Lot #9
Thomas Jefferson

Extremely rare presidential payment for a smallpox vaccine
This lot has closed

Estimate: $10000+

The 30 Minute Rule begins February 10 at 7:00 PM. An Initial Bid Must Be Placed By February 10 at 6:00 PM To Participate After 6:00 PM


Extremely rare presidential payment for a smallpox vaccine

Office of Discount & Deposit check, 6 x 2.25, filled out and signed by Jefferson as president, “Th: Jefferson,” payable to Doctor Charles Worthington for $60.75, February 6, 1809. Double-matted and framed with an engraved portrait. In fine condition.

Dr. Worthington attended the White House on January 3 to deliver a smallpox vaccine to Jefferson, which the president sent on to his daughter Martha for use in inoculating her children against the deadly disease. The bill and receipt are held in the Library of Congress with Jefferson’s papers. Interestingly, Jefferson had embraced the concepts of smallpox vaccination in its dangerous infancy and early experimental stages. He had himself inoculated in the 1760s when it was still discouraged, and by 1801 he had directed the inoculation of Monticello slaves, family members, and some of his neighbors amounting to about two hundred people.

An exceptionally rare piece, and only the second full Jefferson check we’ve ever offered. The prior one, written as secretary of state, reached $17,783; this example, beautifully presented and in fabulous condition, is superior...and as president. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs And Artifacts
  • Dates: January 22 - February 10

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA DNA Precertified Letter
Buy a third-party letter of authenticity for $250.00

*This item has been pre-certified by a trusted third-party authentication service, and by placing a bid on this item, you agree to accept the opinion of this authentication service. If you wish to have an opinion rendered by a different authenticator of your choosing, you must do so prior to your placing of any bid. RR Auction is not responsible for differing opinions submitted 30 days after the date of the sale.