Presidents: Postmark Monticello

Postmark Monticello

A thousand dollars a word is a hefty price to pay for any document, but this one is special. Written in 1818 by the 75-year-old Thomas Jefferson to Mordecai Noah, one of America's first Zionists, the letter contains a stirring attack on anti-Semitism and all forms of religious bigotry.

"Your sect by it's sufferings," wrote the author of the Declaration of Independence, "has furnished a remarkable proof of the universal spirit of religious intolerance, inherent in every sect, disclaimed by all while feeble, and practised by all when in power." After spirited bidding at Sotheby's in New York City, the browned,...

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