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From Thomas Jefferson to John Barnes, 23 November 1798

To John Barnes

Monticello Nov. 23. 98.

Dear Sir

The [derangement] of our post still continuing, this is the first moment I have an opportunity of acknowleging the receipt of your favor of the 1st inst. announcing your return to Philadelphia. I hope it to have been safe from that time, tho’ we have had such warm weather here as made me apprehend a revival of the fever with you. I thank you sincerely for the very kind offer of accomodations at your house. but I could not consent to displace you so inconveniently, from the apartments you occupy yourself. beside which, having hitherto lodged with mr Francis, and both himself and mrs Francis being very obliging, it would be painful to leave them. I am there also nearer to the Statehouse & Philosophical hall.—as I have not yet got my house closed against the damage of winter, and it is therefore very material for me to stay and press on the work till I shall have got it into a state of safety, I shall not set out for Philadelphia in time for the meeting of Congress. as no business is brought in during the first two or three weeks, it is probable I may not be there till the 3d week of [the] […]. I will ask the favor of you therefore to inform mr Fran[cis] that I expect to occupy my former apartments with him […] [and] that I shall be obliged to him to have them ready […] the 2[0]th. of the month (December) and to engage a [servant?] for me at the same time. I should prefer my former one John Theodore, if to be had.—I shall write to mr Roberts by the next post for a supply of nail rod to be forwarded before the ice [shuts up?] your river. I am with affectionate esteem Dear Sir

Your friend & servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (CSmH); faint; at foot of text: “Mr. Barnes”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

Nearer to the statehouse & philosophical hall: John Francis’s hotel was at numbers 11 and 13 South Fourth Street, between Market and Chestnut (Cornelius William Stafford, The Philadelphia Directory for 1798 [Philadelphia, 1798], 57; TJ to Richard Richardson, 16 Dec. 1797).

TJ was unsuccessful in again obtaining the services of John Theodore, who for wages of $10 a month had been his servant during his earlier stays in the capital in 1797–98. On 29 Dec. he hired Jacob Lawrence, paying him $12 a month until TJ left Philadelphia on 1 Mch. 1799 (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 , 2:962, 975, 977, 979–84, 986, 995, 997–9).

According to SJL Barnes wrote TJ two letters from Trenton that have not been located, one on 29 Sep. and the other on 1 Oct., both of which TJ received on 13 Oct. Also recorded in SJL but missing are a 1 Nov. 1798 letter from Barnes, received from Philadelphia on the 16th, and one that TJ wrote to Barnes on the 30th.

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