Eddie Papczun loaded up his newly-purchased Mercedez Benz cargo van and set off to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention with a very American goal: to make money.
“I tell people I’m not going there as a Democrat or a Republican,” said Papczun, owner of Great Republic, a store in downtown Washington that specializes in U.S. memorabilia. “I’m going there as a capitalist.”
Stowed in the back of his van, and in a rented U-Haul trailer behind that, were historical documents, pre-Civil War flags and 200-year-old oil paintings Papczun plans to sell at next week’s convention. They include a copy of the Declaration of Independence printed in 1818 (price tag: $48,500), an autographed manuscript of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” ($138,500) and a first-edition copy of “The Federalist Papers” ($225,000).