Letter Signed by Jefferson to Make Rare Appearance at State Capitol


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Photo courtesy of North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Visitors to the State Capitol can see a letter signed by Thomas Jefferson, third president of the U.S., June 22-July 11. The document bearing the signature of the author of the Declaration of Independence and founding father of the country, will make a rare appearance. This treasure is on a limited loan from the vault of the State Archives of North Carolina.

The letter written in 1816 to Nathaniel Macon, U.S. Senator from North Carolina, concerned the creation of a statue for the North Carolina State House to honor George Washington. Macon requested suggestions of a sculptor from Jefferson, who advised that only Italian sculptor Antonio Canova should create such a statue. North Carolina commissioned the creation of a statue by Canova based on Jefferson’s recommendation.

The original statute was installed in the first state house in 1821. Unfortunately, it was destroyed when the State House burned down in 1831, but a copy now stands in the Capitol’s rotunda. You can view the statue’s copy, as well as pieces of the original Canova statue, displayed as part of the Capitol’s new exhibit, “George Washington is Here: Images of the Founding Father in North Carolina’s State Capitol.”

For more information about the State Capitol and the State Archives of North Carolina, visit nchistoricsites.org/capitol and/or archives.ncdcr.gov

Source: North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

 

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