Francis Scott Key & Roger Taney 1814 Dual Signed Document – RARE Combination of Signatures


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Roger Taney (1777-1864) served as Chief Justice from 1836-1864. He was widely criticized for his decision in the infamous Dred Scott case, holding that restricting the spread of slavery into the territories was unconstitutional.

Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) was a lawyer who is best remembered for writing “The Star Spangled Banner”, which he wrote on September 14, 1814 after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships.

Document signed “F.S. Key” and “R.B. Taney”, 8×6.75, October 7, 1814. Dated just three weeks after writing “The Star Spangled Banner”, Key signs along with Taney and Arthur Schaffe as trustees of an estate, transferring the proceeds of a promissory note (on the verso) from themselves to James Lingan. Taney signs a second time at the top attesting that he has received forty three dollars. An unusual pairing of signatures.

In very good condition, light toning, filing docket at bottom. Some showthrough from ink stain on verso. Annotations in pencil along top edge, along with dealer’s pricing, also in pencil.

Key and Taney were brothers-in-law and practiced law together.

The only other such dual signed document we can find involved the sale of slaves and was featured on The Antiques Roadshow, with an estimated value of $3,000.