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    Description

    Thomas Jefferson Circular Letter Signed "Th: Jefferson" with Free Frank Signed. Two pages of a printed bifolium, 7.75" x 9.75", no place; September 23, 1808. Signed as President to Thomas Burnes and the citizens of Gilmantown, New Hampshire. The circular is a defense of Jefferson's Embargo Act, which had been his answer to the growing tensions between the U.S. and Great Britain in 1807. Several restrictions had been placed upon the U.S. by the British and the French, particularly one that dictated that American vessels were forbidden to sail to foreign ports and that foreign vessels could not carry goods to American ports. Jefferson hoped the Embargo Acts would be an alternative to war with the British, but was met with a great deal of resistance. Jefferson's circular to New Hampshire reads in part:

    "...the belligerent powers have beset the high way of commercial intercourse with edicts which, taken together, expose our commerce and mariners, under almost every destination, a prey to their fleets and armies...To Have submitted our rightful commerce to prohibitions and tributary exactions from others, would have been to surrender our independence. To resist them by arms was war, without consulting the state of things or the choice of the nation. The alternative preferred by the legislature of suspending a commerce placed under such unexampled difficulties...has the peculiar advantage of giving time to the belligerent nations to revise a conduct as contrary to their interests as it is to our rights..." Signed at the conclusion by Jefferson.

    The letter also has a free frank on the integral address leaf signed "Th: Jefferson Pr. U.S."

    Unfortunately, Jefferson was unsuccessful in his attempts to avoid a war with Europe, and the United States entered into war with the British four years later. America's trading rights would not be resolved until the end of the War of 1812 when the Treaty of Ghent was signed in 1815.

    Condition: Flattened folds. Light toning, with foxing throughout. Remnants of a wax seal still present. Multiple holes at the intersections of folds where paper was weakened. Paper loss from where seal was opened. Holes and paper loss have been repaired with archival material. Bold and clear signature by Jefferson.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2020
    12th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,265

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