Thomas Jefferson Papers

George Gilmer to John Morgan, 11 May 1766

George Gilmer to John Morgan

Virginia 11 May 1766

Dear Sir

Give me leave to introduce the bearer my particular friend Mr. Thomas Jefferson. I need say nothing to recommend him to your esteem, your penetrating genius will discover him to be a Gentleman emminently worthy your accquaintance. Since your departure from Edinburgh there has no incident occurd worth relating. In Medecine not one article. Our friend Cocks died of a fever in London about six months past. Miss Knelly Kinaird made a run away match with Mr. Dana a Gentleman from New England; Mr. Thos: Warton married a Daughter of Sr: Robt. McKinzie [and] is appointed sole Solicitor to the Excise. Blair had not in Sepr: last put on the Toga. All the Professors I left in good health except Dr. Whyte who had been long ill of a Diabetes and was fully satisfied within himself that there was no remedy. Excuse Dear Sir this scrole. If in your memory I yet have a place, pray honour me with a line by Mr. Thos: Jefferson and you’ll oblige one who ever esteemd you and shall be pleasd to have some rank in your favour. From your friend & Servant,

Geo: Gilmer

RC (PHi). Addressed “To Doctor John Morgan Professor of Medecine in Philadelphia By the particular favour of Mr Thos: Jefferson.” Endorsed: “from Doctr. Geo: Gillmer Virginia May 11. 1766.”

This is the single surviving letter of introduction TJ carried with him on his first trip north, reported in the following letters to Page and Willis. One of TJ’s purposes in going to Philadelphia was to be inoculated, and it is possible that Morgan performed this service for him, though according to family tradition Dr. William Shippen, Jr., did so (Malone, Jefferson, i, 99–100). For Gilmer, see the same, also Blanton, Medicine in Va. in the 18th Cent., p. 23, 34, &c.; for Morgan see DAB description begins Dictionary of American Biography description ends .

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