In 1936-1937, the Morris Plan Bank of Virginia ran a promotion in which they produced and distributed approximately 50,000 high-quality facsimiles of a 27 November 1803 letter from Thomas Jefferson to Craven Peyton. In the letter, Jefferson requests an extension on payment of a debt:
"If my note for 558D 14 paiable the 15th of December is still in your own hands, I should be very glad if it could be either postponed awhile or paid by monthly portions, as I find I shall be very hard pressed, during the next month. if however it is gone out of your hands I shall endeavor to make provision for it if possible. accept my friendly salutations and best wishes."
Because they are so finely made and printed on artificially-aged paper, these facsimiles are often mistaken for the original letter. The facsimiles are accompanied by small, modern-style envelopes, rather than the folded sheet of paper used as an address cover by Jefferson and other writers of the time period.
The original recipient copy of this letter is privately owned, and currently on deposit at the University of Virginia; Jefferson's press copy is also located at the University of Virginia.
- "Debtor's Letter." Newsweek 58 (1961).