Lot #4
James Monroe Signed Check

Check made payable by Monroe to "my servant Peter"—the only slave he ever freed
This lot has closed

Estimate: $3000+


Check made payable by Monroe to "my servant Peter"—the only slave he ever freed

Rare Bank of the Metropolis check, 6.25 x 2.25, filled out and signed by Monroe, "Jas. Monroe," payable to "my servant Peter" for $150, May 27, 1816. In fine condition.

Peter Marks (sometimes spelled Marx) was one of the hundreds of people that James Monroe enslaved throughout his lifetime—and he was the only one he ever freed. Based on census data, household records, and contemporary reporting, it is believed that Marks served in the White House during Monroe's presidency. Monroe made a 'dying request' to have Marks freed, a fact known to historians because of a letter of recommendation written by Monroe's friend Tench Ringgold: 'The bearer hearof Peter Marks a coloured man late the property of James Monroe deceased, late President of the United States, has been liberated & set free by at Mr. Monroe's dying request by his executor Samuel L. Gouverneur of the City of New York & by Mrs. E. K. Hay one of Mr. Monroes daughters to whom he was a slave. Peter is honest, and capable, he is an excellent dining room servant, and a good coachman, has been brought up in the family of Mr. Monroe from his infancy…I can recommend him to any person who may want a waiter or coachman, as I have long known him.'

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Animation
  • Dates: #620 - Ended November 10, 2021

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