Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 28 June 1785

To William Short

Paris June 28. 1785.

Dear Sir

I must beg a thousand pardons for not having sooner answered your kind enquiries after Patsy’s health. I was yesterday out the whole day, therefore scribble a line just as I am setting out to Versailles this morning. Her indisposition was slight, occasioned by a cold. The cold still remains, but the headach, and slight fever have left her. If we make an appointment to meet you at all it will be for Sunday, because on Monday I expect some friends to dine with me, and it may be convenient for you to come with us the day before. I have received orders from Virginia to furnish plans for the public buildings, and am now occupied on that. Should we not write to you to meet us on Sunday, you may as well come on that day as it is only one day sooner than you had intended. I am with much esteem Dr. Sir Your friend & Servt.,

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViW); endorsed. Not recorded in SJL.

From the fact that Martha was ill and TJ seemed in doubt whether he could make an appointment at all except possibly on Sunday, 3 July, it is probable that he had declined the invitation of the Abbés Arnoux and Chalut to dine at St. Cloud on Thursday the 30th, an invitation which had included Short (see the Abbés Arnoux and Chalut to TJ, 28 June 1785). Presumably Short’s enquiries after Patsy’s health were by letter; if so, it has not been found. Monday, of course, was the Fourth of July and TJ had invited some friends to dine in honor of the occasion. Among these friends was Lafayette: “By the blessed fourth day of July, I found myself Magnetized to Mr. Jefferson’s table, where we chearfully Began our tenth Year of independance” (Lafayette to John Adams, Sarreguemines, 13 July 1785; MHi: AMT).

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