Terrific ALS signed as secretary of state, “Th: Jefferson,” one page, 7.75 x 10, March 28, 1791. Letter to James McHenry, a participant in the Constitutional Convention from Maryland, providing intriguing news from both home and abroad. In full: “Having sent your letters to Mr. Short with a desire that he will, as far as is right, patronize the applications which shall be made to the minister on your demand, instead of destroying your first letter to Messr. Le Couteux, I have thought it better to return it to you, in proof that your desires have been complied with.—a murder of some friendly Indians a little beyond Fort Pitt is likely to defeat our efforts to make a general peace, & to render the combination in war against us more extensive. This was done by a party of Virginians within the limits of Pennsylvania.—The only news from Europe interesting to us is that the Brit. Parl. is about to give free storage to American wheat carried to Engl’d in British bottoms for re-exportation. in this case we must make British bottoms lading with wheat, pay that storage here, in the form of a duty, & give it to American bottoms lading with the same article, in order not to keep our vessels on a par as to transportation of our own produce, but to shift the meditated advantage into their scale, at least so say I.” Housed in an attractive custom-made leather-bound folder with clamshell case. In very good to fine condition, with light toning and creasing.
Before his election to the Senate in the fall of 1791, Maryland signer James McHenry served in the state Assembly and was actively engaged in the mercantile business. Although a staunch Federalist, McHenry shared many of Jefferson’s views on issues both domestic and foreign. After mentioning the murder of Indians and predicting the ramifications of the crime, Secretary Jefferson turns his attention to news abroad and reports on wheat export with England, suggesting a duty to balance what is being proposed by British Parliament. A phenomenal, cleanly penned letter rife with content significant to the growth of America.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.