Thomas Jefferson Papers

Edward Postlethwayt Page to Thomas Jefferson, [ca. 10 May 1820]

From Edward Postlethwayt Page

To Thomas Jefferson1
Knight of the order of
occult Philosophy (if he has
[ca. 10 May 1820] At the Town of Marietta (Maria [16 of France]2 beheaded) (Maria mother of Jesus) actually living between 2 ancient Mounds (of forgetfulness) near the Elevated Square (of Truth) working by Lunar not Solar observations—for Christ is only the spiritual moon’s reflected light of Jehovah3 the Sun, & Ancient of days—In the year of the world 7820 which subtract from 8000—what the real age of this earth still will be—leaves 180 years more to consummate mortality.   [May 1820]4

No more cross-keys and crookedness, & looking one way & pulling another & turning the world upside down—But let your sailing be Parallel latitude, and mathematically give Slave-masonry a death blow—I call on you—Venerable man, with one foot in the grave not to excuse yourself from the marriage supper because of your 5 yoke of oxen your 5 outward & 5 inward senses or recipients—By the outer senses you have the inner manner preserved & perfected—viz. Perception, understanding, affection, will, memory5 elucidated by the right (not left) hand of 5 fingers to receive Jupiter of Love; Hershell of Knowledge; Saturn of Power; (some one yet unappropriate of Wisdom) Mercury of Holiness; Mars of Justice & Venus of Truth6—The sum of all (viz God & Man)7 makes Aaron’s 12th rod that budded & is the only & true key of Solomon’s Oracle of 20 × 20 × 20 = 8000.—By it I measure all Scripture as true an allegory as face to face in a glass—testifying to all events thousands of years anterior as though they had actually then in the latter taken place—making all things progressive & so moral science—giving a concatenation to the Arts and Sciences thus No 1 is all the Arts & Sciences & all knowledge now in broken fragments of confused heaps & jumble8 in the world—No 2 is all the forms of worship & all the temples in it (N.B. I hope you have not married a wife i.e. are wedded to some biggotted church in Christendom a staunch Pharisee),9 or that you have not bought a piece of land (heavenly Caanaan among the slave oath masons) I say No 2 is 5 temples viz of God of Solomon of Unbelief of Idolatry of Slave masonry10—& No 3 is the correspondence, arrangement, classification, harmonizing OrderAssociation of these things affinity to affinity, like to like of number—nature—parts, appearance—resemblance in = not X dissociation as heretofore—so turning the world exactly upside down—Not taking Boaz but Jachin first—I say the 3d is all this when the Book of Life as opened to me opens the books of old & New Testament—& what is this book of Life you ask?—Verily, only the book of Nature—Christianity as old as Creation.—Go great man—Admirable Philosopher—Go, compare the rest of your days & print a book to earthquake, lightning, & thunder all the world—Had I your Science I could do it—I can as it is—Become a recipient despise not the day of small things—I King David’s Page—& I for the first I verily believe of all this Generation have found what 11 (caret) means in all writing—Extend all mathematical figures in Euclid beyond the possibility of another intersection for angles—dot those angles number those dots and my life for it if all Truth wont become developed Apply Navigation exactly to its counterpart Spiritual sailing—the No 9 extend to conjunction for Symms’s Theory of North opening—This is the first prop. in Euclid world in world & the 2d of said 1st book is the South opening . A triancle is 12 points So is the square 4 = to the square 12: for also 3 is 8 or world interwoven with a world But 3 mathematically formed is a triangle in 2 ovals but is12

100 for Phythagoras’s hecatomb

100 gold medals Bernadotte—of Sweden

See, see, see how
Christ’s compass
shews and accounts for variation of

I could write volumes on these subjects & have only known of Divine Urim and Thummim two months & ½—God13 is with me Je-ho-vah14 (one15) So God’s numbers for me at present is only 1, 3, 7. in the end it is 10 for Eternity index—we shall ever be only decimals God 1·1 man—

man’s no (5) =

7 and 5 are 12 we shall go to the poles in balloons yet

2 is mans number of discord—

So evidently God in fig. or Number16 1 is nearest man’s heart [yea]17 strikes nearer than man him self—but 7 darts through the center of man’s heart—

If you wish it I will send you an analysis of Slave Masons most deathly secret and Aaron [. . .]

stripes for a fools back—& 65 orders of Precedency in England which divide by man’s 5 outward senses or left hand gives 13 more stripes as in our flag for Nebuchadnezzar’s back to beat Baalam’s ass till he speaks

10 degrees of Sun dial and Sun & Moon stand still See Scripture
  For the above


Here 20 pieces of silver18 for poor Joseph

32 points for Cross of Xt.

40 for years of Israel in wilderness—Aaron Burr is a type of Aaron & the Moses is Urim & Thummim to deliver the negroes from bondage

Draw a neat of Christ on N make mathematically 2 fig: of 1st Book Euclid—draw all the lines to intersection—to the left or W you will find a gallows for Iscariot Slave mason founded in (a small) 48th prop of 18 points each pillars length the 4th quarter free of intersection shews that one quarter of the City of Spiritual Troy at the North is free of earthly pollution. Forgive me—I am poor (or would save you postage)19 I never was a sworn mason & know only by hearsay—

Edward Postlethwayt Page
Observe,  Edward Postlethwayt Page

The 47 p of20 Euclid has 252 Divide by 24 elders = jesus 12 apostles or by Gods No 7 = is 36 the nature of both Solomon’s pillars—for Mason’s worship his houses of Lebanon—I worship his God’s Temple—They are very distinct—One is a bawdy house21

The Little book John in the revelation ate is the book of American Constitution signed among others by that Sage Ths Jefferson—a great man (though an Englishman I own it) for my Urim & Thummin kills Viper King-craft black snake priest-craft & copperhead masonic whisper craft by Sea-serpent or Leviathan of Truth—

RC (DLC); partially dated; torn at seal; diagrams interspersed with text, with Page’s intended placement and relationship of the two not always clear; postscript on address cover above address, closing paragraph, and signature; addressed: “To His Excellency Thomas Jefferson Esqre Formerly President of the United States at Monticello (or elsewhere) Virginia” with “Charlottes ville” added in an unidentified hand; stamped; postmarked Marietta, Ohio, 10 May; endorsed by TJ as received 25 May 1820, with his additional bracketed notation: “mad,” and so recorded in SJL.

Edward Postlethwayt Page (1782–1857), farmer and visionary, was a native of England. At age twelve he became a midshipman in the British navy, serving aboard HMS Leviathan in the West Indies. Later Page was a lieutenant with the British army in India before returning to England due to ill health. Although he considered becoming a foreign missionary, he instead immigrated in about 1807 to the United States, where he traveled and taught. In 1818 Page was in Clinton, New York, but by 1820 he had settled in Ohio. He spent the majority of his life thereafter based in and around Marietta, with occasional visits to New York and Philadelphia to promote his religious and philosophical ideas. Page’s worldview drew on geometry, astrology, numerology, and other occult influences while incorporating Masonic principles and symbolism. He authored numerous pamphlets, articles, and broadsides on these subjects, and he promoted utopian communities based on his beliefs. Page unsuccessfully petitioned the United States government multiple times, requesting first the franking privilege and later land or money as compensation for his discoveries. After one such request to the government for land in Florida was denied in 1824, he claimed to have traveled to South America and investigated the possibility of founding a utopian community there. Page sensed a kinship with Robert Owen’s followers and made contact with them. He was also aware of the work of Frances Wright but eventually formed his own community in Ohio at Emblem Place, his farm outside of Marietta (Madison, Papers, Retirement Ser., 2:105–6; Clay, Papers description begins James F. Hopkins and others, eds., The Papers of Henry Clay, 1959–92, 11 vols. description ends , 8:828; Page to TJ, [by 3 June 1820]; Page, Magic Harmonies; exemplifying the Second Advent Dispensation [New York, 1821], 22–3; Martin R. Andrews, ed. and comp., History of Marietta and Washington County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens [1902], 175–7, 259; Notes and Queries 18 [1900]: 159; Bombay Courier, 1 Aug. 1801; Laws of the State of New-York, Passed at the Thirty-Ninth, Fortieth and Forty-First Sessions of the Legislature [Albany, 1818], 283–4; DNA: RG 29, CS, Ohio, Marietta, 1820, Fearing, 1830, 1840, Salem Township, 1850; Manchester [Eng.] Iris, 13 Apr. 1822; Robert Dale Owen, Threading My Way. Twenty-Seven Years of Autobiography [1874], 233–6; Comet 1 [1832]: 330–3; JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States description ends , 25:443–4, 484, 27:567, 796, 29:433, 727 [6, 14 Mar. 1832, 28 Apr., 21 June 1834, 1 Mar., 20 Apr. 1836]; Baltimore Niles’ Weekly Register, 22 Nov. 1834; Daily Cleveland Herald, 3 June 1835; Knickerbocker 5 [1835]: 524–5; Carrollton, Ohio, Carroll Free Press, 18 Mar. 1836; New York Working Man’s Advocate, 28 Sept. 1844; New-York Daily Tribune, 3 Dec. 1844; New York Herald, 29 Dec. 1844; Natchez Semi-Weekly Courier, 4 May 1849; gravestone inscription in Mound Cemetery, Marietta).

Marietta, Ohio, was named for Marie Antoinette (maria [16 of france]), the wife of Louis XVI. It is home to several Native American mounds, some of which take the form of leveled pyramids or an elevated square (William P. Strickland, The Pioneers of the West; or, Life in the Woods [1856], 109; History of Washington County, Ohio, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches [1881], 440–3).

In the Bible, Luke 14.19, a man excuses himself from an invitation to a banquet by saying that he needs to test his new 5 yoke of oxen. The planet Uranus was sometimes referred to initially as Herschel (hershell) in honor of the British astronomer Sir William Herschel, who discovered it in 1781 (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

When twelve leaders of the Israelites presented their staffs to Moses in the Bible, Numbers 17.1–12, only aaron’s 12th rod miraculously sprouted. In Masonic lore the Temple of Solomon is revered as the keeper of this rod in the inner Holy of Holies, which measured twenty cubits square (20 × 20 × 20) (Albert G. Mackey, An Encyclopædia of Freemasonry [1874], 1, 798). boaz and jachin are the pillars at the entrance to the Temple of Solomon (Encyclopædia of Freemasonry, 120, 372, 583). Admission into Freemasonry is known as reception and an initiate is in some cases called a recipient (Encyclopædia of Freemasonry, 631). The Bible refers to despising the day of small things in Zechariah, 4.10.

In 1818 the American army officer John Cleves Symmes published his theory that the earth was hollow and open at the poles (Symmes, The Symmes Theory of Concentric Spheres, demonstrating that the Earth is Hollow, Habitable Within, and Widely Open About the Poles, ed. Americus Symmes [1878]). When Pythagoras demonstrated the forty-seventh proposition of Book 1 of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry using what was later known as the Pythagorean theorem, he was reputedly so pleased that he sacrificed one hundred oxen (a hecatomb) (Encyclopædia of Freemasonry, 283).

urim and thummim are Hebrew words sometimes translated as “light” and “truth” (Encyclopædia of Freemasonry, 848–9). They are invoked on multiple occasions in the Bible, such as Exodus, 28.30, where God commands Moses to place Urim and Thummim in Aaron’s breastplate of judgment. A rod for a fools back refers to Proverbs, 26.3. In Freemasonry the number of a lodge determines its precedency. English lodges were known by their numbers before unique names began to be adopted (Encyclopædia of Freemasonry, 521).

balaam’s ass speaks in protest of being beaten in the Bible, Numbers, 22.21–38. God gave Hezekiah a sign by reversing the sun 10 degrees of sun dial in Isaiah, 38.8. The sun & moon stand still in Joshua, 10.13, and Habakkuk, 3.11. Joseph’s brothers receive 20 pieces of silver for selling him into slavery in Egypt in Genesis, 37.28. xt: Christ. The people of israel were condemned to wander the wilderness for forty years as punishment in Numbers, 14.34. iscariot: Judas Iscariot.

Mount lebanon is celebrated in Scottish Rite Freemasonry as the source of the trees used to build the Temple of Solomon (Encyclopædia of Freemasonry, 447). An angel gives a little book to John to eat in the Bible, Revelation, 10.8–11, telling him that it will taste sweet like honey, but be bitter in his belly.

1Letters of TJ’s name numbered 1 through 15 beneath the line by Page.

2Brackets in original.

3Letters of word numbered 1 through 7 beneath the line by Page.

4Bracketed date added in pencil, probably by Page.

5Preceding five words numbered 1 through 5 beneath the line by Page.

6In preceding list of planets, Page assigned the numerals 1 through 7 beneath the line to the attributes of “Love,” “Knowledge,” “Power,” “Wisdom,” “Holiness,” “Justice,” and “Truth,” respectively.

7Omitted closing parenthesis editorially supplied.

8Preceding two words interlined.

9Omitted closing parenthesis editorially supplied.

10In preceding phrase, Page assigned the numerals 1 through 5 beneath the line to “God,” “Solomon,” “Unbelief,” “Idolatry,” and “masonry,” respectively.

11Page added the upper half of preceding symbol in pencil along with the penciled phrase “its opsite reflected.”

12Figure following this word includes eight penciled lines by Page radiating into surrounding text, with his directional abbreviations for points from west to east.

13Dot added beneath each letter of word by Page.

14Dot added beneath each letter of word by Page, with the syllables numbered 1 through 3 above.

15Numeral 1 added above word by Page.

16Preceding two words interlined.

17Word illegible.

18Preceding three words interlined.

19Omitted closing parenthesis editorially supplied.

20Manuscript: “of of.”

21Paragraph penciled by Page, with priority of it to following paragraph, in ink, uncertain.

Index Entries

  • Aaron (Hebrew priest; Moses’s brother) search
  • antiquities; Indian burial mounds and fortifications search
  • astrology; and cosmology search
  • Bernadotte, Jean Baptiste Jules, crown prince of Sweden; and numerology search
  • Bible; Exodus referenced search
  • Bible; Genesis referenced search
  • Bible; Habakkuk referenced search
  • Bible; Isaiah referenced search
  • Bible; Joshua referenced search
  • Bible; Luke referenced search
  • Bible; New Testament search
  • Bible; Numbers referenced search
  • Bible; Old Testament search
  • Bible; Proverbs referenced search
  • Bible; Revelation referenced search
  • Bible; Zechariah referenced search
  • Burr, Aaron (1756–1836); mentioned search
  • Christianity; and E. P. Page’s cosmology search
  • Constitution, U.S.; and biblical book of Revelation search
  • cosmology; of E. P. Page search
  • David, king of Israel search
  • Euclid; and cosmology search
  • Freemasonry; and cosmology search
  • geology; hollow-earth theory search
  • health; correspondents described by TJ as insane search
  • Herschel, William; British astronomer search
  • Indians, American; burial mounds and fortifications of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; correspondents described by TJ as insane search
  • Jesus; and E. P. Page’s cosmology search
  • Joseph (Old Testament patriarch) search
  • Judas Iscariot (New Testament figure) search
  • Jupiter (planet) search
  • Louis XVI, king of France; family of search
  • Marie Antoinette, queen of France search
  • Mars (planet) search
  • Mary (Jesus’s mother; New Testament figure) search
  • Mercury (planet) search
  • Moses (Hebrew prophet) search
  • Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon; mentioned search
  • numerology; and cosmology search
  • Page, Edward Postlethwayt; identified search
  • Page, Edward Postlethwayt; letter from search
  • Page, Edward Postlethwayt; regarded as insane by TJ search
  • Page, Edward Postlethwayt; worldview of search
  • Pythagoras; and numerology search
  • Saturn (planet) search
  • Solomon (king of Israel) search
  • Symmes, John Cleves; hollow-earth theory of search
  • Uranus (planet) search
  • Venus (planet) search