JEFFERSON, THOMAS. 1743-1826.
FIRST SILK BROADSIDE OF JEFFERSON'S SECOND INAUGURAL SPEECH
President Jefferson's Inaugural speech. : On the 4th inst. at 12 o'clock, Mr. Jefferson appeared in the Chamber of the United States' Senate, where his re-election was declared, and the necessary oath administered to him. On this occasion he delivered the following speech. [Boston: The Democrat, 1805.] Broadside printed in two columns on silk. 345 x 535 mm. Light spotting on left margin, a few small holes at upper left corner, generally age toned, else an exceptionally well preserved example.
Immediately following Jefferson's second inaugural speech on March 4, 1805, newspapers from across the Northeast rushed to publish the text, starting with the Baltimore American the following day. Subsequent papers followed suit as the text reached outlying areas, with the first printing in Massachusetts in the Boston Democrat on March 16th. Not to be outdone, the Democrat printed the text to fill its entire front page, and was apparently the first to issue a deluxe souvenir broadside version for sale on the same day, printed on commemorative white satin. In the publisher's words, "This document cannot be raised in the estimation of our readers, by any comments within our power to advance. To pay our small tribute of respect to its author, we have directed our attention for its display in the Democrat, in some degree correspondent with its invaluable merit. Those who wish it preserved as an ornament, to adorn the parlor, while it will afford a rich treasure of instruction for their budding offspring; are respectfully informed that we have printed a number on elegant WHITE SATIN, to answer so desirable a purpose."
The exact number of actual subscribers is uncertain, but to this day the only other surviving copies noted by Noble Cunningham in his recent monograph are at the Library of Congress and the University of Virginia (Noble E. Cunningham, The Inaugural Addresses of Thomas Jefferson, 1801 and 1805. Columbia, University of Missouri Press, 2001. p 90 & figure 6-3.).