Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to John Page, 7 October 1763

To John Page

Williamsburg, October 7, 1763.

Dear Page

In the most melancholy fit that ever any poor soul was, I sit down to write to you. Last night, as merry as agreeable company and dancing with Belinda in the Apollo could make me, I never could have thought the succeeding sun would have seen me so wretched as I now am! I was prepared to say a great deal: I had dressed up in my own mind, such thoughts as occurred to me, in as moving language as I knew how, and expected to have performed in a tolerably creditable manner. But, good God! When I had an opportunity of venting them, a few broken sentences, uttered in great disorder, and interrupted with pauses of uncommon length, were the too visible marks of my strange confusion! The whole confab I will tell you, word for word, if I can, when I see you, which God send may be soon. Affairs at W. and M. are in the greatest confusion. Walker, M’Clurg and Wat Jones are expelled pro tempore, or, as Horrox softens it, rusticated for a month. Lewis Burwell, Warner Lewis, and one Thompson have fled to escape flagellation. I should have excepted Warner Lewis, who came off of his own accord. Jack Walker leaves town on Monday. The court is now at hand, which I must attend constantly, so that unless you come to town, there is little probability of my meeting with you any where else. For God’s sake come. I am, dear Page, Your sincere friend,

T. Jefferson

MS not located. Text from Tucker, Life description begins George Tucker, The Life of Thomas Jefferson, Philadelphia, 1837 description ends , i, 37, where the letter was printed from a copy furnished by a son of John Page.

In the list of disciplined students those not already identified are James Mc Clurg, Walter Jones, Warner Lewis, and John or William Thompson, all of the class of 1763 (Wm. & Mary Coll., Prov. List of Alumni, 1941); the first two became well-known physicians. The Rev. James Horrox (i.e., Horrocks) was master of the grammar school at the College; in the following year he became president of the College and may at this time have been acting president (Tyler, College of William and Mary, p. 48). The order of rustication to Walker, McClurg, and Jones, on account of “injurious Behavior on Tuesday Night last to a family in Town,” will be found in WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly description ends , 1st ser., iv (1895–1896), 44–5.

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