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Lot 72: Stunning Thomas Jefferson Presidential Free Frank and Autograph Address to David Randolph
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: JEFFERSON, THOMAS. (1743-1826). Founding father and third president of the United States. Free Frank as president. (“free Th. Jefferson”). 1p. 12mo. Washington City, (February 23, 1804). Integral address leaf used to send a letter (no longer present) addressed entirely in Jefferson’s hand to DAVID M. RANDOLPH (c.1759-1830). ********** As Virginia’s representative in the Continental Congress, Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. He went on to serve as governor of Virginia, the United States minister to France and Washington’s secretary of state from 1790-1793. He became vice president under John Adams and, then, the nation’s third president in 1801. During his two terms he doubled the size of the country with the Louisiana Purchase, banned the importation of slaves and attempted to fight British piracy with boycotts and embargos. In addition to his political responsibilities, Jefferson was a highly educated polymath with an intellectual interest in agriculture, architecture, religion, philosophy, and science, who maintained several farms in Virginia and founded the University of Virginia after leaving the presidency. ********** A member of Virginia’s prominent Randolph family, David Meade Randolph was a Revolutionary War veteran and planter. He was related to Jefferson through his marriage to the sister of Jefferson’s son-in-law, Thomas Mann Randolph. In 1791, Jefferson used his influence to get Randolph appointed a marshal of Virginia but, shortly after assuming the presidency, had him removed from that position for jury packing. Randolph’s loss of political power led to a reversal of fortune that he attempted to remediate through speculation in the coal industry and various inventions. He was a vocal critic of Jefferson until their 1823 reconciliation. The letter to which the frank was formerly attached describes Jefferson’s intervention with the Treasury Department to resolve an outstanding dispute between Randolph and the department. ********** Folded with mounting and wax seal traces on the verso, which is docketed with the date. In very good condition. The letter which accompanied our address leaf, pictured, is part of the Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress.