Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 16 December 1816

To Richard Rush

Monticello1 Dec. 16. 16.

Dear Sir

On my return after an absence of 7. weeks, I find here your favor of Nov. 13. and have examined the file of Dr Rushes letters to me, of which I send you the whole except two or three. these were merely medical on the subject of a visceral complaint which attacked me when I first went to live at Washington. the letters of advice which he wrote me as a friend & physician on that subject, I have retained, because a return of the complaint might happen and again render them useful to me. Accept, with this act of duty, the assurance of my great esteem and respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (NjP: Rush Family Papers); at foot of text: “Richard Rush esq.”; endorsement by Rush reads, in part, “Enclosing certain letters from my father.” PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of Joseph Delaplaine to TJ, 20 Nov. 1816; endorsed by TJ.

Filed with the RC of this letter is an initialed note by Rush dated 19 June 1855 from Sydenham, his estate near Philadelphia: “The enclosed half dozen letters from my father to Mr Jefferson were found a few days ago in the course of searches I have lately been making and am continuing among old papers and manuscripts that had long remained unopened. How I came by these, which I had forgotten, will be seen by Mr Jefferson’s letter to me of December 16. 1816, also enclosed; and be further explained by an earlier one from him, dated May 31, 1813, which I recently found in a different trunk, and now transfer to this packet” (NjP: Rush Family Papers). Rush appended a second initialed note, dated 8 Apr. 1856, indicating that “one of the six,” which had subsequently been given away, was “a short one of a few lines—sending Mr Jefferson some muskmelon seed” (this letter was dated 2 Dec. 1800 [PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 39 vols. description ends , 32:266]). The enclosed file evidently also included Benjamin Rush’s letters to TJ of 11 June, 12 Dec. 1803, 28 May 1804, and 3 Dec. 1805 (all in NjP: Rush Family Papers), and an additional, unidentified text.

The letters from Benjamin Rush to TJ concerning a visceral complaint of the bowels were dated 12 Mar. and 5 May 1803 (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 39 vols. description ends , 40:52–5, 320–1).

1Manuscript: “Montiello.”

Index Entries

  • health; diarrhea search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; diarrhea search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ returns from search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search
  • Rush, Benjamin; prescribes cures for TJ search
  • Rush, Benjamin; return of letters of to family search
  • Rush, Richard; and return of B. Rush’s letters search
  • Rush, Richard; letters to search