A Mirror for Modern Gift Planners — from 1831


Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 by John Trumbull is one of the paintings he gave to Yale in 1831 in exchange for a life annuity .

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

In 1831, Yale issued an innovative charitable gift annuity in exchange for John Trumbull’s best paintings of George Washington and the American Revolution. The planner driving the complex gift negotiations was Yale scientist Benjamin Silliman. The annuity contract was drafted by attorney Peter Jay, son of John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States. Annuity payments were financed by selling tickets to America’s first college art gallery.

The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton
The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777, is one of many paintings given to Yale by John Trumbull in exchange for a life annuity of $1,000.

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