Thomas Jefferson Long ALS to Ronaldson "I consider Bonaparte as fighting our battles, and there I wish him success...the treason of Hull, that Dearborn & Harrison have still time to give us Canada"

JEFFERSON, Thomas. Autograph Letter Signed, "Th: Jefferson", 2pp on one sheet measuring 7.75" x 9.75", Monticello, October 11, 1812. Flattened folds; creasing; toning, mostly isolated to edges; several minor splits, imperceptibly professionally conserved. Within, Jefferson writes to James Ronaldson (1769-1841) regarding the farming and manufacturing in Monticello, including both seeds and spindles; he also mentions Napoleon Bonaparte. Reading, in part, with spelling unchanged:

"...I thank you for Cobbet's paper. it will probably arrive by our next post. he is the only man in England who seems to known any thing about us: but his prophecies, like those of Cassandra, are fated not to be believed. We must fight them into a knolege of us. their arms I fear not; but their money has shewn itself plainly enough in Masachusets and Detroit. we shall in all events derive permanent benefit from the war, by it's giving time for the permanent establishment of our manufacturers, to which the high duties, you mention, will contribute, while they also enrich our treasury...but to enable the country people to bear war taxes, a vent for their produce is indispensable. they would soon become dissatisfied were they to see this rot on their hands. this is one reason for encouraging the exportation of provisions to the peninsul. another reason is that the English armies there, altho' our enemies, are really righting our battles. no nation is more interested than we are in having the Peninsul saved from the gripe of Bonaparte whose capricious passions & commercial ignorance will exclude us from every port he can get hold of...I should not fear 40,000 men, landed in America, I would rather encounter 10,000 only. in the Baltic I consider Bonaparte as fighting our battles, and there I wish him success so far as necessary to close that sea.- I hope notwithstanding the treason of Hull, that Dearborn & Harrison have still time to give us Canada this season from the Chaudiere upwards…"

Provenance: Stewart R. Crane Family Collection.

James Ronaldson was co-founder of the first permanent type foundry in the United States, Binny & Ronaldson. In 1806, the printers notably received tools and equipment that Benjamin Franklin had purchased from Pierre Simon Fournier in France twenty years earlier, which helped to bolster their name in the industry. It was around this time that Ronaldson first met Thomas Jefferson, and the two quickly bonded over the topic of manufactures. In particular, Ronaldson had previously purchased a farm with partner Binny where they worked to raise sheep, which may explain the interest in wool and textiles evident in many of his letters. Indeed, Ronaldson lobbied incessantly for the imposition of tariffs on imports to encourage the development of domestic industries, which became a reoccurring theme in the nearly two dozen letters the men exchanged over the next eighteen years.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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