Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Lafayette, 17 May 1803

From Lafayette

Paris 27th. Floréal 17. Mai 1803.

My dear Sir

In the Joy of my heart I congratulate you on the happy arrangement which has Lately taken place—The occupation of Louisiana by the French Governement was big with Evils—I doubly felt them—Now I see for the United States noble boundaries, and for that Vast Country the insurance of Liberty and republican Union—How happy I am in that transaction I want Words to Express

With respectful and heartfelt Gratitude I have heard from Mr. Munroe what the Congress of the United States have been pleased to do in my behalf nor am I insensible of my new obligations to the president—This bountiful Gift at the Same time it is highly useful I consider as most honourable to me—To you, my dear Sir, with all the confidence of friendship, I wholly refer myself and upon you I gratefully depend for what is farther to be done in this affair—No official Account having Yet reached me my Letter of Thanks must necessarily be differed

I have met with a Sad accident, the breaking of my Thigh, at the Col du femur it has1 been more compleatly mended than perhaps any fracture of the Kind, but I have paid it dear—the application of a new machine has left me very deep Wounds, besides the great sufferings I have undergone—My Situation does not yet allow much writing—But I wanted to express to you my Joy on the grand affair and my Gratitude, both to Congress and to you, for the honourable bountiful mark of Kindness I have received—

Present my affectionate Compliments to your family to Madisson, M. Dawson and all other friends—With the most grateful Sense of what you have done and of your friendly Concern for me, with every Sentiment of high respect and affectionate friendship I am my dear Sir

for ever Yours


My Wife, and Children beg to be remembered to you And So does Mad. de Tessé at whose house I lay untill I can be transported, first to her Country seat near Paris, then to my happy Rural retirements of La grange.

Dupl (DLC); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Lafayette; at head of text: “duplicate”; endorsed by TJ as received 24 Aug. and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC).

to do in my behalf: an act of 3 Mch. on military bounty lands authorized the secretary of war to issue Lafayette land warrants for 11,520 acres (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States…1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 2:236).

col du femur: the neck of the femur.

1MS: “as.” RC: “Has.”

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