Pawn Stars: TOUGH DEAL on OLD LETTER by John Quincy Adams (Season 10) | History


[BANJO MUSIC PLAYING] [GUNSHOT] [TRAIN HORN SOUNDING] [COINS JINGLING] RICK: OK, so what
do we got here? I have a letter from
John Quincy Adams. – John Quincy Adams, huh?
– Yes. RICK: 1822– he was
Secretary of State then? Yes, and he was
president in 1824. Well, he was elected
in 2004, and then there was no inauguration till
March because they didn’t want to travel in the winter time. [LAUGHTER] I found it in a box of
items that I got from my uncle when my uncle passed away. I’d like to get $6,000 for it. I would drop down to
$5,000, but that would probably be the least I’d take. RICK: So what is
this letter about? This letter actually pertains
to a census that was taken. And they included 16- to
18-year-old undocumented immigrants who were here. And they had to go back and
fix it to the proper census. So basically we have here
John Quincy Adams being Secretary of State,
sending a letter saying, you did the census wrong. Redo it.
TED: Right. OK.
Interesting. Yeah. A letter signed
by the president– the content is so important.
TED: Right. If you had a letter by Abraham
Lincoln talking about freeing the slaves, that
is worth a lot more than Abraham Lincoln complaining
that his bathroom doesn’t work. [LAUGHS] Do you understand
what I’m saying? Yeah.
RICK: Yeah. The content does matter. So things like this
are always scary to me because it was
just common, common practice to have your secretary
sign everything for you. You’re a busy guy. Yeah. Or this was back in the 1800s. The president might
have been drunk. [LAUGHS] But the
paper looks right. The ink looks right. Have you checked
this out at all? I have. I’ve done some background
of my own over the internet. I did match up his signatures
and things like that. I’m assuming you
want to sell it. Yes. I was looking for $6,000. This is actually great shape. You’re lucky because this has
obviously been under glass for a very, very long time. Do you mind if I
call someone in? Yeah, no, if
it’s gonna help us. I’d like to make
sure it’s real too. All right. I’m gonna call him up. Hang out a few months. Maybe buy something.
TED: OK. I’ve got some cool stuff. [LAUGHS] There’s a lot of
history behind this guy. I mean, he’s pretty
much groomed to be the President of the United
States at some point in time. This guy really
stood out, you know. OK, so is it his signature? Did he write the letter? And what’s it worth? And we’d would
look at a few things. First thing I’m gonna do
is look at the signature under magnification. I want to look at the ink. And I can see this
is using a quill. This overlapping on here,
especially right in this area, you know, we know
this is live ink. And what I did bring along
today are several examples. It’s really flowing. It’s a very beautiful signature. Here’s one example. And we see some
similarities tying in here. And what I want to do
on this one especially is look at his last name. And I’m starting to see the
same thing over and over again. TED: Because that’s
actually abbreviated. And this just
makes sense where he would do an abbreviation
of this as well. And everything matches
up pretty well here. From everything
I can tell, we’re talking about a piece signed
by the sixth President of the United States,
which is kind of cool. All right, the letter itself,
you have a lighter ink. You have a darker ink on here
in two different pressures. In this case on here, and
this is pretty simple, and it’s something that, you
know, I’ve studied a lot, this isn’t his writing. Could have been written
by his secretary. Back then they
called it semi-proxy. And do you think that just
because the differential between the– Well, I mean, there’s several
factors– obviously, the ink. But also just the style
of writing is not his. So what’s it worth? If it was three years later,
a handwritten letter by him could go for $5,000 to $10,000
as a sitting president. But this is Secretary of State. It’s a little less significant. Stuff like this typically
runs at about $1,600. They don’t go for
much more than that. Thanks, man.
STEVE GRAD: Thanks. Good to see you.
TED: Thank you. STEVE GRAD: Good luck.
– Thanks. Thanks. John Quincy Adams is
a collectible autograph, you know, mostly just for
presidential collectors. I mean, is he desirable? Yeah, to an extent, but
not as much as like Abraham Lincoln or George Washington. OK, so, if it was
written in his hand, we’d have a whole lot of money. But we don’t. TED: I think the whole
thing was written by him. All right. Just that there’s a
discrepancy in the signature and the letter itself, which
is the way he signed things. OK, well, you know what? You’re always free to have it
checked out or somebody else. TED: All right. RICK: I could give
you like $1,000. Yeah, for that, I think I’m
gonna go ahead and keep it. I’ll keep it and [INAUDIBLE]
save it for my kids or do something
else with it, so. RICK: OK. Sorry we couldn’t
make a deal, man. Thank you. It’s not his handwriting? You got to be kidding me. I’m going to try and go
ahead and legitimize it 100% and see if I get some
more opinions on it.

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