Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Martha Jefferson, [October 1786]

To Martha Jefferson

[Oct. 1786]

I will call for you today, my dear between twelve and one. You must be dressed, because we drink tea with Mrs. Montgomery. Bring your music and drawings. Adieu my dear Patsy.

MS not found; text printed from a photostat in NcD; unsigned, undated, and unaddressed. This note was written with TJ’s left hand, and therefore belongs to some date after 18 Sep., when TJ injured his wrist, and before mid-November, when he began to resume use of his right hand (also Mrs. Montgomery left Paris soon after this; see TJ to Mrs. Montgomery, 19 Nov. 1786). It is certain that TJ saw Martha on 5, 10, and 19 Oct., and 9 Nov. 1786, for the Account Book for the first three of these dates reads: “gave Patsy 3f”; and for the last, “gave Patsy 6f.” The first date is improbable, for that was the date when TJ had returned from St. Denis “more dead than alive” and in considerable distress from his wrist and his sleepless night; the last is also improbable, since TJ began soon after that date to use his right hand (see TJ to Jay, 12 Nov. 1786). It seems reasonable to conclude, then, that the note must have been written during Oct. and perhaps about mid-month. See also TJ to Martha Jefferson, 4 Nov. 1786.

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