Lot #5
Thomas Jefferson Autograph Letter Signed

Handwritten letter by Jefferson, forwarding funds to Revolutionary War hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko
This lot has closed

Estimate: $6000+


Handwritten letter by Jefferson, forwarding funds to Revolutionary War hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko

ALS signed “Th: Jefferson,” one page, 7 x 3.5, January 27, 1812. Handwritten letter from Monticello, addressed to "Jonathan Smith esquire, Cashier of the Bank of Pensylvania," in full: "Please to pay to the order of John Barnes of the half year's dividend, due and payable on the 1st instant on Gen'l Kosciuszko's twenty shares of Pensylvania bank stock." Signed neatly at the conclusion by Jefferson. Handsomely matted and framed with a portrait to an overall size of 14 x 16.75. In very good to fine condition, with several edge tears, and a restored area of paper loss to the bottom edge, affecting the start of the word "Philadelphia."

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 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. The two shared many political ideals: Jefferson wrote of Kosciuszko, 'He is as pure a son of liberty as I have ever known.'

When Kosciuszko revisited the U.S. in 1797-98, he gave Jefferson a power of attorney to administer the $12,000 that Congress had paid him for his Revolutionary service. Jefferson turned the management of these funds over to John Barnes, his own financial agent, who forwarded interest payments regularly to Europe for Kosciuszko's use. The offered document is part of these transactions.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Art and Literature
  • Dates: #610 - Ended June 16, 2021

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