Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Maria Cosway, 14 October 1789

To Maria Cosway

Cowes Octob. 14. 1789.

I am here, my dear friend, waiting the arrival of a ship to take my flight from this side of the Atlantic and as we think last of those we love most, I profit of the latest moment to bid you a short but affectionate Adieu. Before this, Trumbull will have left you: but we are more than exchanged by Mrs. Church who will probably be with you in the course of the present month. My daughters are with me and in good health. We have left a turbulent scene, and I wish it may be tranquilized on my return, which I count will be in the month of April. Under present circumstances, aggravated as you will read them in the English papers, we cannot hope to see you in France. But a return of quiet and order may remove that bugbear, and the ensuing spring might give us a meeting at Paris with the first swallow. So be it, my dear friend, and Adieu under the hope which springs naturally out of what we wish. Once and again then farewell, remember me and love me.

PrC (ViU); unsigned.

As the present and adjacent letters prove, TJ had his portable copying press, paper, and materials with him as he journeyed from Paris to Le Havre, as he endured the “26. hours of boisterous navigation and mortal sickness” from Le Havre to Cowes, and as he waited to embark on the Clermont, thus enabling him—as had been the case on his travels to southern France in 1787 and to Holland in 1788—to insure the preservation of texts of letters that otherwise would have been lost to history and to demonstrate once again that his ingrained habits of work and love of system could not be thwarted even by difficulties of travel. The present letter, like the more famous dialogue of the Head and the Heart (see TJ to Maria Cosway, 12 Oct. 1786), seems to exist only in a press copy.

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