Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Rutledge, Jr., 1 August 1788

From John Rutledge, Jr.

Strasbourg, 1 Aug. 1788. Arrived yesterday after pleasant journey along route TJ had proposed, which he found even more delightful than he expected. “At Coblence I paid the Landlord for your Map. He had entirely forgot it, and says you are the best Man in the world for remembering it. As you recommended, I embarked at Coblence to avoid the mountainous Road; I found it slow ascending the Rhine, but was compensated by the romantic and picturesque Scenes. On my passage I visited the Vineyards at [Johanne]sberg. The wines were the most [deliciou]s I ever tasted: but I fear we can never [import] them in America: the keeper of the Cave, if I recollect well, told me the wine would cost four shillings on the Spot. Although much pressed in time Major Geismer prevailed on me to stay three days at Frankfort. He presented me at Court at Philipsbourg, overwhelmed me with Civilities and by his attentions, rendered Frankfort so dear to me that I left it with much regret‥‥ He said much of the friendship which you shewed him whilst he was a Prisoner in Virginia and seemed happy in having an Opportunity of being kind to one of your friends.”

RC (DLC); 2 p.; endorsed; MS mutilated by breaking of seal, and lost words have been conjecturally supplied.

Shippen, in a letter to his father, stated that they had arrived at Strasbourg in the afternoon of 30 July and would depart early on 1 Aug. for Switzerland (31 July 1788; DLC: Shippen Family Papers). It is curious that Rutledge’s letter nowhere mentions Shippen; cf. Shippen’s description of the Rhine journey in his letter to TJ, 31 July 1788, wherein, among other variations from the present letter, he stated that it was he who was “not to be dissuaded” by discouraging comments of the natives and that it was Rutledge who “consented to hire a boat.”

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