George Washington didn’t want to be president, but after a unanimous election he accepted the monumental task with dignity.
Well aware that he was responsible for establishing innumerable precedents, Washington carefully crafted the image of the American president, selecting the title of “Mr. President” and refusing to serve a third term. He also carefully studied The Constitution and held himself to its precepts with the utmost care, calling it “the guide I will never abandon” in a letter.
Washington’s passion for the landmark document can be seen his personal copy of The Constitution and Bill of Rights, which Christie’s auction house brought to Washington for a press preview yesterday. The book will go up for auction June 22 and is expected to sell for $2-$3 million.
The book not only features Washington’s signature, but is also peppered with Washington’s personal notes, many of which address the Executive Branch of government.
"It's a remarkable ensemble of text," said Chris Coover, senior specialist of the manuscripts department at Christie's. "It says a lot about the man and the era."