Thomas Jefferson was aware of the power of relics. Jefferson designed a mahogany lap desk which was built for him by Philadelphia cabinet maker Benjamin Randolph. On it the third President of the United States composed the Declaration of Independence. He later gave it to his granddaughter's husband, writing on November 1825:
Politics, as well as Religion, has its superstitions. These, gaining strength with time, may, one day give imaginary value to this relic, for its association with the birth of the Great Charter of our Independence.The recipient of the portable writing desk replied that he considered the desk to be
no longer inanimate, and mute, but something to be interrogated and caressed.
Source: Library of Congress online exhibits. The portable writing desk is held in the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.