Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Geismar, 3 March 1785

To Geismar

Paris Mar. 3. 1785.

Dr. Sir

An unfortunate change in my domestic situation by the loss of a tender connection who joined me in esteeming you, occasioned me to wish a change of scene and to accept an appointment which brought me to this place and will keep me here some time. Since your departure from America I have been altogether uninformed of your subsequent history. I am sure I need not tell you that the regard I entertain for you has rendered that interesting to me. A vague report of your death which was never so authenticated as to command belief, but which has not been authentically contradicted has particularly occasioned me to wish the pleasure of a line from yourself. Till this or some other assurance of your being still on this side the Styx, I shall indulge no further the feelings of friendship which would only render my pen more diffuse, but conclude with an assurance of the esteem and regard with which I have the honr. to be Dr: Sir Your affectte. hble servt.

P.S. Address to me as Min. plen. des E. U. d’Am. à Paris Cul-de-sac Tetebout, and send your letters to the care of Ch. W. Dumas Agent des Etat Unis d’Am. à la Haye.

Dft (DLC); at foot of letter: “A Monsr. Monsr. le Baron de Geismar Capitaine et gentilhomme de la cour au service de S. A. Sme. Monseignr. le Land Grave et Prince Hereditaire de Hesse-cassel, à Hanau par Francfort sur le Main.” Entry in SJL reads: “Mar. 3—Baron Geismar. See copy.”

This letter, like that to Hogendorp of 20 Nov. 1784, may have been merely another straw thrown into the wind by TJ to try to find out whether peace or war had been determined upon. He had known Geismar when the latter was one of the Convention Troops while they were quartered in Virginia.

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