Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Benjamin Rush, 24 January 1783

From Benjamin Rush

Jany 24. 1783 Thursday Evening

Dr. Rush’s Compliments to Mr. Jefferson and sends him herewith a packet for Mr. B: Vauhan to whom he has taken the liberty of introducing Mr. Jefferson as a fellow worshipper in the temple of Science. Mr: Vauhan is a gentlemen of knowledge and taste in Science, and possesses a most extensive acquaintance among the literati in London. Dr. Rush wishes Mr. Jefferson a safe voyage, and a continuance of his Usefulness and reputation in the Service of his Country.

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); addressed: “Mr Jefferson.” On the cover is a note by Madison: “Mr. Jefferson informed me when he put this into my hands that he should not deliver the letter to Mr. B. Vaughan untill a peace shall be finally concluded; as he understood that he is a Secy to one of the British Ministers. J Madison Jr. Philada. Jany. 25th. 1783.”

Vaughan was actually a representative of his friend Lord Shelburne at the peace negotiations; he and Franklin, despite the great disparity in their ages, were warm friends. Vaughan in 1779 had brought out the only edition of Franklin’s works to appear during his lifetime, and he was connected by marriage with Henry Laurens. It is not known how or when Rush met him; Vaughan, like Rush, studied medicine in Edinburgh, but many years after Rush had been there.

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