Thomas Jefferson Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Jefferson, Thomas" AND Recipient="Trist, Elizabeth House" AND Period="Madison Presidency"
sorted by: date (ascending)

Thomas Jefferson to Elizabeth Trist, 23 November 1816

To Elizabeth Trist

Poplar Forest Nov. 23. 16.

Dear Madam

Your favor of Oct. 10. travelled to Monticello, thence to Richmond, thence to Lynchburg, and came to me here on the same day with one of the same date from Genl Clarke at St Louis. this must apologise for a late answer, as it’s finding me in the act of packing up for my return must for a short one. as far as I am acquainted with the colleges and academies of the US. and I will say more especially of Princeton, which you name I have found their method of instruction very superficial & imperfect, carrying their pupils over the ground like racehorses, to please their parents and draw custom to their school. this was never the character of Wm & Mary while I knew it, nor do I suppose it so now. whatever they learned, they learned thoroughly, and the principles in which it was founded. for the languages therefore, for Mathematics and Natural philosophy I prefer it to any college I know, except that of Philadelphia; and for boys to that also, because that is a great city while Williamsburg is but an academical village. in the months of Aug. Sep. & Oct. it is liable to bilious fever, but these are exactly the months of vacation, when the students can be withdrawn to places free from that objection. after the first frost in October, Williamsburg has been found to be a very healthy situation.—we heard from Monticello a few days ago. all were well. Ellen and Cornelia are with me here, where we have been a month. we are all packing for an early departure tomorrow morning.

they join me in affectionate and respectful souvenirs to yourself, mr & mrs Gilmer and many wishes for your health and happiness.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of Gilbert J. Hunt to TJ, 12 Oct. 1816; at foot of text: “Mrs Trist”; endorsed by TJ.

Trist later stated that TJ held the College of New Jersey (later princeton University) “in great contempt as being the most licentious and unruly seminary on the continant” (Trist to Catharine Wistar Bache, 12 Sept. 1817 [RC in PPAmP: Bache Papers]). The school at philadelphia was the University of Pennsylvania. ellen and cornelia were TJ’s granddaughters Ellen W. Randolph (Coolidge) and Cornelia J. Randolph. souvenirs: “regards; remembrances.”

Index Entries

  • Clark (Clarke), William; mentioned search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); visits Poplar Forest search
  • education, collegiate; TJ on search
  • education; of H. B. and N. P. Trist search
  • fevers; bilious search
  • fevers; in Williamsburg search
  • Gilmer, Mary House (Peachy R. Gilmer’s wife); TJ sends greetings to search
  • Gilmer, Peachy Ridgeway; TJ sends greetings to search
  • health; fever search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; College of William and Mary search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; education search
  • New Jersey, College of (later Princeton University); TJ on search
  • Pennsylvania, University of search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ returns from search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ’s grandchildren visit search
  • Randolph, Cornelia Jefferson (TJ’s granddaughter); visits Poplar Forest search
  • schools and colleges; College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) search
  • schools and colleges; University of Pennsylvania search
  • Trist, Elizabeth House; and grandchildren’s education search
  • Trist, Elizabeth House; letters to search
  • Trist, Hore Browse (1802–56); education of search
  • Trist, Nicholas Philip; education of search
  • weather; frost search
  • William and Mary, College of; TJ on search
  • Williamsburg, Va.; TJ on search
  • women; letters to; E. Trist search