Throughout the Revolutionary War, the security of his official correspondence and orders was a perpetual concern for General George Washington. In the intervening weeks between the British evacuation of Boston and his departure to defend Manhattan, Washington obtained this hair travelling trunk to contain the increasing number of official papers in his possession. It was likely the first of the many he would purchase for this purpose. A copper plate engraved "Genl Washington" is nailed to the lid over the initials of the trunk's original owner, John Head, the Boston merchant from whom it was purchased on April 4, 1776.
Cylindrical hair trunk; wooden case and lid covered in rawhide on the exterior; bound with nine iron plates on each side and four iron plates along base of front and back; an iron bail handle is mounted on each side; two thin strips of leather, secured by a continuous line of iron tacks, outline the side edge of the front, lid, and back of the trunk; two wide strips of leather are nailed horizontally on either side of the center front and center back; a skirt of leather, secured by a continuous line of iron tacks, runs along the base of the lid on all four sides; a surface mount lock is mounted at the top center of the front of the chest; a large leather flap with curved outlines covers the lock when closed; the flap is stamped at its lower center with an eagle bearing a shield and the name "JOHN LUTZ" below; seven other stamps, each depicting a moon and stars or stylized flowers enclosed in a circular frame, surround the main stamp on the flap; on the center of the lid, an oval copper plate engraved "Genl Washington" is nailed over the center of a decoration of iron nails that forms "I H/1775"; the interior of the trunk is lined on all sides with a plain linen lining, which is continuous from the base of the back to the lid; two twill weave linen straps with drawn thread borders are tacked to the sides and lid of the interior to support the lid when it is open; written on ink on a piece of paper pasted to the center of the interior of the lid is the inscription: "This trunk and/ contents belong to/ [Mr.] Lloyd N Rogers/ July 30th, 1857/ Balt Co M[d]"; a small copper rectangular plate, stamped "W-366", is mounted on the center base of the proper left side; two wooden runners are nailed along the front and back of the base of the trunk.
Rawhide, wood, leather, iron, linen, copper
Overall: 14 3/8 in. x 36 1/2 in. x 15 3/4 in. (36.53 cm x 92.71 cm x 40.01 cm)
Gift of Mrs. George R. Goldsborough, Vice Regent for Maryland, 1882
Outlined in iron tacks across the center of the lid: "I H/ 1775". On top of this is nailed an oval copper plate engraved "Genl Washington".
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