Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Mitchie B. Pryor Jefferson, 2 August 1815

To Mitchie B. Pryor Jefferson

Monticello Aug. 2. 15.

Dear Sister

your letter of yesterday gave us the first information of my brother’s illness. we learn it with great concern mrs Marks would have visited him, but that we have now in our family, both in doors, and out, more sickness than I have ever had since I was a house keeper. Cornelia, Virginia and both of mrs Bankhead’s children. all of these are on the recovery except Virginia. without doors two or three are taken of a day, so that all the houses of the negroes are mere hospitals requiring great and constant attendance and care; all of an epidemic dysentery now prevailing thro’ the neighborhood. your letter gives us a hope that my brother is mending. we shall be very glad to hear of him by the mail which furnishes a weekly-opportunity.

I return by Squire the harness he was so kind as to lend me. it has answered the only occasion I had for it, and may on some other be useful to yourselves. affectionately Yours

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of John Wayles Eppes to TJ, 6 July 1815; at foot of text: “mrs M. B. Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ.

Mitchie Ballow Pryor Jefferson was the daughter of David Pryor, of Buckingham County, and the second wife of Randolph Jefferson, having married him by 1809. She gave birth on 8 Mar. 1816 to John Randolph Jefferson (d. 1845), whom she later took to Tennessee to live with her brother Nicholas B. Pryor. On 29 Apr. 1819 she married Josiah Johnson, of Williamson County, Tennessee. She died between giving birth to James Monroe Johnson on 2 July 1820 and her husband’s remarriage in 1825 (VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893–  description ends 7 [1900]: 325–6; Bernard Mayo, ed., Thomas Jefferson and His Unknown Brother [1942; repr. 1981], 4; note to Randolph Jefferson to TJ, 7 Dec. 1809; gravestone inscription for John Randolph Jefferson, Old City Cemetery, Nashville; T: Williamson Co. Marriages; Albert L. Johnson Jr., Guardian Records of Williamson County, Tennesse [2001], 1:iv, 2:234; Richmond Enquirer, 15 Dec. 1832).

Jefferson’s letters to her brother-in-law TJ of yesterday, 1 Aug. 1815, and of 10 Aug. 1815, both not found, are recorded in SJL as received from Snowden on the days they were written. Missing letters from TJ to his sister Anne Scott marks of 9 and 16 Aug. 1815 are also recorded in SJL. Ann C. Bankhead’s children at this time were TJ’s great-grandchildren John Warner Bankhead, Thomas Mann Randolph Bankhead and Ellen Monroe Bankhead.

Index Entries

  • Bankhead, Ann (Anne) Cary Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter; Charles Lewis Bankhead’s wife); children of search
  • Bankhead, Ellen Monroe (TJ’s great-granddaughter) search
  • Bankhead, John Warner (TJ’s great-grandson) search
  • Bankhead, Thomas Mann Randolph (TJ’s great-grandson); health of search
  • dysentery; epidemic of at Monticello search
  • health; dysentery search
  • health; of slaves search
  • Jefferson, John Randolph (TJ’s nephew; Randolph Jefferson’s son) search
  • Jefferson, Mitchie Ballow Pryor (TJ’s sister-in-law; Randolph Jefferson’s second wife); family of search
  • Jefferson, Mitchie Ballow Pryor (TJ’s sister-in-law; Randolph Jefferson’s second wife); identified search
  • Jefferson, Mitchie Ballow Pryor (TJ’s sister-in-law; Randolph Jefferson’s second wife); letters from accounted for search
  • Jefferson, Mitchie Ballow Pryor (TJ’s sister-in-law; Randolph Jefferson’s second wife); letter to search
  • Jefferson, Randolph (TJ’s brother); and A. S. Marks search
  • Jefferson, Randolph (TJ’s brother); family of search
  • Jefferson, Randolph (TJ’s brother); health of search
  • Jefferson, Randolph (TJ’s brother); marries M. B. Pryor search
  • Jefferson, Randolph (TJ’s brother); TJ returns harness to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Family & Friends; relations with R. Jefferson search
  • Marks, Anne Scott Jefferson (TJ’s sister; Hastings Marks’s wife); and R. Jefferson search
  • Marks, Anne Scott Jefferson (TJ’s sister; Hastings Marks’s wife); letters to accounted for search
  • Randolph, Cornelia Jefferson (TJ’s granddaughter); illness of search
  • slaves; health of search
  • Squire (R. Jefferson’s slave) search
  • Trist, Virginia Jefferson Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); illness of search