Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Elizabeth Trist, 24 March 1809

To Elizabeth Trist

Monticello1 Mar. 24. 09.

Dear Madam

I recieve with great thankfulness your kind congratulations on my liberation from the duties & anxieties of my late situation. five & twenty years of affectionate acquaintance (perhaps it is uncivil to recall such a period to a single lady) leave me without a doubt of their sincerity. of the ground of congratulation nobody can be a more feeling judge than myself. my present freedom of pursuit is a perfect contrast to the burthen under which I have been oppressed. I intend to see you at mr Divers’s as soon as my garden & other new concerns will admit. I come to him as a pauper, begging for the garden. Jefferson has recieved nothing for you; nor has any thing come to me from Wm Brown. in a letter to my daughter some time ago, I answered your enquiries relative to the Campeachy hamocks & Paccans, to wit that the vessel had never been heard of since she left N. Orleans & consequently that she must have perished with her cargo & crew.—since writing so far Jefferson tells me he brought a bundle for you which he now takes on to you.—we embrace with eagerness the hope you hold out to us of seeing you soon at Monticello, and for all the time you can give us; and I salute you with constant & affectionate respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (CSmH: JF-RAB); mutilated at seal, with losses supplied from PoC; at foot of text: “Mrs Trist.” PoC (MoSHi: TJC-BC); endorsed by TJ.

TJ requested two campeachy hamocks and a barrel of pecans from William Brown in August 1808 and was subsequently informed of the loss with all hands of the Sampson the schooner carrying the goods. Variously described as a “siesta” or “lolling” chair, the campeachy is a reclining chair made of mahogany wood from Campeachy, Mexico (TJ to Brown, 18 Aug. 1808 [MHi]; Brown to TJ, 10 Oct. 1808 [DLC]; TJ to Martha Jefferson Randolph, 27 Feb. 1809 [James H. Eddy, Charles B. Eddy Jr., and John B. Eddy, New York City, 1948]; Stein, Worlds description begins Susan R. Stein, The Worlds of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, 1993 description ends , 280–1).

1To left of this word TJ erased “Wash.”

Index Entries

  • Brown, William; collector at New Orleans search
  • campeachy chairs search
  • Divers, George; TJ visits search
  • food; pecans search
  • furniture; campeachy chairs search
  • New Orleans; goods shipped to, for TJ search
  • nuts; pecan search
  • pecans; TJ orders via New Orleans search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); TJ’s correspondence with search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); carries package to E. Trist search
  • Sampson (ship) search
  • Trist, Elizabeth House; and W. Brown search
  • Trist, Elizabeth House; letters to search
  • women; letters to; E. Trist search