Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Stephen Cathalan, Sr., [3 October 1787]

From Stephen Cathalan, Sr.

Wednesday 4 o.Clock after noon


I extremly regret that your departure for the Country prevents me and my Son to have the honor of seeing you again, perhaps never I will enjoy that pleasure again!

I would have desired to tell you by how many sollicitations, intrviews &a. I could obtain a Sale of my cargoes MM. Ant. de Montcloux was for me in the Commitée.

I wish with all my heart you may succeed, in Shewing them in a fair light toward the Ministers. They are alltogether very bad Sett of People; and I must yet appear Satisfied and acknowledge them my thanks.

I keep with me your Packet for the Count del Vermé at Milan, hoping to find room in my Carriage; the Charges from Marseilles to Milan say to Genoa will be but very triffling, and will be always compensable between you and me.

Our ladies and Eulalie will be always very gratefull of your remaimbrance, and with pleasure we Bear them your Compliments.

Your wishes for our Journey are received by us with the greatest gratude, we ask from you the Continuation of your Friendship and Beg you to be perfectly assured of our respectfull regard, being always at your command, and for life very respectfully Sir of your excellency and america the most obedient and Devoted Servant,

Stephen Cathalan

RC (DLC); in the hand of Stephen Cathalan, Jr.; assigned to this date from internal evidence and the letter preceding, which was evidently written the same day. Not recorded in SJL.

TJ must have replied to the preceding letter with one in which he sent his compliments to the ladies and eulalie and also his best wishes to Cathalan and his son for their journey, but no such letter has been found. It also evidently explained that TJ was on the point of Departure for the Country. There is nothing in the Account Book to indicate a departure on Wednesday the 3rd; but an entry under 5 Sep. 1787 shows that TJ “took possession of apartments at Mont Calvaire” and it is likely that he visited, or expected to visit, the hermitage kept by the lay brothers on Mont Calvaire (or Mont Valérien) beyond the Bois de Boulogne, where the hermits tended vineyards, manufactured stockings of a superior quality (see TJ to Abigail Adams, 2 Feb. 1788), and maintained apartments for some forty guests who were permitted to walk in the gardens but not talk there (see Malone, Jefferson, ii, 137–8). On 12 Oct. 1787 another entry in the Account Book reads: “paid at Mont Calvaire 60f. viz @ 2f10 myself and If my horse,” showing that this covered several visits to the retreat between 5 Sep. and 12 Oct. 1787. TJ usually went to Mont Calvaire on Fridays or Saturdays, but not always (see TJ to Grand, 30 Sep. 1787; TJ to Barrett, 8 Oct. 1787; Fontenille to TJ, 23 Oct. 1787; TJ to Fontenille, 24 Oct. 1787). See illustration in this volume.

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