Craven Peyton Letter Facsimiles

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: Facsimile of 27 November 1803 letter from Jefferson to Craven Peyton

"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."

Envelope which often accompanies the Peyton letter facsimileBecause 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.

 

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Discussion

says

I have a hand folded envelope, not the modern style of envelope, which appears to be hand written from TJ to Craven Peyton. I know this was the subject of many duplications, but this envelope appears to be authentic, wax seal and all. Any ideas on how to check it's authenticity?

says

We have fairly extensive records of Jefferson's letters, and the first step in figuring out whether you might have an authentic one is to find out if any copies of the letter in question are unlocated (there can potentially be three or more copies of a given letter). If you'd like to share the date of your letter with me, I can check our records to see if any copies of the letter from TJ to Peyton of that date are unlocated. If you prefer, you can also email me at library@monticello.org.

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