Partly-printed vellum DS, signed “Th: Jefferson” as president and “James Madison” as secretary of state, one page, 12.5 x 14.5, October 1, 1805. An offical patent issued to “Samuel Bartlett a Citizen in the United States, [who] hath alledged that he has invented a new and useful improvement being a Clay pipe for Conduits.” Neatly signed at the conclusion by President Jefferson and Secretary of State Madison, as well as Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith. The embossed white paper seal and light blue ribbons to the left side remain intact. The second page, still attached by the binding ribbon, contains Bartlett’s own description of the manufacturing techniques used in making conduits out of clay. In fine condition, with intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing through a couple letters of Madison’s signature), both signatures a shade light, and foxing to folds on the second page. A fire in the patent office on December 15, 1836, destroyed a great majority of patents issued by the United States government over the previous forty years. Approximately 10,000 patent documents were lost, with about 2,800 recovered. When creating a filing system for these documents years later, all patents issued prior to the fire were numbered with an ‘X’ prefix—this example designated as ‘X637.’ As an uncommon example of such an ‘X’ patent in its complete and original form signed by two of America’s important early presidents, this is a fascinating document of historical interest. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA.
Category Archives: James Madison
Bank of Columbia check, 6.25 x 2.5, filled out and signed by Madison as president, “James Madison,” payable to Cudden Davis for $3000, September 28, 1816. In very good condition, with overall toning, expected cancellation cuts to the body, and light dampstaining affecting a central portion of the signature. During this period the White House was being rebuilt after having been torched by the British in 1814, and Madison would not reside there for the rest of his term. A highly desirable check penned by a sitting president for an unusually hefty sum. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA.
Scarce war-dated Bank of Columbia check, 7.5 x 2.5, filled out and signed by Madison as president, payable to Thos. Magrath or bearer for $57, April 20, 1814. Affixed to a slightly larger mount. Expected cancellation cuts (two passing through the first letters of his last name) and light scattered stains, otherwise fine condition. Madison wrote this check as the War of 1812 raged on, reaching a domestic crescendo just four months later when the British invaded Washington and burned the White House and Capitol. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Highly desirable war-dated partly-printed DS as president, one page, 15.5 x 9.75, November 4, 1812. President Madison appoints Asa Axtell as “Second Lieutenant of Volunteers in the service of the United States.” Boldly signed at the conclusion by Madison and countersigned by Secretary of War William Eustis. The paper seal affixed to the lower left remains fully intact with light toning. Intersecting folds and some noticeable foxing and dampstaining, otherwise fine condition; all writing and both signatures are extremely crisp and bold for a document of this era. On this same date, Madison sent his final State of the Union address to Congress, most of which focused on the war effort and included strong support for the volunteer troops, who were often poorly compensated and short on supplies. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.