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Historic Autograph Letters, Manuscripts & Documents

Important Signed & Inscribed Books and Photographs


MONROE, JAMES. (1758-1831). Fifth President of the United States. Autograph Document Signed, “Jas Monroe”, as Secretary of State under James Madison. One page, 7”x 2½” [Washington], Jan[uar]y 31, 1814. Unobtrusive cancellation cuts, repaired on verso, one barely touching Monroe’s signature. Written fully in his hand, in the form a check, or more accurately a sight-draft/order.   Fine condition.  Monroe writes:


“Mr. Smith will be pleased to pay to Mr. Bassett for me seventy three dol[lar]s

Jan[uar]y 31, 1814      Jas Monroe”


Burwell Bassett had represented Virginia’s Twelfth Congressional District, located on the Chesapeake Bay between the Rappahannock and James rivers and on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, since 1805. For the 1812 election, the district was renumbered the Thirteenth, and Bassett lost his seat to Federalist Thomas M. Bayly. The Ninth and Twenty-first districts, however, to the north and south of the Thirteenth, respectively, sent Republican representatives to Congress. Bassett contested his loss and was granted a seat on the floor of the House of Representatives during discussion of the case, on which the House did not make a final decision until 11 Feb. 1814, when it awarded the seat to Bayly. He, however, was not a candidate for reelection that year. Bassett regained the seat, and the two other coastal districts remained in Republican hands (Martis, Historical Atlas of Political Parties, 78–83; Matthew St. Clair Clarke and David A. Hall, Cases of Contested Elections in Congress, from the Year 1789 to 1834, Inclusive [Washington, 1834], 254–59; Annals of Congress, 13th Cong., 2d sess., 1202; Daily National Intelligencer, 10 Apr. 1815).

Bassett was also a lieutenant colonel of the Sixty-eighth Regiment of Virginia militia, based in James City and York counties (Butler, Guide to Virginia Militia Units, 112) during the War of 1812.


Just an excellent Monroe financially related document, and a perfect place holder while awaiting the opportunity to add an excessively-rare partly-printed version of Monroe check.




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