Description

    James Monroe Autograph Letter Signed "James Monroe," 1.25 pages, 8" x 9.75", front and verso. Oak Hill, January 18, 1829. In full, "I ought long since to have answerd your kind letter and regret that I have not done it, but in truth I have so little desire, to assume any pretention, founded on my publick services, or to yield, to the indulged & generous feelings of those of my fellow citizens, who thinks favorably of them, that I shrink from every appeal of the kind, which reaches me. Having long served my country, with integrity & zeal, I cherish retirement, and derive much consolation from a review of the past, especially as our success, under all the difficulties to which we have been exposed, furnishes good ground on which to calculate on its continuance. I trust that we shall not only continue to be free and happy, but to present an example, which will be useful to other nations. My indisposition, proceeding from the accident with which you are acquainted, forced me to delay this acknowledgment, much longer than I otherwise should have done. From the injury thus received, I have now recovered. If you will be so kind, as to mention the names of the distinguished citizens whose signatures you wish to possess, and I should have examples of them with which I can part, I will certainly send them to you. Should you pass in this direction, it will afford me pleasure to see you. With great respect & esteem, I am dear sir your obt. Servant." James Monroe served his country "with integrity & zeal" as Member of the Continental Congress from Virginia (1783-1786), U.S. Senator (1790-1794), Minister to France (1794-1796, 1803), Governor of Virginia (1799-1802, 1811), Minister to Great Britain (1803-1807), Secretary of State (1811-1817), Secretary of War (1814-1815), and President of the United States (1817-1825). Although he writes he cherishes retirement, he agreed to serve as a delegate and President of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829. In a speech at the convention on November 2, 1829, less than ten months after penning this letter, Monroe reiterated his belief that slavery was wrong and proposed that, with the financial assistance of the federal government, Virginia emancipate and deport its slaves. It would be the issue of slavery that would prevent the continuance of the success and happiness hoped for by Monroe in this letter. James Monroe moved to New York City in 1831 and died there on July 4, 1831, five years to the day after the deaths of his fellow countrymen, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The letter has been tipped to a 10.25" x 14.25" sheet. It is lightly stained on both sides from the seal on the integral address leaf which is not present. Darkly penned and signed, the letter is in very fine condition. Accompanied by a 10.5" x 14" portrait of Monroe (image, 8" x 10") with facsimile signature.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
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