Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to John McQueen, 16 January 1786

To John McQueen

Jan. 16. 1786.

Mr. Jefferson’s compliments to Mr. Mc.Queen and was very sorry he was gone out when Mr. Mc.Queen did him the honour to call on him. He begs the favour of his company to dinner on Thursday next, and shall be happy to see him whenever he can make it convenient. Mr. Jefferson seldom goes out before noon, so that at any earlier hour Mr. Mc.Queen will find him at home.

RC (NjP); addressed in part: “Hotel de l’Empereur rue de Tournon.”

McQueen, a citizen of Georgia at this time and later known as Don Juan McQueen, came to Europe in the latter part of 1785 bearing a letter of introduction to TJ from Nathanael Greene, with whom he was interested in promoting the sale of live oak timbers to the minister of marine (see TJ to Greene, 12 Jan. 1786). TJ recorded in SJL that he received Greene’s letter of 11 June 1785, together with one from Mrs. Anne Kinloch of 27 Dec. 1785, on 14 Jan. 1786 “by Mr. Mc.Queen” (The Letters of Don Juan McQueen, ed. W. C. Hartridge, Columbia, S.C., 1943, p. xxv). McQueen sold a large tract of timber land in Georgia to a Frenchman named DuPlessis, who hoped to make his fortune in America, but who was unable to stand the Georgia climate and was obliged to allow McQueen to repossess the property (DuPlessis to Castries, 1 July 1787; copy in DLC: TJ Papers, 30: 5170–3, mentions Greene’s earlier effort to dispose of live oak).

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