Somewhere in south New Jersey, one person might regret donating what turned out to be a historic artifact believed to be worth $18,000.

A framed copy of a December 28, 1774, edition of the Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser newspaper was anonymously donated to the Goodwill in Woodbury, New Jersey, last spring, and in the months since, employees have been fascinated by its surprising significance, reported

“We weren’t 100 percent sure of what we had,” Heather Randall, Goodwill’s e-commerce manager for Southern New Jersey and Greater Philadelphia, told the outlet. “We took the time to do some research on it to substantiate and appraise it.”

The double-sided Boston Tea Party-era artifact bears the “Unite or Die” logo of pre-revolutionary America in the newspaper’s masthead, and its text is filled with unique details. Three posts are signed by founding father John Hancock, while its shocking classified ads reflect the sexism of the era.

“This is to give notice that my wife Phebe has very much misbehaved herself, and not acted the part of my dutiful wife,” a Cape May man’s ad reads, according to the New York Post. “I do forbid all persons trusting of her on my account, for I will not pay any debt of her contracting.”

Another post advertises “a wet nurse with a good breast of milk” who “wants a place,” the Post reported.

The newspaper also features “an article railing about the injustice of the newly enacted Boston Port Bill, which closed the port as punishment for an estimated $1 million lost after the Boston Tea Party protest a year earlier,” according to

“It’s our history,” Randall told the website. “How many chances do you get to look at something that old up close and personal?”

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Appraiser Robert Snyder of Yonkers, New York-based Cohasco, Inc. declared the newspaper “unquestionable authentic,” placing its value at $18,000, as just three other editions of the paper are known, according to

But buyers haven’t exactly been chomping at the bit to purchase the 244-year-old piece of American history: Though Randal has received calls from potential purchasers, reports the artifact was listed on with an opening bid of $10,000, only for the auction to end earlier in October without a single offer.

Goodwill might have better luck finding a home for the newspaper thanks to the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2021. For now, Randal says Goodwill plans to hang on tight to the newspaper.

Ultimately, Snyder sees the headline-making donation as a lesson to anyone gearing up to unload items, telling, “Don’t assume something fascinating and important isn’t valuable even if you find it thrown out on the street.”

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