Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Edward Jerningham, 6 May 1789

From Edward Jerningham

Green Street Grosvenor Square
London May 6th


I am encouraged by Mrs. Cosway to Beg you would favor me with the Acceptance of my poem on Enthusiasm. If it should meet with any part of the Approbation of so enlighten’d a Judge I should be highly gratified.

When I was at Paris last summer, I wished very much to be Introduced to you, And Mr. O Dunn promised to procure me that Honor, I left Paris with regret at not having accomplished my wish. I am with great esteem yr obed: hble servant,

Edwd Jerningham

RC (MHi); endorsed; TJ wrote the following at foot of text, and then deleted it: “rue Ste. Dominique No. 67.” Recorded in SJL as received 15 May 1789.

Edward Jerningham (1727–1812), a voluminous dabbler in poetry, published Enthusiasm: a Poem, in 1789, in which the prophecy about America elicited TJ’s particular comment in his reply. Rejected by Britannia, the “orphan nursling, this rejected child,” is hailed by the Enthusiast:

Mark how around his brow of virtue’s mold,

The signs of greatness dare ev’n now unfold;

How on the vigorous eye the morning ray

Preludes the splendor of meridian day:

Marvellous infant, doom’d to act my plan,

Americanus, hasten into Man! If TJ preserved the volume, it is not listed in Library Catalogue, 1815 description begins Catalogue of the Library of the United States, Washington, 1815 description ends . See TJ to Jerningham, 21 May 1789.

Index Entries