A previously unknown letter by former US President Thomas Jefferson has been uncovered by Nathan Raab, a rare documents dealer and author of a newly-published book ‘The Hunt for History’. The letter is said to have shed light on the desire of the US founders to encourage “innovation and invention” in the country.
The letter was said to have been written to his chief aide by Jefferson in September 1790, when the latter was serving as the US Secretary of State and was also a member of a three-person board to assess new inventions. The letter highlights the first two inventions “blessed and patented by the new US government,” according to Raab.
“This discovery highlights how the hunt continues every day and why I wanted to write this book,” he said, adding that, “it also shows us that the founders understood the importance of protecting innovation and invention and how they did it. I have never seen another such letter of Jefferson, let alone one that is new to scholars. I continue to be inspired by the hard work and vision of the men and women who came before us”.
Raab, who on Tuesday listed the letter for sale, suggested that it could be valued at an estimated $50,000. The businessman claimed that the document had been in a private collection for nearly a century.