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216   Adam Smith Document Signed  $1000 $6748 $7423 21 You must login to place a bid.
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#216 - Adam Smith Document Signed Estimate: $10,000+

Rare Edinburgh Customhouse autograph by the Wealth of Nations author

Scottish moral professor and a respected pioneer of political economy (1723-1790) whose magnum opus, The Wealth of Nations, is considered the first modern work of economics. Extremely rare partial manuscript DS, signed “Adam Smith,” one page, 7.75 x 4.25, November 3, 1783. The conclusion of a document from the "Customshouse, Edinburgh," signed by Adam Smith, James Richardson, and James Edgar (the head administrator of the entire customhouse system throughout Scotland). Annotated along the bottom by a collector, "Genuine autograph of Dr. Smith taken from a Custom House Return." In very good to fine condition, with small stains to the corners, and old mounting residue on the reverse.

Having published his Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759 and The Wealth of Nations in 1776, Adam Smith was already revered as a thinker when he took his post as Commissioner of His Majesty's Customs at Edinburgh in early 1778. With this appointment, Smith was thrust from his well-known philosophical pursuits into the world of applied economics—the rather mundane enterprise of collecting duties, where his academic acumen could be tested against practical problems. His agency was charged with a wide range of responsibilities, ranging from the collection of taxes to the prosecution of smugglers. Smith proved to be a capable bureaucrat, enjoying his work and remaining in the position until his death on June 17, 1790.

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