1805 Letter Penned by Thomas Jefferson Offered for Sale at $35K

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 08:20 AM

By Michael Mullins

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An 1805 letter written by President Thomas Jefferson is being sold by a dealer of rare historical documents for $35,000.

In the letter, the Founding Father discusses his Poplar Forest plantation in Virginia with his friend and estate manager, expressing his desire to have the property appraised so he can begin having portions of it designated to his grandchildren as part of their inheritance. Jefferson had eight grandchildren between his two daughters.

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The July 24, 1805, letter belonged to an anonymous collector and is being sold by the Raab Collection in Philadelphia, which on its website claims to be "the nation's leading historical autograph dealer [of] important historical autographs, historical documents, and signed letters."

Having been unknown until recently, the historic letter from Jefferson shows that even while serving as president, Jefferson's mind was occupied with family and the legacy he would be leaving his grandchildren, Raab Collection president Nathan Raab told The Associated Press.

According to the Raab Collection, the 4,800 acre Poplar Forest plantation, which Jefferson inherited from his father-in-law John Wayles, was used as the Founding Father's personal retreat and once served as a hideaway for the family when they were avoiding capture by the British in the summer of 1781. The plantation was also a revenue source for Jefferson, who kept nearly 100 slaves on the site to harvest wheat, corn, and tobacco.

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