Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Étienne Lemaire to Thomas Jefferson, 6 May 1809

From Étienne Lemaire

philadelphie may 6–1809

Monsieur

j’ai Reçû l’honneur de la votre En date du 25 avril par la qu’elle vous desirré avoire quelque petitte article, aûsitot Je mensuy aucûpé, j’ai áchêtté deux douzainne de boutteille D’huil exellante, une idem de siróp de vinaigre de mail et une demi livre de vanilla; jespairre que vous sérré satisfait Des trois article, idé doit ce rapeller de la manier que j’employait la vanilla avec Économis, un baton E-demi, peû faire pour deux fois, la promier, elle ne doit que Casser la vanilla, En1 trois aux quatre morceaux, et la second de les fendre avec le Couteaut En petit morceaux mince, la Crême aûra la même Odeur.

Monsieur Je ne pas Encor2 eut lhonneur de voire Mr Jefferson Ramdolp, deux fois j’ai Été Chez Mr peale aû museum, Je ne les pas trouvé mais monsieur Comme Cela nest pas biens praicé, j’espair le voire aû promié Jours, Je sui biens Comtent, idé et fanné son3 biens tous deuse, ce son deuse bonne4 fille et je sui persuadé—quel, vous donneron Beaucoup de satisfactions,—

Cy monsieur a besoin de quelque aûtres Chosse Je le prie dans eûsere librement avec moi les ordre seront executtez avec toujour baucoup de plaisir. j’ai inclus le reconnoissement! Monsieur Je fini avec toute lhonneur et respecque possible votre tres humble tres óbeisant serviteur,

É Lemaire

Conte des article: ½ de vanilla $5
 12 Boutteille de sirop de vinaigre mail  10
  24 idem d’huille d’olive 20
 1 Boitte, et transpor 00 75
 Costume hous, &.&.&. 38
$36 13

Monsieur recevra la vanilla avec la presente reçû

Editors’ Translation

Philadelphia May 6–1809

Sir

I have the honor of receiving yours of 25 April in which you express your desire to have some small articles, I took care of it right away, I bought two dozen bottles of excellent oil, the same of Maille vinegar syrup—and half a pound of vanilla; I hope that you will be satisfied with these three articles, Edy ought to remember the way I used vanilla sparingly, one-and-a-half sticks can do for two times, the first, she only has to break the vanilla in three or four pieces, and the second to split them into small pieces with the knife, the cream will have the same smell.

Sir I have not yet had the honor of seeing Mr. Jefferson Randolph, twice I went to Mr. Peale’s at the museum, I did not find them but Sir since it is not pressing, I hope to see him soon, I am quite happy, Edy and Fanny are both good workers, they are two good girls and I am convinced that they will give you much satisfaction,—

If your honor needs some other things I pray him to make use of me freely with orders which will always be carried out with much pleasure. I have included the list of goods! Sir I end with all possible honor and respect your very humble very obedient servant,

É Lemaire

List of articles: ½ of vanilla $5
 12 Bottles of Maille vinegar syrup  10
  24 same of olive oil 20
 1 Crate, and shipping 00 75
  Customhouse, &.&.&. 38
$36 13

Your honor will receive the vanilla with the present receipt

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 14 May 1809 and so recorded in SJL. Translation by Dr. Roland H. Simon.

idé et fanné: Edith Fossett and Fanny Hern. siróp de vinaigre de mail: a condensed syrup made by boiling vinegar with sugar, probably that popularized by Parisian vinegar distiller Antoine Maille (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 31 vols. description ends , 14:xxxv).

1Apparent idiosyncratic accent mark over one of the letters in this word omitted, here and later in sentence.

2Apparent idiosyncratic accent mark over one of the first two letters in this word omitted.

3Manuscript: “fon.”

4Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • food; olive oil search
  • food; vanilla search
  • food; vinegar syrup search
  • Fossett, Edith (Edy) Hern (TJ’s slave; b.1787); trained in French cooking search
  • French language; letters in, from; E. Lemaire search
  • Hern, Fanny Gillette (TJ’s slave; b.1788; wife of David Hern [b.1784]); trained as chef search
  • Lemaire, Etienne; letters from search
  • Lemaire, Etienne; sends oil and syrup to TJ search
  • Maille, Antoine; vinegar syrup of search
  • oil; olive search
  • olives; oil search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); pays TJ’s account in Philadelphia search
  • slaves; trained in French cooking search
  • syrup; of vinegar search
  • vanilla; TJ orders search
  • vanilla; ways to serve search
  • vinegar; syrup search