Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, 5 December 1807

Paris 5h December 1807

My dear friend

I Cannot Resist an Opportunity to write to You—there is for me the Heartfelt Consolation in Expressing the Anguish I feel to a friend Ever, and in this Instance more Than Ever Ready to Sympathise with me— My Wife is Under the pains and danger of a Malignant fever which Has Been preceded By a thermic desease of a Very obscure Nature— There Have Been for Some time fears of an Obstruction of the Pylore— But all Has ended in the Ataxic fever which Has Been Acknowledged By the phicisians these 18 days past, and does not Seem to Have Yet Attained its Highest period. Yet if You Except a Constant, tho’ not Violent delirium, and a Weackness Resulting from former Sufferings, the Symptoms are not, for such a desease, very Bad— Nor are We Without Hopes of a Recovery, after Which, Her Age, the Humour She is Subject to, and the Ravages of such a Storm Will leave Her for a long time in a miserable and Even dangerous Situation— May I See that time, and be Relieved from the Horrors of present and Much Greater danger! I know, my Excellent friend, How Affectionately You will feel with me on this Cruel Occasion.

My Children and their Consorts are all with me, in the House of Mr. and Mde. de Tessé, the most tender parents to us all— I was Yet in the Mountains of Auvergne when our poor patient Has Been by them transfered to Paris to be near the Best Medical Assistance. I told them I intended to write these lines and they Have, as well as my family, desired to be Affectionately and Respectfully Mentionned to You.

I Have Had the pleasure, By the Return of the Revenge, to Answer Your Kind Letters—Nor Am I in a Situation to Repeat or Add Much, Convinced as I am the last dispatches will Arrive safe— Permit me However, as a duty to my family, my Creditors, and My own Situation to insist Upon the ideas I then took the Liberty to Submit to Your incomparable friendship. I Have Seen in a Newspaper that the Claims of the City of Orleans Have Been fixed By act of Congress— Nothing from that Quarter Has Come to me Since the Communications of Mr. du plantier Alluded to in My Last letter— in the Meanwhile the interest, part of it too High, of the debts I must Get Rid of, is increasing in a proportion to be Added Every Year to the Capital I Have Successively Mentionned— Present Embarassments are Great— Everything Will Be Clear and Easy, as Soon as one Half of the Property, at the Rate it Had been Estimated by my friends, or a Larger proportion, if the Estimate Had Been OverRated by their kind Anticipations of Hopes, will Have Answered All the purposes of Capital and Revenue I Have taken the Liberty to Expatiate Upon— I know it May be Called importunate to trouble You With private Concerns at the time You are so taken up with public Ones— I find, within myself, Some Apology in the diversion I think myself obliged to make to personal Concerns of Mine, the more tender and Absorbing— I also find Myself Emboldened by the pride, Confidence, and Affection of Unbounded friendship and Gratitude.

for other Matters I Had Better Let Gnl. Armstrong Give his Official Accounts of Men and things— Present My Best Compliments to Mr. Madison, Mr. Gallatin, and other friends— I know you will pity me, wish for me, and More than Ever Sympathise with Your Grateful Affectionate friend


It is Needless to Say How Interested I feel in the present political and Commercial Concerns of the United States— I Heartily Wish no European power Had or Could Have a foot of Ground on the American Continent North of the Mexico Barrier.

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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