A historic letter regarding the Montauk Point Lighthouse, written in 1793 and housed in Special Collections of the University Libraries, has been conserved. In the letter, dated 21 February 1793, George Clinton, the first Governor of New York, writes to his friend Thomas Jefferson, who would later be elected as Vice President, about the transfer of land in Montauk, Long Island, New York to the United States of America. The Second United States Congress under president George Washington subsequently appropriated $20,000 on March 2, 1793 to build a lighthouse in Montauk.
The condition of the letter was fair when it was acquired. The medium is iron gall ink, which is acidic and can deteriorate paper. To stabilize and ensure its longevity, the document was cleaned, mended, humidified, flattened, and re-housed by the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia, one of the largest nonprofit conservation centers in the country. For more information about this letter and others, please visit the website for Special Collections and University Archives.
New York 21st Feb 1793
I have the honor to transmit you
(herewith enclosed) an Exemplification of an Act of the
Legislature of this State ceding the Jurisdiction of certain
Lands on Montauck Point to the United States of America
for the Purposes in the said Act mentioned to be
with the highest respect.
Thomas Jefferson Esq
Secretary of State