SMALL BUSINESS

Woman Accidentally Buys Valuable Colonial Documents At Estate Sale, Now At Odds With State (VIDEO)

09/10/2013 06:02 pm ET | Updated Sep 10, 2013

When Christine Ridout spent three dollars on a few old letters last year at an estate sale in Buffalo, N.Y., she had no idea they'd turn out to be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Turns out she'd purchased valuable colonial documents that date back to the 18th century, one of which includes the signature of Benjamin Franklin’s illegitimate son (who, by the way, was the last colonial governor of New Jersey), according to The Toronto Star. But there's a catch: Rideout discovered afterwards that the state of New Jersey has identified the documents as lost or stolen.

As the Inquirer points out, the New Jersey Department of State says on its website that the state “is empowered to demand and receive… any public record in private possession belonging to this State.” But Rideout still hopes she'll receive some form of compensation. For if not for her, the documents may have been lost or destroyed.

You can watch the video above for more information.

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