MONROE, James. Autograph letter signed ("James Monroe"), as President, to Charles Fenton Mercer (1778-1858), Washington, D. C., 21 November 1821. 1 page, 4to, slight spotting along edges. Matted and framed.
A PRESIDENTIAL ALS EXTOLLING A FORMER SENATOR: "Mr. Rutherford, formerly a Senator of the U. States from Jersey, & with whom I had the pleasure to serve, & for whom I have great respect & esteem, will present to you this letter. He has an interest at Snigger's Gap, beyond the [Shenandoah] mountain, in some land which I understand belonged to your uncle Colonel George Mercer, now in the occupancy of a Mr. Cashman, which forms the motive of his visit thither, at this time. It occurred to me that you might be able to give him useful information on that subject, & being well satisfied that you would take an interest in rendering any services in your power to so respectable & worthy a character, I offered to give him this introduction to you..."
The land Monroe mentions was prime real estate, for Snigger's Gap (alternatively known at the time as Snicker's Gap, and now, exclusively so), in Frederick, Virginia, was the starting point for the first stone paved road built under the auspices of the United States government. It also became the first turnpike in the country and ran to Alexandria. Charles Fenton Mercer was a member of the House of Representatives from 1817 to 1839, where he served as chair of the Committee on Roads and Canals. He was also founder and first president of the famous Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Co.