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Lot 2: Thomas Jefferson Handwritten and Signed Letter
Winter Discovery Auction
February 7, 2013
Miami, FL, USA
Description: A compassionate Jefferson sends $400 for the wives of Italian sculptors Michele and Giacomo Raggi to join their husbands in America as they carved the Ionic and Corinthian capitals on the columns of the Rotunda of the University of Virginia. Autograph Letter Signed "Th: Jefferson," one page, 7.75" x 3.75". Monticello, February 15, 1820. To John Vaughan. Light toning at perimeter and light show-through of docketing on verso. Darkly penned and signed by Jefferson. Fine condition. In full, "I yesterday took the liberty of inclosing a draft for 400.D. with a request to remit it to Mr Appleton, and promised by the ensuing mail to send the letters of advice for him as to it's [sic] disposition. This I now do, and therefore pray you to forward them to him with the remittance, and repeat to you my affectionate and respectful salutations." John Vaughan (1756-1841) was an English wine merchant and long-time treasurer and librarian for the American Philosophical Society. Jefferson later wrote Michele, "On the 19th. of Feb. 1819. yourself and your relation Giacomo Raggi entered into a Notorial contract in Leghorn, with Mr. Appleton, acting in my name, on behalf of the University of Virginia, to come to Virginia, and continue in our service as Sculptor for the term of three years from that date ... when afterwards you both became desirous that your wives should come to you, we remitted to Mr Appleton 400. D. the sum you desired, to enable them to come. They declined coming. Yourself became uneasy & desponding, declared you could not continue here according to your contract, without your wife, and solicited to be discharged from your obligation ... during the 15 months you were here, for this you know, we have nothing to show but a single Ionic capitel, and an unfinished Corinthian..." To place a bid go to www.oneofakindauctions.com