Princeton: February 14th, 1769
Single page ADS by the hand of the Signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Witherspoon. Measuring 7.5 x 4.5. Reading: "On sight of this please pay to the order of Jonathan Baldwin Steward of the College of New Jersey the sum of forty six Pounds ten Shillings…money of New Jersey & place to my Account with the said College ——- Jno Witherspoon.” Addressed “To Mr Jonathan / Sergeant Treasurer of the / College of New Jersey,” and “Recd. of the Treasurer / Jon Baldwin.” A rare surviving record of Witherspoon’s formative work as president and head professor of Princeton University, then the College of New Jersey. He transformed the school from a small college that trained clergymen, into a more secular, academically rigorous institution designed to shape the leaders of a country. The very year this letter was signed, Aaron Burr entered Princeton under Witherspoon’s tutelage, as did the young James Madison, who would become the “Father of the Constitution.” Witherspoon later became a member of the emergent American congress, and would assert “that a plan of union should be laid down for all the colonies” in opposition of British policy. His contribution to the American Revolution was major, yet of all the Signers of the Declaration, his manuscripts and documents are among the rarest.