George Washington’s Annotated Copy of the Constitution Sets Record at Christie’s

(Courtesy Christie’s)

George Washington’s personal copy of the Constitution sold for $9,826,500 at Christie’s on June 22, setting a world record for an American book or historical document. It is in near-perfect condition and includes marginalia by Washington, with notations about his presidential responsibilities during his first term.

According to a statement from Chris Coover, senior specialist of books and manuscripts at Christie’s:

A number of bidders…pursued this exceptional item, but in the end the successful bidder was a representative of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union, the non-profit educational organization which owns and operates the historical site and museum of George Washington’s Virginia home.  The unique book had been in the Mount Vernon library until 1876 and will soon be returned to that library.

The previous record was set at Christie’s in 2009, when Abraham Lincoln’s autographed manuscript of his 1864 election victory speech sold for $3,442,500.