George Washington letter to Thomas Jefferson to auction for $1,500,000

One of the great historical letters of the United States of America is to be auctioned on 15th November at Freeman's Auctions in Philadelphia with an estimate of $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.

George Washington letter to Thomas Jefferson to sell at Freeman's auctions for $1m
Image: Freeman's


The one page letter was written by George Washington to Thomas Jefferson a day after the New United States Constitution was adopted on 17th September 1787, by 39 of 55 delegates.

Written from Philadelphia, and dated 18th September 1787, Washington writes: 

Dear Sir,

Yesterday put an end to the business of the Federal Convention – Enclosed is a copy of the Constitution it agreed to recommend.

Not doubting but that you have participated in the general anxiety which has agitated the minds of your Countrymen on this interesting occasion. I shall be pardened I am certain for this endeavour to relieve you from it, especially when I assure you of the sincere regard and esteem with which I have the honor to be,

Dear Sir, Yr. most obedt. & / Most Hble Servt

Go: Washington

His Excell(enc)y Thos Jefferson.

At the time Thomas Jefferson was Minister to France and absent from the constitutional proceedings as he was based in Paris, but regularly updated by letters from John Adams and John Jay.

With the Constitution agreed on the 17th September, by the 18th 500 copies had been printed, of which 13 are known to exist today, the last of which sold for $43,000,000 in 2021 as a Sotheby's auction, making it the most expensive book or manuscript ever sold.

Washington included one of the newly printed copies of the Constitution in his letter to Jefferson, but it's location today is unknown.

The Washington/Jefferson letter is considered an important correspondence between two of the United States' Founders and was last sold at Christie's in New York in 2006 in their fine printed books and manuscripts sale.

George Washington’s personal copy of the United States Constitution sold at a Sotheby's auction in June 2012 for $9,800,000 and is now on display in the Mount Vernon library.

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