Lot 8010: James Monroe Signed Handwritten Letter
28th June 2018
ALS signed “Ja's Monroe,” one page both sides, 7.75 x 9.75, May 13, 1792. Letter to influential political economist Tench Coxe, in full: "After adjusting my affrs. here with paying for some articles sent home, altho' I have not been disappointed in the remittances expected, I find it will not be convenient for me to reimburse what you so kindly advanced me, at present. If however you have immediate occasion for the four hundred dolrs. I shall easily procure the amt. for you—or place it on such footing, that drawing it from the bank, it shall be remit[t]ed in time to answr. by engag'ment. Will it likewise be convenient for you to take my draft on the Govr. of Virginia [Henry Lee] for £40 of the currency of that State, payable at 10 days, & furnish me the money here? I wish the aid of that fund with me on the road to guard agnst. accidents, & know not with whom to negotiate a bill. I had intended to have furnished you with some queries upon an interesting political subject, but have been so engaged during the session & since (in the adjustment of the affrs. of some of my constituents) that I have not been able to make the proper division of the subject, or present it to your consideration in that propitious manner I wd. wish. If however you mean to develop it I will write you advice on it in the course of a few weeks." In fine condition, with a light block of toning to the first page. The strides Monroe made, in addition to the bonds he formed during his tenure in the Virginian senate, did much to propel his political career. At the age of 34, Monroe worked closely with Virginian Congressman James Madison and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson in an effort to organize a political party in opposition to the Alexander Hamilton-led Federalist Party. Their labors resulted in the foundation of the Democratic-Republican Party in 1792, with that year’s presidential election exhibiting the first instance of American partisan politics. While all favored the reelection of George Washington as president, Monroe and the Democratic-Republicans opposed the reinstatement of John Adams as vice president by backing New York Governor George Clinton. In the end, Washington was elected unanimously, receiving 132 electoral votes, with Adams coming in second with 77, and Clinton with 50. The recipient, Coxe, was appointed revenue commissioner by President George Washington on June 30, 1792, and served until he was removed by President John Adams. An exceptional letter dating to the very formation of America’s two-party system.
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