Lot #7
Thomas Jefferson Autograph Letter Signed

Handwritten letter by Jefferson, acting as attorney for Revolutionary War hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko
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Estimate: $10000+


Handwritten letter by Jefferson, acting as attorney for Revolutionary War hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko

ALS signed “Th: Jefferson, Atty for Genl. Thad. Kosciuszko,” one page, 7.75 x 4.75, June 29, 1811. Handwritten letter to "The Cashier of the Bank of Pennsylvania," in which Jefferson, acting as the attorney for Revolutionary War hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko, redirects the payment of dividends to satisfy debts. In full: "Be pleased to have paiment made to John Barnes or order of all dividends which shall become due on the 1st day of July ensuing for the shares of stock held by Genl. Thaddeus Kosciuszko in the bank of Pennsylvania, for which this shall be your sufficient voucher." Corner-mounted, matted, and framed to an overall size of 18.5 x 16. In very good to fine condition, with light staining and toning.

Jefferson was a close friend of Kosciuszko, who had served as a colonel in the Continental Army during the Revolution and oversaw the construction of state-of-the-art fortifications, including those at West Point. Upon his return to Europe, Jefferson oversaw his American affairs and was to be the executor of his estate. However, Jefferson declined to accept the responsibility upon the general's death in 1817, citing to both his old age and the legal complexities surrounding the estate—it was to be sold, and the proceeds spent on freeing and educating African-American slaves. In this instance, it seems that Jefferson—struggling financially after his retirement to Monticello—had reached out to Kosciuszko for assistance in repaying some debts, and the general was happy to oblige. The two shared many political ideals: Jefferson wrote of Kosciuszko, 'He is as pure a son of liberty as I have ever known.'

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Revolutionary War
  • Dates: #612 - Ended July 14, 2021

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