Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 24 January 1817

To John Wayles Eppes

Monticello Jan. 24. 17.

Dear Sir

Francis arrived here in good health the day before Yesterday. I think he cannot do better than to take this occasion of learning Spanish, because it is a language rarely taught in this country, and will be of great importance within his day. it is that too in which all the early history of America is written. I suppose he may acquire so much of it in 2. or 3. months as to pursue it easily himself afterwards.

Martin begins to turn tolerably. I send some specimens of his turning by your servant, and one of them is of the head proposed to your garden posts. I added a neck to the ball, which however nearly doubles the work. about 20. are made, and the stuff all ready for the whole. but I do not think he can do two aday. still he had better go on with them here as long as you can let him stay; however this must be as is convenient to yourself. I shall give him a pass to go home the first week in February, unless you inform me in the mean time that you can conveniently spare him. had Francis come in a gig I should have sent mrs Eppes some shrubs which she has not; but shall not fail to avail myself of some other opportunity.

I rejoice that your health permits you to return into public life, and that you are returning; nor is there any place where an honest disinterested patriot can be more useful than in the Senate of the US. I suppose you will hardly go to the call of the 4th of March, which I presume is a matter of ceremony. Patsy is absent with mrs Bankhead who is in the straw and very poorly. the rest of the family join in affectionate remembrances to mrs Eppes & yourself; be assured always of my sincere esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViU: TJP); addressed: “John W. Eppes esq. Millbrook.” PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of Micajah Davis to TJ, 3 Sept. 1816; mutilated at seal; endorsed by TJ.

The Senate convened briefly on the 4th of march 1817 for the inauguration of President James Monroe. patsy: Martha Jefferson Randolph. in the straw: “in childbed, lying-in” (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

Eppes’s reply of 30 Jan. 1817, not found, is recorded in SJL as received 6 Feb. 1817 from Mill Brook.

Index Entries

  • Bankhead, Ann (Anne) Cary Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter; Charles Lewis Bankhead’s wife); pregnancy of search
  • carriages; gigs search
  • education; Spanish language search
  • Eppes, Francis Wayles (TJ’s grandson); at Monticello search
  • Eppes, Francis Wayles (TJ’s grandson); education of, TJ on search
  • Eppes, Francis Wayles (TJ’s grandson); relationship with father search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); as U.S. senatorial candidate search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); letters from accounted for search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); letters to search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); relationship with son search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); slaves of search
  • Eppes, Martha Burke Jones (John Wayles Eppes’s second wife); TJ sends plants to search
  • gigs; travel in search
  • health; pregnancy and childbirth search
  • inaugurations; J. Monroe’s presidential search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Spanish language study search
  • Martin (J. W. Eppes’s slave); training of search
  • Monroe, James; presidential inauguration of search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); slaves at search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); relations with A. C. R. Bankhead search
  • Senate, U.S.; and inauguration of J. Monroe search
  • slaves; of J. W. Eppes search
  • Spanish language; TJ on study of search