Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    [Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson] Retained Letter Copies and an Engraved Letter Relating to Jefferson and Jackson. This lot contains the retained copies of two letters from Sarah Grotjan to Thomas Jefferson, along with a retained copy of one letter from Grotjan's husband, Peter, to Andrew Jackson. Also included is an 1834 facsimile of a Jefferson and Jackson letter addressed to Thomas Jefferson Grotjan. Finally, included is a manuscript written and signed by Peter Grotjan describing a parlor card game, ca. 1845.

    Sarah Grotjan Retained Letter Copies (Two). On March 15, 1813, Sarah Grotjan, wife of Philadelphia newspaper publisher Peter Grotjan, wrote the original of the first retained copy (marked "Copy") to "Ths. Jefferson Esq. / Monticello," notifying the former president that she had been caring for an unfortunate and unfamiliar woman "called Mrs. Bradley, whose name she tells me, was formerly Julia Webb and that she had the honour to be known and reside in your family." Jefferson responded on April 3 in a letter that is not included. Eleven years later, Mrs. Grotjan wrote Jefferson for "the second and perhaps the last, time." (The retained copy of this letter is dated January 1, 1824, and marked "Copy.") After refreshing the former president's memory about their previous correspondence in 1813, Mrs. Grotjan writes that she has long held respect for Jefferson's "character, which will only expire with my life." Consequently, she informs him that she has a newborn son and had "resolved to bestow upon him the name of Thomas Jefferson Grotjan. . . . The favour I request of you on the present occasion, as the chosen Godfather of my child, is, to honour me with a letter addressed to my son, acknowledging the behest made by me, if it contains but two lines, signed by your ever revered name."

    1834 facsimile of a Jefferson and Jackson Letter. Jefferson responded to Mrs. Grotjan's letter on January 10 with his own addressed to "Th: Jefferson Grotjan." In his letter to the infant (the original is not included in this lot), Jefferson writes ten lines of advice such as "Adore God. reverence and cherish your parents. love your neighbor as yourself; and your country more than life." It is signed from Monticello in January 1824. Interestingly, during a visit to Philadelphia ten years later, President Andrew Jackson paid Peter Grotjan a visit. Grotjan asked the president to add his own thoughts below those of Jefferson's. Jackson wrote that he could "add nothing to the admirable advice given to his son by that virtuous patriot and enlightened statesman, Thomas Jefferson. The precious relic which he sent to the young child, contains the purist morality, and inculcates the noblest sentiments." The following year, 1834, an engraving was made of that single-sheet letter by Samuel Maverick. That same year, Benjamin Owen Tyler published the engraving, entitled "A Fac Simile of Jefferson and Jackson's Letters," which is included in this lot. The "Fac Simile" (10" x 13") contains explanatory text printed in the margins. It is toned with some dampstaining. Weakness and some separation exists at the folds; the document has separated along the top horizontal fold.

    Peter Grotjan Retained Letter Copy. Peter Grotjan's retained copy (written "Copie" at the top of the letter) as "Secrety. to the Town Meeting" from Philadelphia on March 5, 1834, notifies "Genl. Andrew Jackson / President of the U.S." that a recently held town hall meeting in Philadelphia demonstrated that "your foresight, wisdom and firmness are duly appreciated by all your fellow Citizens, not tainted by the influence of this enormous monied aristocracy; and that they will maintain and support all your measures, at the risque of their fortunes and lives." This letter contains minor separation along one fold.

    Peter Grotjan Parlor Game Manuscript. Also included is a manuscript ca. 1845 entitled "Description of a beautiful but impenetrable Divertisement." The "Divertisement" involves a card game in which the "master Artist" names cards other members of the party have seen or touched. Items needed for the game included two decks of cards, a card table, and an assistant. The detailed description is signed by Peter Grotjan to his daughter. Five pages with folds.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 737

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 December 9 Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $615,551