Thomas Jefferson Papers
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William Thornton to Thomas Jefferson, 9 June 1816

From William Thornton

City of Washington 9th June 1816.—

Dear sir

I have received your very friendly Letter, & I really feel ashamed at putting you to the necessity of writing for the Paintings you were so kind as to lend me to copy;—but still more so to offer any apology for not immediately sending them: however I must do it, for they are yet here. The Head by Stewart I really think one of the finest I ever saw, & having commenced it, I was in hopes of finishing it before the departure of the President & his Lady, & of sending it by them or Mr Todd, but my public Duties are so oppressive in consequence of the long sickness and inability of my Clerk to render me any aid that I have not finished it, and after keeping it so long I should feel like a sinner for leaving the work undone, and I mean to dedicate every spare moment to it till I make it worthy of the original if possible.—I should be very sorry to delay the work of Mr Delaplaine: but in his return if he will favor me with his Company he can make a Copy of it here before it be sent back, and examine mine. I hope to be able to get it modelled hereafter, & it is therefore necessary to equal the original if possible. I shall afterwards seek for such an opportunity of sending them as will ensure their safety.—

We had not the pleasure of seeing your charming & accomplished Grand Daughter in her return.—I know that she had made several Conquests before she left Washington, & if she keep a list of the dying & wounded I query whether she will not soon equal Genl Jackson’s.—She is very much admired, & very much beloved—she could not be otherwise, being handsome, accomplished & very amiable.—

I am, dear Sir, with the highest respect, consideration, & esteem Yours very sincerely &c

William Thornton—

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 17 June 1816 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Thomas Eston Randolph, 21 June 1816, on verso; addressed: “Honorble Thomas Jefferson Monticello Virga”; franked; postmarked Washington City, 10 June.

Index Entries

  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); described search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); travels of search
  • Delaplaine, Joseph; Delaplaine’s Repository search
  • Jackson, Andrew; as major general search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Portraits; G. Stuart’s paintings search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Portraits; W. Thornton’s profile bust search
  • Madison, Dolley Payne Todd (James Madison’s wife); visits Montpellier (Madison family estate) search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); visits Montpellier (Madison family estate) search
  • Montpellier (Montpelier; J. Madison’s Orange Co. estate); D. Madison at search
  • Montpellier (Montpelier; J. Madison’s Orange Co. estate); J. Madison at search
  • paintings; and J. Delaplaine’sRepository search
  • Repository of the Lives and Portraits of Distinguished Americans (J. Delaplaine) search
  • Stuart, Gilbert; portraits of TJ by search
  • Thornton, William; borrows paintings from TJ search
  • Thornton, William; letters from search
  • Thornton, William; on G. Stuart’s portraits search
  • Thornton, William; portrait of TJ by search
  • Todd, John Payne; mentioned search