Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Thomas Jefferson: Letter Written as President. A week before he is renominated for a second term, President Jefferson forwards a copy of Rev. Samuel Knox's "essay on public education" to the American Philosophical Society. Jefferson served as President of the A.P.S. between 1797 and 1815, despite tendering his resignation on two occasions, due to difficulty in access to Philadelphia. Knox published "an essay on the means of improving public education" in 1803. During the 1800 presidential campaign, Jefferson was maligned as a foe of religion. Knox defended Jefferson by writing a pamphlet titled: "A vindication of the religion of Mr. Jefferson, and a statement of his services in the cause of religious liberty." This is an Autograph Letter Signed "Th: Jefferson", one page with integral leaf, 8" x 9.75", Washington, February 18, 1804, to Dr. Caspar Wistar. Normal folds, one passing vertically through the "T" of signature, just nicking the lower left of the "h". Light foxing and toning, brushing of two words, minor creases, not materially affecting the darkly penned and signed presidential letter. In full: "Having received [sic] the enclosed essay on public education from it's [sic] author, the revd Mr. Knox, & as I presume with a view that it should be communicated to the Philosophical society, I take the liberty of putting it under cover to you for that purpose, and present you my salutations & respect." The essay was formally presented to the Society on March 3rd. Wistar succeeded Jefferson as President of the Society, serving from 1815 to his death in 1818.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Nov-Dec, 2011
    30th-1st Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,141

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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

    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 2020 May 3 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Beverly Hills.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 November 14-16 Space Exploration Auction Featuring The Armstrong Family Collection Part IV - Dallas
    2019 November 14-16 Space Exploration Auction Featuring The Armstrong Family Collection Part IV - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $2,569,038