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Autographs & Mss.Americana

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1 JEFFERSON, THOMAS Autograph Letter Signed to Wilson Cary Nicholas
Montecello 2 pages (one leaf), 9" x 71ŕ2", plus integral blank leaf 23 November 1794. 
AN EXCELLENT LETTER SHOWING JEFFERSON'S OBSESSION WITH NATIONAL EDUCATION ADVANCING AN EDUCATIONAL PROPOSAL "FOR THE GOOD OF OUR COUNTRY...& THE PROMOTION OF SCIENCE AS AN INSTRUMENT TOWARDS THAT" The letter demonstrates Jefferson's lifelong interest in promoting education in Virginia. Believing education vital to the preservation of republican government, Jefferson supported various proposals for improving learning, ranging from his own plan for a statewide public school system, suggested while a member of the House of Delegates in 1778, to the founding of the University of Virginia, in which he played a critical role in the last decade of his life. At this date, Jefferson was in a brief period of retirement from public office, having resigned as Secretary of State in December 1793. Although generally avoiding involvement in public affairs, he was so intrigued by the idea of transplanting the Academy of Geneva to Virginia that he roused himself to action on its behalf. The scheme was proposed by Franćois d'Ivernois (1757-1842), a printer, lawyer and historian from Geneva whom Jefferson had met in Paris in the 1780's and who was then living in exile in England. The Academy of Geneva was an eminent institution, founded by John Calvin in 1559, and the forerunner of the present-day University of Geneva. In a lengthy letter to Jefferson in September 1794, d'Ivernois suggested relocating the school to America, moving its faculty there along with a small group of Genevan exiles, where it would be safe from the political upheavals of Europe. Realizing that this plan would accord with his own desire for educational reform in Virginia, Jefferson took it up with Wilson Cary Nicholas, his county's representative in the Virginia House of Delegates. An old friend of Jefferson's, Nicholas would be a close political ally in the years ahead as a Congressman and Senator from Virginia and then as governor of the state. In this long, closely-written letter, Jefferson explains that he is forwarding to Nicholas "for your perusal & consideration a proposal from a Mr. D'Ivernois," whom he identifies as "a Genevan, of considerable distinction for science and patriotism...of the republican kind, tho you will see that he does not carry it so far as our friends of the National assembly of France. While I was at Paris, I knew him as an exile for his democratic principles, the aristocracy having then the upper hand, in Geneva. He is now obnoxious to the Democratic party. "The sum of his proposition," Jefferson states, "is to translate the academy of Geneva in a body to this country. You know well that the colleges of Edinburgh & Geneva as seminaries of science, are considered as the two eyes of Europe: while Great Britain & America give the preference to the former, all other countries give it to the latter. I am fully sensible that two powerful obstacles are in the way of this proposition," he adds. "1st. the expence: 2dly. the communication of science in foreign languages, that is to say, in French or Latin: but I have been so long absent from my own country as to be an incompetent judge either of the force of the objections, or of the dispositions of those who are to decide on them. The respectability of mr. D'Ivernois' character, &...of the proposition, require an answer from me, and that it should be given on due enquiry." To that end, Jefferson asks Nicholas to sound out other delegates in the Virginia assembly on their support for the plan. Be "so good," Jefferson asks, "as to consider his proposition, to consult on it's expediency and practicability with such gentlemen of the assembly as you think best, & take such other measures as you shall find eligible, to discover what would be the sense of that body were the proposition to be hazarded to them. If yourself & friends approve of it, and think there is hope that the assembly would do so, your zeal for the good of our country in general, & the promotion of science as an instrument towards that, will of course induce you & them to bring it forward in such way as you shall judge best. If on the contrary, you disapprove of it yourselves, or think it would be desperate with the assembly, be so good as to return it to me with such information as I may hand forward to mr. D'Ivernois to put him out of suspence. Keep the matter by all means out of the public papers," he advises, "and particularly if you please, do not couple my name with the proposition if brought forward, because it is much my wish to be in no wise implicated in public affairs." In a warm closing, Jefferson declares, "It is necessary for me to appeal to all my titles for giving you this trouble, whether founded in representation, patriotism or friendship. The last, however, as the broadest is that on which I wish to rely." He has signed, "Th. Jefferson," and his signature is large and clear. A few weeks later, Jefferson forwarded more information from d'Ivernois to Nicholas, but in the end, Virginia's legislators proved unreceptive. As Jefferson explained in a letter to John Adams dated February 6, 1795, Jefferson mentions sending this specific letter present here, and that Nicholas found the plan "could not prevail. The unprepared state of our youths to receive instruction thro' a foreign language, the expence of the institution, and it's disproportion to the moderate state of our population, were insuperable obstacles." Jefferson explained this to d'Ivernois as well in another letter written on the same date. Yet the proposal still so greatly appealed to Jefferson that he wrote to George Washington later that month, explaining d'Ivernois's plan and seeking his support for it. The President opposed the idea in his reply, and at that point, Jefferson finally abandoned all attempts to advance the scheme. There are some slight breaks, but with no loss, along two horizontal folds. The letter is otherwise in fine condition, clean, attractive, and darkly penned. The letter is published, and it may be found, along with related letters, in Catanzariti, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 28, pp. 123-33, 207-9, 217-8, 258-9, 261-4, 268-9, 274-8, 280-1, and 306-9. A letter of excellent content and association. 
Price: 65000.00 USD
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2 LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT - HISTORY Original Los Angeles Police Department Handwritten Receipt, 1880
Los Angeles 1 page, 8” x 4 7/8” March 23, 1880 
Original document, single sheet with engraved letterhead of the Los Angeles Police Department, Office of the Chief of Police, dated March 23, 1880. This piece appears to be a handwritten receipt and reads in Spanish: “$6.00 Don Pedro. Hotel de Paris. deve a A. Aguilar por compostura de dos Cuartos. seis pesos.” Below this, at the bottom of the page, is written in pencil in a different hand: “Recevido Pago. A. Aguilar.” With staple holes at the upper left corner, light horizontal crease from folding, evenly cropped at the bottom edge, else fine. A very early and scarce L.A.P.D. item. Law enforcement in Los Angeles during the 1880s was often a brutal affair, with mob and vigilante violence commonplace. Between 1876 and 1889, the department had seen fifteen Chiefs come and go, often under great duress and suspicious circumstances, as the city's population continued to grow at ever increasing rates, with seemingly little concern or funding for public welfare. 
Price: 450.00 USD
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