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Letter written by Albert Einstein to his friend Michele Besso in 1950, to be offered by Heritage Auctions on April 23. Image credit Heritage Auctions HA.com

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They include a two-page letter sent by the theoretical physicist to his friend Michele Besso in 1950 when he was 71, written after his article on the generalised theory of gravitation appeared in Scientific American.

Signed AE and written in German, the letter, which is a reply to one from Besso, gives his thoughts on a wide range of topics from religion to his unified field theory as well as featuring equations. It comes with a four-page letter of reply from Besso and is expected to realise in excess of $70,000.

Presidential relics

The sale also includes letters, notes and manuscripts from several American presidents.

Among them is a short letter from George Washington to Major General Benjamin Lincoln, regarding last-minute orders prior to him leaving for Yorktown in 1781 during the American War of Independence. A circular letter signed by Thomas Jefferson on September 23, 1808, as is a defence of his Embargo Act, is also on offer.

A 78-page group of campaign notes written by John F Kennedy when suffering from laryngitis is estimated to make in excess of $40,000. Around the spring of 1960, while he was campaigning around the country in his presidential bid, Kennedy, having lost his voice, decided to write notes to his aides instead. He wrote on either a yellow legal pad or blank sheets of paper in blue or black ink and pencil.