Thomas Jefferson Papers
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William Wirt to Thomas Jefferson, 10 August 1816

From William Wirt

Richmond. August 10. 1816.

Dear Sir.

I suppose it proceeds from the circumstances of my having lived in your neighbourhood, for several years; the brotherly intimacy and affection which has always subsisted between your nephews, the Mr Carrs, and myself; and the paternal kindness with which you have always treated me, that I feel a sort of filial right to be more troublesome to you, than my judgment can entirely approve: but I beg you to be assured that the same feeling which prompts my applications to you, will dispose me to acquiesce, with undiminished respect and affection, in any refusal on your part to yield to them.

In the rare intervals of professional duties, and domestic avocations imposed upon me by a large and growing family, I have made such progress in my sketches of Henry’s life, as to justify the hope that they will be ready for the press this autumn. I am very desirous, if it comport entirely with your convenience and inclination, that the manuscript should pass through your hands before it goes to the press: but I repeat my entreaty that you will not yield to this wish, if it will be attended with any sacrafice of your convenience or ease. Besides the advantage to the work and to my self from your previous perusal, & corrections,1 I am d[e]sirous that you should see whether I may not have made a freer use of your communications than you intended.

The work is now copying by my clerk; if you can accede to my wish, the manuscript shall be forwarded to you, in detachments, as the copy shall be finished. The whole, I presume, will not exceed an hundred and fifty pages; of which, perhaps, one hundred will have been copied, by the time I can receive your answer.

I beg you to accept the assurance of my unvarying respect and affection.

Wm Wirt

RC (DLC); edge chipped, with missing text supplied from Tr; endorsed by TJ as received 17 Aug. 1816. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Maximilian Godefroy, 11 Nov. 1816, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson esqr Monticello” by “mail”; franked; postmarked Richmond, 15 Aug. Tr (MdHi: Wirt Papers).

1Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Carr, Peter (1770–1815) (TJ’s nephew); friendship with W. Wirt search
  • Carr, Samuel (TJ’s nephew); friendship with W. Wirt search
  • Henry, Patrick (1736–99); W. Wirt’s book on search
  • Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry (W. Wirt); draft chapters of sent to TJ search
  • Wirt, William; friendship with P. Carr and S. Carr search
  • Wirt, William; letters from search
  • Wirt, William; on relationship with TJ search
  • Wirt, William; Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry search