Extraordinary ALS as president signed “Th: Jefferson,” one page, 7.75 x 9.75, January 15, 1802. Letter to "the honorable the President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives of Georgia," in full: "The confidence which the Senate and Representatives of the state of Georgia are pleased to repose in my conduct, and their felicitations on my election to the chief magistracy, are testimonies which, coming from the collected councils of the state, encourage continued efforts to deserve them in future, and hold up that reward most valued by me. State rights, and State-sovereignties, as recognised by the constitution, are an integral and essential part of our great political fabric. They are bound up by a common ligament with those of the National government, and form with it one system, of which the Constitution is the law and the life. A sacred respect to that instrument therefore becomes the first interest and duty of all. Your reliance on the talents & virtues of our republic, as concentrated in the federal legislature, that the public good will be it’s end, & the constitution it’s rule, is assuredly well placed; and we need not doubt of that harmony which is to depend on it’s justice. I pray you to accept for yourselves and the Houses over which you preside my grateful thanks for their favorable dispositions, and the homage of my high consideration and respect." Professionally inlaid into a slightly larger sheet. In fine condition, with slightly irregular overall toning, and archival tape reinforcements on the reverse of the intersecting folds.
A primary exponent of the concept of limited federal government, Jefferson reaffirms his commitment to states' rights in this outstanding handwritten letter, penned in response to a belated congratulatory note from the Georgia Legislature on his ascension to the presidency. Jefferson's election to the presidency was part of a realigning election that ousted the Federalist Party and ushered in an era of Democratic-Republican dominance in American politics. As a part of this Republican platform, President Jefferson set out to limit the size of government by reducing taxes and lowering the national debt. However, he expanded centralized power in other respects, completing the Louisiana Purchase and using federal resources to enforce the unpopular Embargo Act. Nevertheless, Jefferson's rhetoric always trended toward a vision of the union of states "bound up by a common ligament" that he so eloquently describes here.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.