Its imaginary value will increase with the years, and if he [his grandson-in-law] lives to my age, or another half century, he may see it carried in the procession of our nation's birthday, as the relics of the saints are in those of the church.
Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), U.S. president. Letter, November 14, 1825, to his granddaughter, Ellen Randolph Coolidge. The Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson, p. 462, eds. E.M. Betts and J.A. Bear, Jr. (1966).
Jefferson refers to the lap desk on which he composed the Declaration of Independence.