Secretary of State Madison directs the Purveyor of Public Supplies to auction off surplus goods returned aboard the George Washington

    James Madison Autograph Letter Signed as Secretary of State. One page, 7.75" x 9.75", "Department of State," September 29, 1803. Madison writes to Tench Coxe, a political economist then serving as the Purveyor of Public Supplies, regarding unidentified items to be sold at auction.

    In part: "Neither the value of the articles returned in the George Washington nor the circumstance of their being public property recommends their being sold abroad. The best manner of disposing of them will probably be to advertise them for sale at auction and have the advertisement inserted a few times in the New York and Baltimore papers, to give the Druggists of those places an opportunity of a competition for their purchase... Having no spare copies of the laws to exchange for those intended for Tennessee and which are now detained at Pittsburg [sic], I will thank you to write to Mr. Hook to return them to you and to charge yourself with their transmission to the Governor of Tennessee. I have the honor to be, Sir, with much respect, your most obed. Servt. James Madison."

    As the chief purchasing officer for the U.S. government, Coxe was responsible for acquiring all military ordnance and supplies, as well as getting rid of unwanted or unneeded items. Letter is moderately toned with a minor paper clip stain at upper left. Boldly penned.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
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