Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Rare and Important Thomas Jefferson 1814 Autograph Letter Signed Written from his Virginia home, "Monticello," in February 23, 1814, this letter shows a typical side of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), third U.S. President (1801-1809). Despite his brilliant mind and virtually unequaled accomplishments, Jefferson was almost always in a cash bind! His refusal to compromise an elegant lifestyle and his endless work on his Monticello estate were a constant drain. The War of 1812 had virtually shut down American trade, as the British Navy largely controlled the seas. This was a real hardship for landowners like Jefferson, who depended on export sales of crops for cash flow. In this letter Jefferson asks his agent, "Mr. Gibson," for an advance of "an hundred dollars by the return of post, in small bills." He discusses the market activity in flour, noting that he had heard the price was up a bit, but that he would not want his agent to be too cagey and risk losing the business: "I would not want a sale of mine to be lost for a quarter dollar of difference." He goes on, "For I think peace will grow out of the existing negotiations, it will not be in time to dispose of the crop now at hand, and I see no other prospect offering the type of a fair price." Jefferson was right, as it turns out. Peace was not declared until the very end of the year. A sale was crucial since "On the 1st of May I shall have to draw on you for 200 D., and in April and May about the same sums will come due." A fine content letter with a strong, bold clean signature. There is some minor discoloration across the top, caused by bleeding through of the glue from ancient album mounting. A light water stain and several small fox marks detract minimally; overall a fine missive. The watermark on the paper, "Amies," is clearly visible in the field below the text. This letter bears a docket on the verso in the hand of Thomas Jefferson which reads, "Gibson Patrick Feb. 23," which indicates that this is a retained copy of the letter sent to Gibson. This letter was most likely accomplished simultaneously with the original using Jefferson's polygraph machine. This machine allowed the writer to compose the same letter twice in order to retain a copy for reference. As most of these letters were retained by Jefferson, it is most unusual to see this example on the market. The marketplace assigns to such letters full status as Jefferson hand-written works. Accompanied by COA from PSA/DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2005
    13th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,224

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 May 2 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search