1805 Letter Penned by Thomas Jefferson Goes on Sale

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A July 24, 1805 letter written by United States Founding Father and President Thomas Jefferson went on sale for $35,000 in Philadelphia.

The Raab Collection is handling the transaction, after an anonymous private collector came forth with the one-page historical note, which had never before been seen by the public, or examined by scholars.

The letter was penned by Jefferson when he was 62, and was sent to his friend and estate manager, regarding the appraisal of the president's Poplar Forest Plantation in Virginia. The president wanted to commence dividing parts of his acreage to leave to his grandchildren. Jefferson had six children with wife Martha Wayles Skelton, though only two lived into adulthood.

Raab Collection president Nathan Raab commented, “This important historical discovery shows our nation’s third President as family man, looking to ensure that he would be able to leave something of value to his grandchildren.”

Jefferson, April 13, 1743 - July 4, 1826, was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and served two terms as the third President of the United States between 1801 and 1809. During the American Revolution, Jefferson served as the Governor of Virginia between 1779 and 1781. From 1784 he was a U.S. diplomat stationed in Paris, and in May, 1785, he became the U.S. Minister to France. Jefferson was a polymath who spoke five languages and had a keen interest in science, invention, architecture, religion and philosophy.

Here is a condensed biography on Jefferson:

Raab added, “This letter is an important contribution to the historical record. Such discoveries of Thomas Jefferson letters are uncommon particularly when the topic is so important and gives such a rare glimpse into the personal and family lives of people we only know from their public persona.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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