Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Madame de Bréhan, 22 October 1787

From Madame de Bréhan

Brest the 22 8bre 1787.

The moment shall come very soon, Sir, which must take and carry us in your happy Country. I have but a regret—’tis that we cannot take you with us, but perhaps you will come soon. It is an hope that I will keep preciously. You have given me, Sir, a promise to write to me. Don’t forget it I pray you and receive the adieux of one who knows how to value your merite and your friendship.

Will you be so good as to give this letter to Mr Short? Speak together of the travellers.

RC (DLC); unsigned; endorsed by TJ: “Brehan Mde. de.” Recorded in SJL as received 25 Oct. 1787. The enclosed letter to Short is also dated at Brest, 22 Oct. 1787, and reads: “I must give you, Sir, many thanks for your kind wishes for my passage; I fear extremely, I shall be very sick, since only for going to the road yesterday, to see our frigate, I came back with a great disease: but I must suffer that with patience as also the too little cabbin which is destined to me. I believe I will be very glad to arrive at new York; you tell me, Sir, that I must keep my maners, it is better I think, to take those of the country, and I will do so. I will, Sir, write to you and shall tell you, with freedom, how I find myself with the country and with my health… (DLC: Short Papers; endorsed as received 26 Oct. 1787). The long, arduous voyage ahead of Madame de Bréhan, lasting almost three months and causing a rumor that the vessel had been lost, may understandably have had its influence in her failure to adopt (or even to approve) the manners of the country to which she was going. There can be little doubt, however, that she was glad to arrive in New York, though she had endured the voyage better than Moustier did (see Mme. de Bréhan to TJ, 1 Mch. 1788; Moustier to TJ, 13 Feb. 1788).

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