Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) President and author of the Declaration of Independence, very fine content Autograph Letter Signed "Th: Jefferson" as President, one page, 8" x 9.75" with integral address leaf, Washington, December 31, 1802 to Caesar A. Rodney, the nephew of the Signer.

    Jefferson begins his letter by discussing the matter of an unpaid bill: "I thank you for the mention you made in yours of the 19th of my subscription to the academy, immediately after subscribing I had set it down on a list of presents... to be made by mr John Barnes of this place, he transacts all my pecuniary affairs. I supposed it paid, and he supposed it was to be called for, and thus it has laid and would have laid but for your letter which recalled my attention to it. mr Barnes will now immediately remit it to mr Latimer according to the printed advertisement."

    Upon concluding the subject of his more than troubled personal finances, he focuses on the coming legislative season: "Congress is not yet engaged in business of any note. we want men of business among them. I really wish you were here. I am convinced it is in the power of any man who understands business, and who will undertake to keep a file for the business before Congress & to press it as he would his own docket in a court, to shorten the sessions a month one year with another, & to save in that way 30,000 D[ollars] a year. An ill-judged modesty prevents those from undertaking it who are equal to it. You will have seen by the message that there is little interesting proposed to be done. the settlement of the Mississippi territory is among the most important. So also, in my opinion, is the proposition for the preservation of our Navy, which otherwise will either be entirely rotten in 6 or 8 years, or will cost us 3 or 4 millions in repairs. Whether the proposition will surmount the doubts of some, and false economy of others, I know not. Accept assurances of my great esteem & respect. Th: Jefferson"

    While Jefferson served as Vice President under Adams, he opposed the Administration's naval buildup during the quasi-war with France. Once in the White House, however, he was faced with a new crisis. The Barbary state of Tripoli had declared war on the United States after Jefferson refused to pay them what amounted to protection money. In response, he sent a fleet to the Mediterranean and fought a four-year naval war. Hence Jefferson saw the need for a strong navy. At the same time, Jefferson was able to cut the federal debt by one third. His focus on settling the Mississippi Territory would be soon overshadowed by his surprise acquisition of the Louisiana Territory. Another offering with wonderful, historic content. Fine condition. Vintage Jefferson engraving included. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,176

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% 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

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search