Thomas Jefferson Letter Sells for $226,871 at NateDSanders.com Auctions
If you are looking to auction, buy, consign or sell an original Thomas Jefferson letter or a Thomas Jefferson letter signed in our next Thomas Jefferson letter auction, please email Nate@NateDSanders.com or call (310) 440-2982. Our URL is http://www.NateDSanders.com.
Thomas Jefferson Letter
In 2011, we were lucky enough to obtain on consignment one of the most valuable examples of a Thomas Jefferson letter. It sold for $226,871. It wasn’t even signed by Thomas Jefferson. In autograph trade terms, that is called a Thomas Jefferson autograph letter rather than a Thomas Jefferson autograph letter signed. However, the Thomas Jefferson letter just happened to deal with the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
Here is the full description of the Thomas Jefferson letter:
Thomas Jefferson Handwritten Report as President Regarding the Lewis & Clark Expedition — “…Capt. Lewis who has been sent to explore the Missouri to its source & thence to pursue the nearest water communication to the South sea, passed the last winter among the savages 1600 miles up the Missouri. Deputies from the great nations in that quarter (2500 miles from hence) are now on their way to visit us. Lewis finds the Indians every where friendly. He will probably set back in 1806…”
Exceptional, museum-worthy report, handwritten by Thomas Jefferson letter as President, regarding the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Letter is addressed to William Jarvis of the U.S. consul in Lisbon, Portugal, dated 6 July 1805, describing the historic expedition that Jefferson authorized during his Presidency. In its entirety: “Sir / Since my letters of the 19th & 20th of July 1804 I have received your favors of Oct. 6 Nov. 14-25 Dec. 3 1806 & May 15 1805. As also some articles of fruits & for which I may you accept my acknowledgments. The pipe of Arruda vine came also safely to hand, and is indeed of very superior quality. I should be glad to receive always of exactly the same quality, adhering to the rule of putting no brandy to them. I had been for some time expecting your draught [draft] for the amount; but as you mention in your last that when you forward another pipe you will draw for both, I shall hold myself in readiness, and will be glad the vine would come out in autumn, so as to be here before the winter sets in. It gives me much pleasure to see a hope that Portugal may be able to preserve her neutrality. That a government so just & inoffensive should be forced into a war with which it has nothing to do shows the most profligate disregard to human rights. It is a great felicity to us and it secures all our other felicities, that so wide an ocean is spread between us & the lions & tygers of Europe, as enables us to go forward in the path of justice and independence fearing nothing but our creator. The great powers of Europe could do us injury by sea & on our shores. But the spirit of independence in the country at large they can never bend. We are now suffering from privateers on our coast, and are therefore fitting out a naval force to go & force them to keep a reasonable distance from our shores. Capt. Lewis who has been sent to explore the Missouri to its source & thence to pursue the nearest water communication to the South sea, passed the last winter among the savages 1600 miles up the Missouri. Deputies from the great nations in that quarter (2500 miles from hence) are now on their way to visit us. Lewis finds the Indians every where friendly. He will probably set back in 1806. Receipt my friendly salutations and assurances of respect.” Document measures 8″ x 10″ on two pages, with integral fly-leaf addressed to Jarvis in the hand of Jefferson’s secretary. Toning and folds throughout, with minor tape residue at top and a tiny chip at lower right corner. Near fine condition with bold, legible handwriting. An important piece of handwritten history by the President who commissioned America’s greatest exploration adventure. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: A near exact copy of this letter resides in the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Papers. One of the two letters was produced by Jefferson’s polygraph machine (used from 1804 until his death), which provided an immediate copy of his handwritten letters. Though impossible to determine which copy was produced by the pen that Jefferson held, Jefferson typically kept the machine-produced letter as a copy for himself. Since this letter was mailed to William Jarvis (unlike the letter in the LOC), it’s probable that this letter was the one handwritten by Jefferson.
Also, in 2011, we sold a five figure Thomas Jefferson letter:
Historically Important Thomas Jefferson Letter Signed as President — Jefferson Sends the 12th Amendment to be Ratified, Thereby Avoiding a Constitutional Crisis of a Tie to Elect the President
Important Thomas Jefferson letter signed “Th Jefferson” as President, dated 13 December 1803 from Washington. Letter, addressed to an unnamed Governor, sends a copy of proposed 12th amendment of the Constitution (not present) concerning the election of President and Vice-President. As described by the original provisions of the Constitution, each elector was to vote for two presidential candidates, and the candidate with the greater number of votes would then become president. In the election of 1800, the number of electoral votes for Jefferson and Burr were the same, leaving the responsibility of breaking the tie to the House of Representatives. The deadlock that ensued resulted in a crisis of uncertainty that was only resolved when Jefferson finally received a sufficient majority of state delegates on the 36th round of balloting. To prevent the possibility of the recurrence of such a crisis, several states proposed the amendment that accompanied the present letter. Reads in part: “…At the request of the Senate and the H. of Rep. of the U.S. I transmit to you a copy of an article of amendment proposed by Congress to be added to the constitution of the U.S. respecting the election of President and Vice-President to be laid before the legislature of the State over which you preside…” 7.5″ x 9.75″ document on one page is beautifully matted to 17.25″ x 14″ with a photo of Jefferson. Slight toning, dampstaining and expected folds else very good condition. Sold for $24,000.
In December 2012, we sold another five figure Thomas Jefferson letter. Here it is:
Thomas Jefferson Letter Written Days After Benedict Arnold Captures and Destroys Richmond Which Makes Thomas Jefferson Flee, the Governor Asks that the Troops Halt Action for 1 Day to Add to Their Numbers & Refresh
Thomas Jefferson letter signed “Th: Jefferson” as Governor of Virginia. Datelined Richmond, 11 January 1781, 4 p.m. the letter to Brigadier General George Weedon discusses Benedict Arnold’s raid of Richmond: “…If they should pass Burwell’s ferry…your whole attention should be pointed to Fredsbrg. They have had the winds at their command & I am persuaded are at this moment either past Burwell’s ferry or in Williamsburg…By halting a day you will refresh your men, & perhaps increase your numbers so as to render your approach to Williamsburg more safe and more effectually relieving…I cannot do better now than to leave you master of your own actions, as events may become known to you sooner than to me, which might render any thing positive not only improper but mischievous…” Large 7.75″ x 13″ letter is contained on one long page, ideal for framing. Chipping to edges, else near fine. Published in Papers of Thomas Jefferson,” 4:339-340. Great Thomas Jefferson letter. Sold for $22,900.
And another another Thomas Jefferson letter sold that same year here at NateDSanders.com.
Scared Governor Thomas Jefferson Letter Signed from March 1781 Stating the the British Have Arrived in Virginia As He Readies for the Conflict of Lafayette’s Troops & Benedict Arnold’s Raiders
Thomas Jefferson letter signed, “Th: Jefferson” as Governor of Virginia. From Richmond, Virginia, on 21 March 1781, Jefferson writes to General George Weedon regarding Benedict Arnold’s raid on Richmond in January; here, Jefferson offers strategies to prepare his men to face the turncoat traitor. With limited knowledge of the whereabouts of the various armies, Jefferson hatches a plan of action, writing: “…As I am certainly informed by Commodore Barron that the fleet arrived is British, I become anxious lest the expected French fleet not knowing of this incident may come into the bay. Should the Marquis Fayette be returned to the north side of the river, I make no doubt but he will have taken what cautionary measures are in his power and necessary. Should he not be returned I must beg the favour of you immediately to send off a vessel from York to the eastern shore (which is supposed to be practicable) with the enclosed letter to Col. Avery, the purport of which is to send out two good lookout boats from the seaside of that shore to apprize the French commander, should he be approaching, of the situation of things here. You will, of course, caution the master of the vessel to destroy the letters confided to him in case of inevitable capture…” Unbeknownst to Jefferson, the French and British had shown up and fought the Battle of Cape Henry the week prior. Measures 7.25″ x 9″. Single page letter has toning, some separation to horizontal fold, and seal hole, else near fine. Published in the “Papers of Thomas Jefferson,” 5:203. Sold for $25,000.
Back in 2004, we sold this Thomas Jefferson letter:
Thomas Jefferson letter signed “Th: Jefferson” to an unknown recipient, Monticello, [VA] 1 November 1817. 1 page 8vo, tape stains at folds. A recommendation given by Jefferson for his grand-nephew John Carr. Jefferson’s sister Martha married Dabney Carr in 1765, but upon Dabney’s death in 1773, Martha brought her six children to live at Monticello. Jefferson developed a particularly close relationship with his nephews and their children. In 1817 Jefferson championed his grand-nephew’s enlistment in the navy with this letter of recommendation that may have been delivered directly to Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield: “The bearer of this, Mr. John Carr, the son of a nephew of mine, was I believe unregistered on the roll of midshipmen about two years ago. His time since that has been employed at school to improve his qualifications, and he now goes on to enter on the duties which may be prescribed to him. He is a young man of excellent character. His father who goes on with him will be able to inform you of his age, course of studies, and any other particulars which may be of importance. Any favor you can show to him will be gratefully acknowledged by myself.” Thomas Jefferson letter is in very good condition. Sold for $12,925.If you are looking to auction, buy, consign or sell an original Thomas Jefferson letter or a Thomas Jefferson letter signed in our next Thomas Jefferson letter auction, please email Nate@NateDSanders.com or call (310) 440-2982. Our URL is http://www.NateDSanders.com.