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    Description

    Thomas Jefferson Autograph Letter Signed "Th:Jefferson." One page, 7" x 5.5" (sight), Monticello [Virginia], May 10, 1818, to James Rawlings regarding a debt Jefferson owes. He writes, in full:

    "Yours of Mar. 21 came to hand in the moment of my departure on a journey from which I am but just now returned, or the answer should not have been so long delayed. These arrearages have occurred from inattention partly, but chiefly from the circumstances that no agent has applied for them. I now inclose [sic] an order on Mr. Gibson for 71.90 insurance & interest from 1814 to 1818 inclusive on my house at this place, and if I could be reminded, or recollect it myself annually, it should be punctually paid in Richmond in the same way. I tender you the assurance of my respect."

    Thomas Jefferson lived in debt through a majority of his life. He had inherited a huge debt from his father-in-law upon his death in 1774. He was very wealthy in land and slaves, but farming was unreliable. Despite his wealth, Jefferson was mostly to blame for his financial situation. He lived well beyond his means, spending vast amounts of money on material goods, and was himself a creditor. Repayment on his loans were unreliable and he often had to take a loss. After his death, he debt was estimated by his grandson and executor of his estate, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, to have been upwards of $107,000, a staggering amount of money in the early nineteenth century.

    Jefferson's signature is very bold and bright. Some minor damage at lower left corner, else fine. Matted and framed with a 4.75" x 5.5" portrait engraving of Jefferson to an overall size of 22.5" x 14.5".


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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