Thomas Jefferson Papers

Etienne Lemaire to Thomas Jefferson, 17 March 1809

From Etienne Lemaire

De Washington city 17. mars 1809

Monsieur

Biens des pardon de la liberty que Je prend d’avoir l’honneur de vous adreser la presente, elle est pour minformer de votre sentez, Sachant que vous avés Éprouvé Un mauvais voÿage aûcassionné, par la neige et la plui, Je Crain qu’il ne vous soy ariver quélque accident, oû Biens soufair, de Même que vous n’avié a votre suite que shorter, qu’il n’auroit peû êttre pas sufit a vous rendre les secour,1 necessaire, mes Enfin2 monsieur, l’honneur de vôtre repónce me sur prendra agréablement que vous Jouisez d’une parfaite senté, ainsy à votre honorable famille, Ceque Je vous desire du mellieur de mon Cœurs—

Je fini Mr an vous prïant d’avoir la Bontez de saluer vôtre respectable famille, pour moy.

Vous aûbligéré Seluy qui lhonneur D’Ettre avec le plus profond respecque qui est possible de vous exprimer—

Etienne Lemaire

mon adrese sera chez, Mr marinot, opposite the City taverne second street,

p.s.v.

Monsieur Estant a philadelphie, si Je peu vous êttre, de quelque Utilité, Je vous pri de m’enploÿer, vous serré servie avec l’exatidude poss

Mr Juliens doit partir lundi, où mardi

Editors’ Translation

Washington city 17. March 1809

Sir

Many pardons for the liberty I take of having the honor of sending you the present letter, it is to inform myself of your health, knowing that you had a bad journey due to the snow and the rain, I fear you may have had an accident, or suffered a lot, as you had only Shorter with you, that he might not have been sufficient to give you the necessary help, but finally Sir, the honor of your response will agreeably surprise me that you are enjoying perfect health, as well as your honorable family, which I desire with all my heart—

I end this Sir praying you to be so kind as to salute your respectable family for me.

You will oblige him who is honored to be with the most profound respect which is possible to express to you—

Etienne Lemaire

My address will be at Mr. Marinot’s, opposite the City Tavern Second Street,

p.s.v.

Being at Philadelphia, Sir, if I may be of any help, I pray you to employ me, you will be served with all possible attention to detail

Mr. Julien has to leave Monday, or Tuesday

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 23 Mar. 1809 and so recorded in SJL. Translation by Dr. Roland H. Simon.

Jack shorter was a hostler at the President’s House who returned to Washington after accompanying TJ to Monticello (Stanton, Free Some Day description begins Lucia Stanton, Free Some Day: The African-American Families of Monticello, 2000 description ends , 80; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 1:1244). Michael marinot was a confectioner at 93 South Second Street in Philadelphia (James Robinson, The Philadelphia Directory for 1805 [Philadelphia, 1805], 147; Robinson, Philadelphia Directory for 1809 description begins James Robinson, The Philadelphia Directory for 1809, 1809 description ends ).

p.s.v.: “please see verso.” Lemaire’s concluding note was written on the verso.

1Manuscript: “scour.”

2Apparent idiosyncratic accent mark over one of the first two letters in this word omitted.

Index Entries

  • French language; letters in, from; E. Lemaire search
  • Julien, Honoré; visits Monticello search
  • Lemaire, Etienne; letters from search
  • Lemaire, Etienne; offers to run errands in Philadelphia search
  • Marinot, Michael search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Julien, Honoré search
  • Shorter, Jack; accompanies TJ to Monticello search
  • Shorter, Jack; as hosteler search