Certificate dated December 31, 1776 signed by Eli Whitney (father of the inventor, Eli Whitney ) as Assessor for the Town of Westborough. Also signed by Thomas Bond, ordering payment of taxes to the County. This item is over 231 years old.
Eli Whitney the Inventor
Eli Whitney was born in Westborough, Massachusetts, on December 8, 1765, the eldest child of Eli Whitney, a prosperous farmer, and Elizabeth Fay of Westborough. Very early in life he demonstrated his mechanical genius and entrepreneurial acumen, operating a profitable nail manufacturing operation in his father's workshop during the American Revolution. Because his step-mother opposed his wish to attend college, Whitney worked as a farm laborer and schoolteacher to save money. He prepared for Yale under the tutelage of Rev. Elizur Goodrich of Durham, Connecticut and entered the Class of 1792.
Whitney expected to study law but, finding himself short of funds on graduation, accepted an offer to go to South Carolina as a private tutor. Instead of reaching his destination, he was convinced to visit Georgia. In the closing years of the eighteenth century, Georgia was a magnet for New Englanders seeking their fortunes (its Revolutionary era governor had been Lyman Hall, a migrant from Connecticut). When he initially sailed for South Carolina, among his shipmates was the widow and family of Revolutionary hero, General Nathanael Greene of Rhode Island. Mrs. Greene invited Whitney to visit her Georgia plantation, Mulberry Grove. Her plantation manager and husband-to-be was Phineas Miller, another Connecticut migrant and Yale graduate (Class of 1785), who would become Whitney's business partner.
Somewhat ironically, Whitney's two most famous innovations would divide the country in the mid-19th century: the cotton gin (1793), which revolutionized the way Southern cotton was cropped and reinvigorated slavery; and his interchangeable parts, that would revolutionize Northern industry, and, in time, be a major factor in the North's victory in the Civil War.
History from Wikipedia and OldCompanyResearch.com (old stock certificate research service).