Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to William Thornton, 27 July 1816

To William Thornton

Monticello July 27. 16

Dear Sir

Your favor of the 20th is recieved, and I take up my pen merely to assure you I had not mentioned the return of the paintings from any hurry to recieve them, but merely to make known a safe occasion of sending them if done with. I thank you for the offer to place a copy of one of them here in oil; but Stewart’s original takes as much room on the walls as the thing is worth. with respect to the merit of Otis’s painting I am not qualified to say any thing: for this is a case where the precept of ‘Know thyself’ does not apply. the ladies from the study1 of their looking glasses may be good judges of their own faces; but we see ours only under a mask of soap-suds and the scrapings of the razor. Accept always the assurance of my great esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of Edward Caffarena to TJ, 5 Sept. 1814; at foot of text: “Dr Thornton”; endorsed by TJ.

1Reworked from “studies.”

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; women search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Portraits; B. Otis’s painting search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Portraits; G. Stuart’s paintings search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Portraits; W. Thornton’s profile bust search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); portraits and paintings at search
  • Otis, Bass; portrait of TJ search
  • Stuart, Gilbert; “Medallion” profile of TJ by search
  • Thornton, William; borrows paintings from TJ search
  • Thornton, William; letters to search
  • Thornton, William; portrait of TJ by search
  • women; TJ on search