Lot 8012: James Monroe Signed Handwritten Letter
28th June 2018
ALS signed “Jas. Monroe,” 8 x 10, June 18, 1803. Letter to Nathaniel Cutting, written by Monroe from Paris as the soon-to-be ambassador to Great Britain, in full: "I have so long sinned by neglecting several of my old friends on this side of the water, since my arrival, that the sense of it has really become a severe reproach to me. Among these is yourself and two or three others in England, who however I well know will not hesitate to pardon me especially when you hear my excuse. I expect to be in England in about two weeks at farthest when I shall have the pleasure to see you, as also Mr. Barlow, Mr. Irvine and Mr. Sumpter, to whom be so kind as make my very respectful regards. On publick matters I shall say nothing, nor indeed have I time to add more than the assurance of my sincere & constant friendship." In fine condition, with a small hole above the salutation, and some seal-related paper loss to the hinge. The “publick matters” to which Monroe declines comment likely relate to the recent American purchase of the Louisiana territory from Napoleon. Although he had been formally expelled from France on his last diplomatic mission, President Jefferson ordered Monroe to assist resident Minister to France Robert Livingston with the negotiations. On April 30, 1803, Monroe, Livingston, and Treasury Minister François de Barbé-Marbois signed the historic transaction and promptly doubled the size of America for the sum of $15 million. Just two weeks after writing this letter, Monroe was appointed as US Minister to the United Kingdom. An exceptional offering dating to a most significant period in American expansion.
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