Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Trumbull, 29 November 1786

From John Trumbull

I have the pleasure of committing to Colo. Smith’s care for you, a letter of Mrs. Cosway, and a book of songs of her composition. She has written twice to you before, since receiving your first and only one thru my hands; and having no answer, is anxious least they should have missd their way tho I addressed them in the manner you directed.

I am sorry to learn from Colo. S. that his last letters from you were still written with the left hand. I hope however that ere this time you begin to recover the use of the right.

We have late accounts from America but they contain nothing which can give you pleasure. I am not only unwilling to be the messenger of ill news, but asham’d to relate the follies of my neighboring countrymen.—We have been reproach’d with dishonesty. I am sorry to see such a Character confirmed by an open opposition to the course of Law, and the rights of Creditors.

I am Sir With the highest Esteem Your oblig’d friend & servant,

Jno. Trumbull

RC (DLC); endorsed. Noted in SJL as received 20 Dec. 1786.

The letter sent through Smith was that from Mrs. Cosway of 27 Nov. 1786. The book of songs of her composition was Songs and Duets Composed by Mrs. Cosway (1786); see Helen Duprey Bullock, My Head and My Heart: A Little History of Thomas Jefferson and Maria Cosway, p. 50–1; TJ’s copy of Songs and Duets is at Monticello and is owned by The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation. She has written twice: See Mrs. Cosway’s letters under 30 Oct. and 17 Nov. 1786.

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