Thomas Jefferson Papers

Benjamin Vaughan to Thomas Jefferson, 21–22 April 1819

From Benjamin Vaughan

{ Philadelphia, April 21, 1819.
Bordentown, N.J. April 22.1

Dear sir,

I have taken the liberty to send you, through Mr J. Q. Adams, a tin box containing Dr Physick’s prescription2 for the cutaneous application, as mentioned in my letter. The particulars of the recipe will follow.

Genl Van Damme (I hope I spell his name correctly) tells Mr Levett Harris, whom you know, that he has received his passport to return to France; that France is tranquil; that the peers proving averse to the change of the law of elections, it remained in force; that the king would soon go through his unction at Rheims; & that an amnesty was expected, though it was not certain whether Genl De Gruchy would in the first instance be included in it.

By a declaration of the President of the Bank at Paris, it appears that some postponement had been given to the instalments due to foreign powers, by consent; & that discounts had been of late freely made, having gone in one week to the amount of 60 millions of livres. The tenor of the piece is that of confidence; & the “ransom” is now considered as settled & over.—I speak this from memory.

With respect to the discoloring of plaster of Paris, I believe we may pronounce it as unknown; if we judge from casts; whether made from the gypsum of Montmartre or Nova Scotia. The article which becomes discolored, is stucco, or plaster mixed with mortar; & therefore it is important to examine how far mortar may contain iron, when designed for stucco.

Not having heard farther respecting your house, I trust that the fire only affected the offices.

I beg to present my particular respects to Mrs Randolph & the young ladies. I have the honor to be,

Dear sir,

Your respectful & faithful humble sert

Benjn Vaughan

I purpose leaving this place to day, to move homeward; having desired the turnip seed to be inclosed to you, as requested.

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 1 May 1819 from “Phila Apr. 21. Bordenton Apr. 22.” and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Joel Yancey, 25 June 1819, on verso; addressed: “Honble Thomas Jefferson, Monticello”; franked; postmarked Bordentown, N.J., 22 Apr.

The French generals Dominique Vandamme and Emmanuel, marquis de Grouchy (genl de gruchy), were living in exile in the United States because of their participation in Napoleon’s ill-fated Waterloo campaign. Both were ultimately allowed to return to France (David G. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon [1966], 1115; Boston Columbian Centinel, 22 May 1819).

1Second dateline and brace added in a different ink.

2Vaughan here keyed a note (in same ink as second dateline) perpendicularly in left margin with a Ⓧ: “NB. This was by mistake sent in another direction; but will be replaced.”

Index Entries

  • Adams, John Quincy; and P. S. Physick’s prescription for TJ search
  • building materials; mortar search
  • building materials; stucco search
  • France; Chambre des Pairs search
  • France; laws of search
  • France; reparations of to allied powers search
  • Grouchy, Emmanuel, marquis de; amnesty for search
  • gypsum (plaster of paris); discoloration of search
  • gypsum (plaster of paris); in Canada search
  • gypsum (plaster of paris); in France search
  • Harris, Levett; and D. Vandamme search
  • Louis XVIII, king of France; investiture of search
  • medicine; ointments search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); fires at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); North Pavilion search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); South Pavilion search
  • mortar search
  • Paris; banks in search
  • Physick, Philip Syng; and medical treatment for TJ search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); children of search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); greetings sent to search
  • rutabagas (Swedish turnips) search
  • seeds; rutabaga search
  • seeds; sent to TJ search
  • stucco search
  • tin; boxes search
  • Vandamme, Dominique search
  • Vaughan, Benjamin; and fire at Monticello search
  • Vaughan, Benjamin; and gypsum search
  • Vaughan, Benjamin; and P. S. Physick’s treatment for TJ search
  • Vaughan, Benjamin; and rutabagas search
  • Vaughan, Benjamin; letters from search
  • Vaughan, Benjamin; sends news to TJ search