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Hey all. A friend of mine recently found this 1855 Land Patent in her mother's basement. It's pretty dang cool. The 320 acres is located not far from Lake Michigan near Benton Harbor, MI. She was pretty impressed that I was able to interpret the description and actually "fly her over" the land (gotta love google earth).

The only mystery left to solve is whether the signature of Franklin Pierce is authentic or not. This is something I may like to add to my personal collection. I've never dealt with auto's before (I have one, Bush (I), which I personally witnessed). Here are a couple things that I have learned in researching this signature and document... Beginning in the 1830's, Presidents were authorized to have their secretaries sign documents (including Land Patents) for them. Apparently most Presidents welcomed the rest to their pens and did not personally sign many of them. Franklin Pierce, however, apparently took pride in his signature and did sign quite a few personally (anyone else able to confirm/deny this?). I've examined the signatures against "known" authentic signatures and the resemblance is very close. There are two places where his name appears... The upper one (which I wouldn't normally consider to be a place for a "signature") is nearly a spitting image of some samples I've seen. The lower one has a lot of "signature" qualities, but there appears to be a problem with the "l" (he rarely looped according to samples), and there's some weird thing on the "c" that wasn't something he appeared to do elsewhere.

Anyhow, I'm hoping maybe someone can help me out. If you have an authentic you could compare it to or you have information you could contribute that would be great.

[Image: IMG00734-20120429-1718.jpg]

[Image: IMG00737-20120429-1720.jpg]

[Image: IMG00736-20120429-1720.jpg]

[Image: IMG00740-20120429-1725.jpg]

Anybody know what that fancy "E" at the bottom is all about?

Thanks for ANY help that can be provided. Oh, and I'm always looking for trades as well. Smile Currently working on 09 Topps American Heritage and a few other insert sets. Organize is updated with all wants and haves are being added all the time.
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