As the nation's first Secretary of State, Jefferson writes to a fellow Founding Father just three days before his famous 'Compromise of 1790' dinner party
LS as secretary of state, signed “Th: Jefferson,” one page, 8 x 9.75, June 17, 1790. Addressed from New York, a letter to Pennsylvania President and fellow Founding Father Thomas Mifflin, in full: "I have the honor to send you herein inclosed two copies duly authenticated of the Resolution respecting the arrears of pay due to the troops of the lines of the States of Virginia and North Carolina; also of the Act for giving effect to the several Acts therein mentioned in respect to the State of Rhode Island and Providence plantations; Also of the Act for relief of Thomas Jenkins and company; Also of the Resolution for the publication of treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, and of being with sentiments of the most perfect respect." The letter is affixed by its back left edge to an 11.25 x 14 sheet. In fine condition.
A spectacular letter from Jefferson signed less than three months into his role as the first United States Secretary of State; that the letter is addressed from New York City is also quite notable, given that Federal Hall would serve as the nation’s capital until August 12, 1790. Just three days after signing this letter, Jefferson hosted a dinner party at his NYC residence on June 20, 1790, which included only two guests: Virginia Congressman James Madison and, his main rival, Alexander Hamilton, the secretary of the treasury. The resulting meeting, or ‘dinner table bargain,’ produced a pact that ultimately led to the famed Compromise of 1790. Seeking to place the fledgling nation on firm financial ground, Jefferson and Madison accepted Hamilton's proposition that the federal government assume state debts accrued during the Revolutionary War. This compromise, which made possible the passage of the Residence and Funding (Assumption) Acts in July and August 1790, is ‘generally regarded as one of the most important bargains in American history.’
Thomas Jenkins (c. 1741-1808) was a Quaker and a prosperous merchant in Providence, Rhode Island, before moving to Hudson, New York where, in the 1780s, he took the leading role in the development of the town at Claverack Landing on the Hudson River. There Jenkins headed a firm that engaged in overseas commerce and whaling, and where he also owned real estate and was involved in rope manufacturing, whale oil processing, and candle-making.