DescriptionJohn Jay Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 7.75" x 9.25", New York, September 6, 1792, to Judge Henry Marchant, a U.S. federal judge from Rhode Island, regarding the importance of information to a free society. In part:
"Your solicitude for the Honor and Welfare of our Country is patriotic. If similar sentiments prevailed more generally, they would be less Reason for anxiety. But my good Friend, in the present State of Society in this country, we must not expect to be entirely exempt from the Influence of private passions or public affairs. The people of the U.S. possess more Information than the people of any other Country, but they do not in my opinion yet possess a sufficient Degree of it. Ignorance & credulity will always be steeped and milled[?] by artifice and Design. When all are informed, few will be deceived, and it is only from the Number that may be deceived that Danger & mischief are to be apprehended."
John Jay (1745-1829) wore many important hats during his lifetime: American politician, statesman, patriot, diplomat, a founding father of the United States, president of the Continental Congress, the first chief justice of the United States, and member of New York's Board of Regents. When he wrote this letter, he was serving as the first chief justice of the Supreme Court. Henry Marchant (1741-1796) served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress and, later a signer of the Articles of Confederation. This letter, written on laid paper, has toned. Jay's signature is bold and large.
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