Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Partout, [January 1787?]

From Partout

[Jan. 1787?]

The Cook returned and told he would accept of my terms whatever they would be: I answerd he should consult nothing but his own convenience: I told him I thought M. Jefs. would be disposed to give him fifty guineas a year for teaching another the cookery. Aggreed.

He observed a sufficient quantity of linnen and kitchen utensils should be furnished only for his use, and in greater quantity than in the English cookerey which does not require as many as ours. I aggreed.

He desired a suply of bier or toddy or brandy for the days when he should have an extraordinary business. I left it to Mr. Jeffson.

The man comes for an answer in half an hour. As a number of small affairs press on me I hope M. Jepherson will excuse the paper, Style and Writer.

RC (MHi); undated, unaddressed, and unsigned; in an unidentified hand; endorsed by TJ: “Partout, cook.” The identity of Partout has not been established, but he may have been the “old cook” of the Prince of Conde (see Mazzei to TJ, 17 Apr. 1787; TJ to Mazzei, 6 May 1787) or he may have been the person who engaged the patissier to instruct James in the art of pastry-cooking early in Jan. 1787 (an entry in Account Book for 10 Jan. 1787 reads: “[pd Petit] for James’s apprenticeship with patissier” 72f.). The letter could not have been written by Petit, who evidently wrote only a labored French.

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