Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Mary Jefferson, 17 November 1793

To Mary Jefferson

Germantown Nov. 17. 1793

No letter yet from my dear Maria, who is so fond of writing, so punctual in her correspondencies! I enjoin as a penalty that the next be written in French.—Now for news. The fever is entirely vanished from Philadelphia. Not a single person has taken infection since the great rains about the 1st. of the month, and those who had it before are either dead or recovered. All the inhabitants who had fled are returning into the city, probably will all be returned in the course of the ensuing week. The President has been into the city, but will probably remain here till the meeting of Congress to form a point of union for them before they will have had time to gather knolege and courage. I have not yet been in, not because there is a shadow of danger, but because I am afoot.—Thomas is returned into my service. His wife and child went into town the day we left them. They then had the infection of the yellow fever, were taken two or three days after, and both died. Had we staid those two or three days longer, they would have been taken at our house. I have heard nothing of Miss Cropper. Her trunk remains at our house. Mrs. Fullerton left Philadelphia. Mr. and Mrs. Rittenhouse remained there but have escaped the fever.—Follow closely your music, reading, sewing, house-keeping, and love me as I do you, most affectionately.

Th: Jefferson

P.S. Tell Mr. Randolph that General Wayne has had a convoy of 22. waggons of provision and 70. men cut off in his rear by the Indians.

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Miss Maria Jefferson.” Tr (MHi); 19th-century copy.

TJ employed Thomas Lapseley as his personal coachman from 17 May to 17 Sep. 1793, and hired him briefly as temporary office keeper for the State Department in mid-November (MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, forthcoming in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 17 May, 17 Sep., 14 Nov., 6 Dec. 1793). Although an early newspaper report indicated that in the 17 Oct. 1793 attack near Fort St. Clair on a Convoy supporting the army of Major General Anthony Wayne 22. Waggons and 70. men had been lost, Wayne soon reported that the engagement resulted in the loss of seventy horses, with twenty-four men killed or missing and the wagons and their contents recovered largely undamaged (Lexington Kentucky Gazette, 26 Oct., 2 Nov. 1793; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Indian Affairs, i, 361; Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 260–1).

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