Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 4 June 1786

To William Stephens Smith

Paris June 4. 1786.

Dear Sir

Having found an opportunity of furnishing myself with a horse here, I notify it to you according to what we had agreed on, to prevent you the trouble of getting me one in England. No news to give you but of the decision of the celebrated cause. La Villette banished. Madame la Motte condemned to be branded and whipped and to remain in a hospital all her life. But it is said the branding and whipping will be pardoned, and the hospital commuted into a convent. The Cardinal acquitted totally. But the king has taken from him his charge of Grand Aumonier and banished him to Auvergne. Cagliostro acquitted; but it is said the king will order him to leave the kingdom. Madme. Cagliostro and Mademoiselle d’Olive acquitted. Present me affectionately to the family at Grosvenor Square, I mean in the good corner of it, and beleive me to be with sincerity [your affectionate & humble servt.,

Th: Jefferson]1

RC (MHi: DeWindt Collection); MS mutilated (see note 1); postmarked: “JU 8” and “Payé Paris”; addressed: “Colo. William S. Smith Secretary to the American legation at the court of London Leicester square No. 15”; endorsed, in part: “ansd. 12th. June.”

The good corner of it: An allusion to young Abigail Adams, whom Smith was soon to marry; see Smith to TJ, 28 Apr. 1786. TJ’s Account Book for 20 June shows that he “paid 720livre tournois for a bay chariot horse 8.y[ears] old and 5 pi.—1 ½ pa. high”; the next day he “paid Richard 720livre tournois for a bay chariot horse 6. y[ears] old 5 pi.—1 ½ pa. high.” On the former occasion he “gave drink money 6f” and on the latter “gave drink money 24f.”

1Part of RC containing complimentary close and signature has been cut away; text in brackets supplied from PrC.

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