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Sold for a rather higher than predicted sum, $190,000 (£154,095), was a typed and signed letter in which President Harry S Truman defends the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Responding to a letter from David Oestreicher of United Press International, asking him to write about the 20th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, he declines and explains the reasons: “I have very little to say about that except that the tears that have been shed on account of the atomic bomb should have been shed on the Pearl Harbor attack. All you have to do is to go to Pearl Harbor and stand on the upside down Battleship with the 2,000 youngsters beneath it and you can understand why I don’t sympathise with the tear shedding… because the dropping of those bombs is what ended the war.”

Other highlights of the sale included the only recorded copy of an extra-illustrated broadside version of the ‘Atlantic Charter’ by which, in August 1941, Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill had agreed on their future goals for a world free from Nazi tyranny.

Signed later during the Second World War by both leaders, at Churchill’s suggestion, it sold at $220,000 ($144,710).

Lots of greater age included a two-page manuscript of 1784 or later in which George Washington outlines plans for his gardens at Mount Vernon, which sold for $130,000 (£105,435).