Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Delaplaine, 20 May [1816]

To Joseph Delaplaine

Monticello May 20.


Your’s of the 11th is just recieved, and with it the head of Columbus for which accept my thanks. it has been evidently taken at an earlier period of his life than that of the Florentine gallery, which I think you will deem worthy of taking additionally. I shall be happy to recieve mr Otis here, and yourself also should you conclude to come as intimated. I wish it may not be later than the 1st of June, as in the 2d week of that month I am to set out on a journey of some weeks absence. I have no doubt that the copy of my portrait at the President’s residence in Orange (3. miles off the stage road) is as good as the original in the possession of Stewart. I own one by him which has been highly esteemed, original also, on strong paper, in water colours, a profile in the medallion stile, which I lent to Dr Thornton at Washington, & now there. I write to him for it’s return if done with. but mr Otis can in any event see it there. you must judge for yourself whether a copy by Stewart himself (as that of the President’s) whose name is without a rival would not be more valued than an original by any other however good. should mr Otis come in the stage, it may be convenient for him to know that the stage to Charlottesville which passes my gate, leaves Fredericksburg either the Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning (probably the latter) and arrives at Charlottesville Monday, at 8 P.M. coming but once a week. Accept the assurance of my respect

Th: Jefferson

RC (LNT: George H. and Katherine M. Davis Collection); partially dated; addressed: “Mr Joseph de la Plaine Philadelphia”; franked; postmarked Charlottesville, 22 May; endorsed by Delaplaine as a letter of 20 May 1816. PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of Wilson Cary Nicholas to TJ, 22 Mar. 1816; at foot of text: “Mr Joseph Delaplaine”; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 20 May 1816.

The copy owned by James Madison may actually be the original TJ portrait produced by Gilbert Stuart (stewart) in 1805. Stuart also painted the medallion profile on loan to William thornton (David Meschutt, “Gilbert Stuart’s Portraits of Thomas Jefferson,” American Art Journal 13 [winter 1981]: 2–16; Bush, Life Portraits description begins Alfred L. Bush, The Life Portraits of Thomas Jefferson, rev. ed., 1987 description ends , 57–63).

Index Entries

  • Charlottesville, Va.; stagecoach to, from Fredericksburg search
  • Columbus, Christopher; and portrait for J. Delaplaine’sRepository search
  • Delaplaine, Joseph; and portraits of TJ by G. Stuart search
  • Delaplaine, Joseph; commissions portraits search
  • Delaplaine, Joseph; Delaplaine’s Repository search
  • Delaplaine, Joseph; letters to search
  • Florence, Italy; Galleria degli Uffizi search
  • Galleria degli Uffizi (Florence) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Portraits; B. Otis’s painting search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Portraits; G. Stuart’s paintings search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); and portrait of TJ by G. Stuart search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); routes to search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); stage stops at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Otis, Bass search
  • museums; Galleria degli Uffizi search
  • Otis, Bass; portrait of TJ search
  • Otis, Bass; visits Monticello search
  • paintings; and J. Delaplaine’sRepository search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visit to search
  • Repository of the Lives and Portraits of Distinguished Americans (J. Delaplaine) search
  • Stuart, Gilbert; portraits of TJ by search
  • Stuart, Gilbert; “Medallion” profile of TJ by search
  • Thornton, William; borrows paintings from TJ search