From George Ticknor
Boston 21. March 1815.
I reached home yesterday morning, after a tedious and indeed a perilous journey, and found that your kindness had anticipated the request I sent you from Philadelphia. I need not tell you how much I am indebted to you for the signal favour you have done me by giving me the means of becoming acquainted with men so distinguished and so entirely of the class I should be most ambitious to know.
You judged rightly, when you conjectured, that the peace might first lead me to England. If I were to be governed only by my own inclinations, I should undoubted[ly] go first to Paris—the great mart of the science & literature of the world—but, three friends who are nearer to me than all the world besides, except my own family, are going to London & I cannot resist the affectionate kindness, which led them before I had returned & without consulting me, to bespeak my passage in the same ship with themselves. I shall, however, remain there but a short time, and then cross over to the continent. In this way, I imagine, I can be more useful to you than on my original plan. I shall be long enough in London to purchase such books as can be best obtained there, and yet soon enough in Paris to purchase the remainder. On this subject, however, I shall wait your instructions. We shall leave this port about the 12th proximo &, of course, a letter from Monticello will have full time to reach me before I sail; and even if it should arrive after I am gone, my father will immediately forward it to me in some one of the numerous vessels, which will leave here in the course of April & May.—
I shall observe your directions, in relation to the letters, which you have confided to me. As soon after I reach England, as a suitable opportunity occurs, I will send them to France—probably to our minister there—reserving to myself as a lawyer would say—a lien on their introduc[tory] contents and a consequent claim to become acquainted with the persons to whom they are addressed.
As occasions or subjects may offer, I shall not fail to take advantage of the permission you have given me of keeping for myself a place in your memory by addressing a few lines to you from amidst the literary society of Europe, and shall consider myself singularly fortunate, if, by giving you early1 notice of the advance of science there, I may be able in any imperfect degree to express my gratitude for all the kindness you have shown me.—
I cannot close a letter addressed to Monticello without recollecting & again acknowledging the hospitality I received there and asking you to do me the favour to remember me particularly to all its inhabitants.
N.B. My father’s address is—Mr. Elisha Ticknor Boston—and any letters, which you may do me the favour to send to me either before I sail, or after I am gone, will, if directed to him, reach me by the first opportunity, through Mr. Adams our minister in Lond.
I enclose you the letter to Mr. Crawford, who, as you of course, know is on his return.—
RC (MHi); torn at seal; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr. Monticello, Albermarle county, Virginia”; franked; postmarked Boston, 23 Mar.; endorsed by TJ as received 30 Mar. 1815 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: TJ to William H. Crawford, 14 Feb. 1815.
The three friends who accompanied Ticknor aboard the New-Packet were Edward Everett, Nathaniel Appleton Haven, and Samuel G. Perkins (George S. Hillard, ed., Life, Letters, and Journals of George Ticknor , 1:49; Ticknor, The Remains of Nathaniel Appleton Haven. With a Memoir of His Life , xxiv; Boston Columbian Centinel, 15 Apr. 1815).
1. Word interlined.
2. Manuscript: “recpectfully.”
- Adams, John Quincy; mentioned search
- Everett, Edward; travels to Europe search
- Gallatin, Albert; as minister plenipotentiary to France search
- Haven, Nathaniel Appleton search
- Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction from search
- New-Packet (ship) search
- Perkins, Samuel G. search
- Ticknor, Elisha; forwards letters to and from TJ search
- Ticknor, George; and books for TJ search
- Ticknor, George; carries TJ’s letters to Europe search
- Ticknor, George; letters from search
- Ticknor, George; returns TJ’s letter to W. H. Crawford search
- Ticknor, George; TJ’s letters of introduction for search
- Ticknor, George; travels of search