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To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Jefferson Randolph, [ca. 26 February 1802]

From Thomas Jefferson Randolph

[ca. 26 Feb. 1802]

My Dear Grand Papa

I hope you are well, it gives me great pleasure to be able to write to you I have been through my latin grammar twice and mamma thinks that I improved in my reading. I am not going to school now but cousin Beverly and my self are going to a latin school in the spring adieu my dear Grand Papa I want1 to see you very much indeed believe me your affectionate Grandson

Thomas J R

RC (ViU); undated, but TJ received this letter and the two preceding documents on the same day; endorsed by TJ as received 3 Mch. and so recorded in SJL.

Thomas Jefferson Randolph (1792–1875), eldest son of Martha Jefferson Randolph and Thomas Mann Randolph, was born at Monticello. He was taught at home and at local schools until 1808, when he attended lectures on botany, natural history, anatomy, and surgery in Philadelphia, his grandfather arranging for his stay with the family of Charles Willson Peale. In 1809 and 1810, Randolph completed his formal education with courses in mathematics and natural philosophy at Louis H. Girardin’s academy in Richmond, where John Wood was his teacher. In 1815, he married Jane Hollins Nicholas, daughter of Margaret Smith and Wilson Cary Nicholas, who was then serving as governor of Virginia. The couple at first resided at Monticello and Randolph took over the management of TJ’s affairs. Between 1816 and 1839, they had 13 children. In 1817, they moved to TJ’s Tufton farm. As executor of TJ’s estate, Randolph worked tirelessly and, in the end successfully, to settle his grandfather’s debts, which were intertwined with those of his father and father-in-law. He moved his family permanently to Edgehill in 1828. He became known as a good farmer and careful manager. Randolph served six terms in the Virginia House of Delegates between 1831 and 1843. His 1832 speech in the assembly on gradual emancipation and deportation of slaves was published as a pamphlet. Randolph served as a delegate to the Virginia constitutional convention of 1851–52 and at the Virginia convention of 1861, where he voted for secession. He participated in the Democratic National Conventions at Baltimore in 1844, 1852, and 1872. Randolph published Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, the first collection of TJ’s writings, four volumes in all, in 1829. That year he also became a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia, a position he held until 1857. He then served as rector of the university until 1864 (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; Monticello Association, Collected Papers, ed. George G. Shackelford, 2 vols. [Princeton and Charlottesville, 1965–84], 1:76–88; 2:34; The Speech of Thomas J. Randolph, (of Albemarle), in the House of Delegates of Virginia, on the Abolition of Slavery [Richmond, 1832]; 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, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1248; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619-January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, Richmond, 1978 description ends , 359, 363, 371, 379, 384, 404, 441, 474; RS description begins J. Jefferson Looney and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, Princeton, 2004–, 5 vols. description ends , 1:190–1n, 520, 633–4; 2:95, 171–2).

1MS: “wat,” with an “n” superscripted above the word for insertion, in an unidentified hand.

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