a legal holiday. During the American Civil War, she established the Bank of Faith and was interested in the relief of soldiers. She headed Boston's Evans House home and hospital, receiving a vote of thanks from the mayor and council.

She was the author of The Barclays of Boston, a novel (Boston, 1854); and contributed to the Boston Transcript under the signature of "One of the Barclays".  [AD]

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