Thomas Jefferson to Wythe, 17 March 1793

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Thomas Jefferson said that he was unable to send the seal with anyone going directly to Richmond because it was not ready in the morning when everyone was leaving. The reason for the delay was that the engraver had mistakenly thought the Y was a Ψ and had to fix it. Jefferson gave the seal to James Madison and Colonel Monroe who were going to Fredericksburg and would find someone there that could take it to Richmond. Jefferson tells Wythe that the total cost came out to 64 dollars. The metal chosen for the seal was brass because of the likelihood of steel rusting and the proclivity for silver to be stolen.

"Thomas Jefferson to Wythe, 17 March 1793." Image from the Library of Congress, The Thomas Jefferson Papers.

Letter text

Philadelphia Mar. 17. 1793

Dear Sir

Your seal not being finished till this morning I was not able to send it by any of the gentlemen bound directly to Richmond. I now put it into the care of mr Madison & Col. Monroe, who go to Fredericksburg & there will find some person going to Richmond. it has been delayed by an error in the engraver, who in engraving the word ΕΥΘΕΙΑΝ, mistook the Y for a Ψ and had engraved the latter character. on discovering the error I sent it back to him, and he had to erase two or three of the neighboring letters to get the whole to stand right. the price is sixty four dollars. brass has been preferred to steel, because of the liableness of the latter to rust, and to silver for its liableness to be stolen. I am with great & unceasing affection, my dear sir,

your sincere friend & obedt. servt.

P.S. Rapahanae is the orthography of the drawing

Th: Jefferson

See also