An Original and Famous Printing of Jefferson’s Words of Advice: “Adore God. reverence and cherish your parents. Love your neighbor as yourself; and your country more than life.”

This document came directly from the descendants of General Robert Milroy and is unknown copy, never offered for sale before.

It also contains a reproduction of Jackson’s later note on the same sheet of paper

On March 15, 1813, Sarah Grotjan, wife of Philadelphia newspaper publisher Peter Grotjan, wrote to Thomas Jefferson, notifying the former president that she had been caring for an unfortunate and unfamiliar woman “called Mrs. Bradley, whose name...

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An Original and Famous Printing of Jefferson’s Words of Advice: “Adore God. reverence and cherish your parents. Love your neighbor as yourself; and your country more than life.”

This document came directly from the descendants of General Robert Milroy and is unknown copy, never offered for sale before.

It also contains a reproduction of Jackson’s later note on the same sheet of paper

On March 15, 1813, Sarah Grotjan, wife of Philadelphia newspaper publisher Peter Grotjan, wrote to Thomas Jefferson, notifying the former president that she had been caring for an unfortunate and unfamiliar woman “called Mrs. Bradley, whose name she tells me, was formerly Julia Webb and that she had the honour to be known and reside in your family.” Eleven years later, Mrs. Grotjan wrote Jefferson for “the second and perhaps the last, time.” After refreshing the former president’s memory about their previous correspondence in 1813, Mrs. Grotjan writes that she has long held respect for Jefferson’s “character, which will only expire with my life.” Consequently, she informs him that she has a newborn son and had “resolved to bestow upon him the name of Thomas Jefferson Grotjan. . . . The favour I request of you on the present occasion, as the chosen Godfather of my child, is, to honour me with a letter addressed to my son, acknowledging the behest made by me, if it contains but two lines, signed by your ever revered name.”

Jefferson responded to Mrs. Grotjan’s letter on January 10 with his own addressed to “Th: Jefferson Grotjan.” In his letter to the infant, Jefferson writes ten lines of advice such as “Adore God. reverence and cherish your parents. Love your neighbor as yourself; and your country more than life.” It is signed from Monticello in January 1824. Interestingly, during a visit to Philadelphia ten years later, President Andrew Jackson paid Peter Grotjan a visit. Grotjan asked the President to add his own thoughts below those of Jefferson’s. Jackson wrote that he could “add nothing to the admirable advice given to his son by that virtuous patriot and enlightened statesman, Thomas Jefferson. The precious relic which he sent to the young child, contains the purist morality, and inculcates the noblest sentiments.” The following year, 1834, an engraving was made of that single-sheet letter by Samuel Maverick. That same year, Benjamin Owen Tyler published the engraving, entitled “A Fac Simile of Jefferson and Jackson’s Letters.” The “Fac Simile” (10″ x 13″) contains explanatory text printed in the margins.

This document came directly from the descendants of Union General Robert Milroy and is unknown copy, never offered for sale before.

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