Lot #8
Thomas Jefferson

In 1804, President Jefferson plans to commission "Commandants of Louisiana"
This lot has closed

Estimate: $8000+

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


In 1804, President Jefferson plans to commission "Commandants of Louisiana"

ALS as president signed “Th: Jefferson,” one page, 8 x 10, August 16, 1804. Letter to John Smith, the chief clerk of the Department of War, written from his famous home at Monticello. In full: "Commissions are now wanting for three Colonels, and two Major Commandants of Louisiana. The commission is to express that the party is appointed a Colonel (or Major) Commandant of the regular officers and troops of the army of the US and of the militia in a district of Louisiana, and is to be in the nature of a Brevet. Be pleased to make out and seal such commissions, leaving blanks for the names & dates and inclose them immediately to me for signature. That I may be enabled to inclose them direct to the Secretary of War, will you be so good as to inform me at the same time to what post office I must address them? I have hitherto addressed to him at Hallowell. Accept my salutations & respects." In fine condition, with a light seal-related stain touching the end of Jefferson's perfect signature.

Under President Jefferson's purview, the United States had acquired Louisiana from France in 1803 in the famous Louisiana Puchase. The territory was supervised as a military district in until it achieved statehood in 1812. In a letter to Secretary of War Henry Dearborn of August 30, 1804, President Jefferson revealed his plans for these blank commissions, noting that they had previously agreed on 'the following lists of Commandants for Louisiana: George Hammond of Georgia, Return J. Meigs of Ohio, Gibs of Massachusetts, Richard Kennon of Virginia to be Colonels; John M. Scott of Kentucky, Seth Hunt of N. Hampshire to be Majors.' In the same letter, he recommended that these men 'endeavor to acquire the French as soon as possible' to aid in their administration of the Francophone region.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: June 21 - July 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.