Catalog Archive
Auction 188, Lot 780

Important Document Assuring Friendship between the United States and the Netherlands

"[Thomas Jefferson and James Madision Official Letter to the Executive Directory of the Batavian Republic Signed]", Jefferson, Thomas

Subject: Document Signed - Thomas Jefferson & James Madison

Period: 1801 (dated)


Color: Black & White

11.5 x 18.5 inches
29.2 x 47 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

This unique document is signed by both President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison. The document was sent by Jefferson on behalf of the United States to the Executive Directory of the Batavian Republic (now the Netherlands) to inform them that, "William Vans Murray, their Minister Resident near the Batavian Republic, admitting of his absence, we have yielded to his request to be permitted to return to America..." However the primary intent of the document was to assure the government of the Batavian Republic of the "friendship" of the United States and the desire for continued "harmony." These assurances were particularly important considering the fact that Murray's post was not soon filled by the appointment of a new envoy; in fact the post remained vacant for well over a decade until William Eustis was appointed as Minister of the United States to the Netherlands in 1815.

The Batavian Republic was proclaimed in 1795 as the successor to the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, and lasted until 1806 when the provinces came under French occupation as the Kingdom of Holland and then part of the French Empire. The Kingdom of the Netherlands finally gained independence in March 1815. Eustis was appointed several months later.

This manuscript document was signed by "Th: Jefferson" and "James Madison" on 30 May 1801 in Washington, D.C. The document is addressed on verso "To the Executive Directory of the Batavian Republic" and includes a partial white paper embossed seal with the emblem of the Great Seal of the United States.


Condition: B+

Strong signatures by Jefferson and Madison, issued folding and now flattened with a few short separations and small holes along the folds. There is light soiling, minor toning, and a few spots of foxing.

Estimate: $5,500 - $7,000

Sold for: $6,000

Closed on 6/22/2022