Several hundred items from the Minnesota Historical Society are being auctioned off Tuesday at the Swann Galleries in New York City.
The items come from the donated collection of the late Minnesota businessman Allyn K. Ford. Most are letters and documents related to the Revolutionary War period, including some signed by George Washington, Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams. Others are signed by Abraham Lincoln and other famous figures.
None of the items are related to Minnesota history.
Jennifer Jones, the society's director of library and collections, told MPR's Daily Circuit that the Minnesota Historical Society hopes to generate up to $800,000 from the proceeds of the sale.
"The money that we get from this will go into an endowment. That endowment will generate a certain amount of interest every year, and we will use that interest to acquire new items that are more in line with our mission to preserve and document Minnesota history," she said.
The Society has had the items since 1965. It will auction off another 1,300 non-Minnesota items in the coming months.