Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Louis H. Girardin, 15 January 1815

To Louis H. Girardin

Monticello Jan. 15. 15.

Th: Jefferson to mr Girardin

I have no document respecting Clarke’s expedition except the letters of which you are in possession, one of which I believe gives some account of it; nor do I possess Imlay’s history of Kentucky.

Of mr Wythe’s early history I scarcely know any thing, except that he was self-taught; & perhaps this might not have been as to the Latin language. Dr Small was his bosom friend, and to me as a father.

to his enlightened & affectionate guidance of my studies while at College I am indebted for every thing.

he was professor of Mathematics at W. & M. & for some time was in the philosophical chair. he first introduced into both schools rational & elevated courses of study, and from an extraordinary conjunction of eloquence & logic was enabled to communicate them to the students with great effect. he procured for me the patronage of mr Wythe, & both of them, the attentions of Governor Fauquier, the ablest man who ever filled the chair of government here. they were inseparable friends, and at their frequent dinners with the Governor (after his family had returned to England) he admitted me always to make it a partie quarreé. at these dinners I have heard more good sense, more rational & philosophical conversations than in all my life besides. they were truly Attic societies. the Governor was musical also & a good performer and associated me with 2. or 3. other amateurs in his weekly concerts. he merits honorable mention in your history, if any proper occasion for it offers. so also does Dabney Carr, father of Peter Carr, mover of the proposition of Mar. 1773. for Commees of correspondence, the first fruit of which was the Call of an American Congress: I return your two pamphlets with thanks & salute you with esteem & respect

RC (DLC); dateline at foot of text. Not recorded in SJL. Enclosures not found.

George Rogers Clark’s (clarke’s) Revolutionary War campaigns culminated in the conquest of the region later known as the Northwest Territory (DVB description begins John T. Kneebone and others, eds., Dictionary of Virginia Biography, 1998– , 3 vols. description ends ). Gilbert Imlay’s history of kentucky was entitled A Topographical Description of the Western Territory of North America; containing a Succinct Account of its Climate, Natural History, Population, Agriculture, Manners and Customs … to which is annexed, a Delineation of the Laws and Government of the State of Kentucky (London, 1792).

During the colonial period the College of William and Mary (w. & m.) had both a collegiate department and a grammar school. As a member of the Board of Visitors, in 1779 TJ championed the elimination of the latter, although it was later revived (Susan H. Godson and others, The College of William and Mary: A History [1993], esp. 1:29–30, 130–4, 173; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 37 vols. description ends , 2:535–43). partie quarreé (partie carrée): “foursome.”

On 12 Mar. 1773 TJ’s brother-in-law Dabney Carr (1743–73) presented a series of resolutions according to which the Virginia House of Burgesses would establish a committee of correspondence charged with establishing better communications with its counterparts in the other British colonies. They were unanimously adopted that same day (William J. Van Schreeven, Robert L. Scribner, and Brent Tarter, eds., Revolutionary Virginia, the Road to Independence: A Documentary Record [1973–83], 1:89–92).

Missing letters from Girardin to TJ of 26 Dec. 1814, 6, 15, and 16 Jan. 1815, the first and last of which are described as sent from Glenmore, are recorded in SJL as received the days they were written.

Index Entries

  • American Revolution; and committees of correspondence search
  • American Revolution; materials for study of search
  • A Topographical Description of the Western Territory of North America (G. Imlay) search
  • books; on history search
  • Burk, John Daly; The History of Virginia search
  • Carr, Dabney (1743–73) (TJ’s brother-in-law); and Va. Committee of Correspondence search
  • Carr, Peter (1770–1815) (TJ’s nephew); family of search
  • Clark (Clarke), George Rogers; 1779expedition of search
  • Fauquier, Francis; TJ on search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; and J. D. Burk’s History of Virginia search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; letters from accounted for search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; letters to search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; TJ sends books to search
  • Imlay, Gilbert; A Topographical Description of the Western Territory of North America search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; sends books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; F. Fauquier search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; W. Small search
  • Kentucky; history of search
  • Latin language; study of search
  • music; concerts search
  • music; F. Fauquier as musician search
  • Small, William; TJ’s mentor search
  • The History of Virginia (J. D. Burk, S. Jones, and L. H. Girardin); TJ’s role in the preparation of search
  • Virginia; Committee of Correspondence search
  • Virginia; historiography of search
  • Virginia; House of Burgesses search
  • William and Mary, College of; TJ on search
  • Wythe, George; TJ on search