Thomas Jefferson Papers

James Lyle to Thomas Jefferson, 3 January 1811

From James Lyle

Manchester Janry 3d 1811

Dear Sir

I was favor’d with yours of the 12h of Febry, and was sorry to find, that you had met with some difficulties in your pecuniary affairs, on your leaving Washington. I fully expected, that on your relinquishing the Government, and return to Virginia, that you would have had it in your power to have settled all your affairs with me, on account of the Company, as well as that of Richard Harvie & Co, my not receiving the latter, is a very great dissappointment to me, as on receiving this I could have settled sundry accounts on my own private books, which, the want of, occasions their standing open. let me beg of you to try to pay off the bond to Harvie; you no doubt kept a note of the amount, as by your settlement, which I have no doubt of being correct, £176. 16. 0, with 5 perCt per Annum from the first of April 1783. till paid. I am all most blind, I can hardly see either to write or read, even in a clear day, I see little or none with candle light, I can meet with no spectacles that are of any service to me.

I never was what is called short sighted, but now I see best about four inches from my nose, from your general Scientifick knowledge, you may perhaps meet with a pair or two of Spectacles, that you think may be of service to me, if you should1 will you be so kind as procure them for me and send them by any friend coming this way. I am with great Regard

Your Mo hue servt

James Lyle

If I live till the 25th of March, I shall have completed my 85 year2

I do not mean, you should give your self any trouble about the Spectacles.

My want of Sight must excuse the blots on this Sheet.

RC (MHi); at head of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire”; endorsed by TJ as received 25 Jan. 1811 and so recorded in SJL. FC (ViHi: Lyle Letterbook).

1Preceding three words interlined in RC and omitted in FC.

2FC ends here.

Index Entries

  • Bank of Virginia (Richmond); TJ’s loan from search
  • eyeglasses search
  • Harvie, Richard; and TJ’s debt to J. Lyle search
  • health; vision loss search
  • Henderson, McCaul, & Company (Scottish firm); TJ’s debt to search
  • household articles; eyeglasses search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; debt to Henderson, McCaul, & Company search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; loan from Bank of Virginia search
  • Lyle, James; agent for Henderson, McCaul, & Co. search
  • Lyle, James; letters from search
  • Lyle, James; vision loss of search