Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Philip Mazzei, 10 February 1809

Washington Feb. 10. 09.

Dear Sir

My last letter to you was of the 14th. of March 07. no occasion arose for writing again in the course of that year, and at the close of it, in December 07. our embargo put an end to the departure of vessels, which has continued from that time to this, 14. months. since my last, I have recieved yours of 07. Jan. 24. June 22. Sep. 13. Oct. 20. Dec. 19. 08. Mar. 29. the present will go very safely by one of our Avisos to Paris, but it’s reaching you from thence is so unsafe that I shall say not a word but on business. after paying your 3. bills of 500. D. each, there remained a small balance of about 50. D. still due to you, which I pd to mr Mcraw the lawyer who recovered your house & lots in Richmond from Foster Webb. in one of my former letters I advised you to sell the house & lot, & I still repeat it. it is an old wooden house, which will never be kept in order by a tenant. and in the event of your death there will be difficulty in the succession of your daughter, as the character of citizenship ends with yourself. the man who gave us so much trouble to get him out of possession would be very watchful to procure a confiscation.   I have according to your request, made up a set of my messages &c. to Congress, which however I am afraid to trust by this conveyance, besides the expence of postage which they would cost you. our embargo will probably be taken off on the 4th. of next month, & then we may expect vessels going into the Mediterranean by which I can send them. I have also a model of the Mould board of a plough of my invention, which shall in the same way be sent to you for mr Febbroni, to whom I pray you to present my respects, & to mr Masi, my thanks for the mark of respect proposed to me in the dedication of Filangieri’s work. it will always be flattering to see my name coupled with those of the lovers of the liberty and happiness of man.   remarkeable deaths among us are that of our excellent friend John Page, who has left a numerous family in great distress; Colo. Coles our former neighbor, whose family is numerous also, but left in affluence, mr Wythe, & John Dickinson author of the Farmer’s letters. I am now within three weeks of the day of my retirement from office. it will be a day of great relief & joy to me. I am panting after the tranquility of Monticello. there my daughter & her numerous family will live with me. I shall soon be a great grandfather, having a granddaughter married. my health continues good, altho’ I begin to be sensible of some of the decays of age. I shall be happy to hear that you still retain your health & strength, and may hope hereafter to be a more punctual correspondent. I salute you with sincere & constant friendship & respect.

Th: Jefferson

P.S. on further consideration I have concluded, as the opportunity is favorable, to send the model of the mouldboard of the plough, and the collection of my addresses to Paris, from whence they can be conveyed to you more certainly than from hence, in the present state of affairs.

Privately owned.

Index Entries