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James Monroe

Bold ink signature of the last of the Founding Fathers to hold the presidency

James Monroe, 1758–1831.  5th President of the United States, 1817–1825.  Signature, Jas Monroe, clipped from a manuscript letter.

This is a nice, dark signature of Monroe, the last of the Founding Fathers to serve as President.  The 1¼" signature is on irregularly trimmed paper measuring approximately 1½" x 3¼".  A portion of the complimentary closing of the letter, in another hand, is above the signature.  Writing on the back in ink in another hand uses the  words “British,” “Marshal of the,” and "District of Maine."

There is a mostly erased pencil notation beneath the signature that appears to date it to 1812, when Monroe served dual roles as Secretary of State and Secretary of War under President James Madison.  The reference to “British" on the back therefore may relate to the War of 1812, although there is no way to know with certainty.

This signature is in very fine condition, and only a light vertical fold through the “Ja" in Madison's first name keeps us from grading it extra fine.  It would be perfect for faming with an engraving or portrait of Monroe.





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