Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Trumbull, 19 December 1788

From John Trumbull

London Decr. 19th. 1788.

Dr Sir

Your Letter of the 26th. Novr. with the Bill enclos’d (and which has been duly honor’d) came to hand in due time.

By the Diligence which leaves town tomorrow morning, you will receive a Box containing your Harness and Saddles. The maker wishes them to be unpacked as soon as they come to your hands. They are taken to pieces for the convenience of package;—the Box likewise contains what further Books of your list Payne has been able to procure, four Ream of paper, and a little case with two pictures, one of which I hope you will do me the honor to accept, and the other I beg you to be so good as offer to Miss Jefferson:—I almost despair of its meeting her approbation, but it is all I can do untill I have the happiness to see you again:—You would have received both long since, but for the Vexation I have had with my larger picture, and which has left me little Spirits to attend to any thing else:—I hope Miss Jefferson’s health is perfectly reestablished.

I have begg’d Mrs. Church who is just come to Town to try your Carriage. I shall report to you by the next post, and as Mr. Parker is now here and returns soon to Paris, I hope you will soon receive it.

Parties run very high on the question of the Regency, necessary during the King’s illness. This is a day of warm debate in the House of Commons:—I am Dr Sir Your most Obliged servant,

Jno. Trumbull

RC (NNP); endorsed by TJ: “Trumbull John. 1788. Dec. 4. reams copying paper”; beneath Trumbull’s signature TJ made the following notes for his reply to Trumbull of 12 Jan. 1789: “arrival harness pictures Shipp’s 5 G. letters to Ama.”

The two Pictures were a portrait of Thomas Paine and one of TJ himself (TJ to Trumbull, 12 Jan. 1789; Theodore Sizer, The Works of Colonel John Trumbull, New Haven, 1950, p. 35, 44). Both miniatures are illustrated in this volume. Perhaps TJ never knew that the gift to Martha was prompted by William Short. On 10 Sep. 1788 Short wrote Trumbull from Paris: “I set out for Italy by the way of Lyons and Geneva on Saturday. The piece of ten I have paid to Mr. Jefferson for you, and as my thanks I beg you to recieve them from me.—I shall think of you very often in Italy my dear Sir for I shall never see a fine painting without wish[ing] to have you by me and to hear your opinion and your judicious remarks on it.—Mrs. Church’s trunk shall be left with Mr. Jefferson to be sent by the first good opportunity. Dont fail to assure her as well as Mrs. Cosway of my love and attachment. I know that you gave each of them a copy of Mr. Jefferson’s picture. Shall I put you in a way to do a very clever gallant thing? You have not time to think of people so far off and therefore you will excuse my giving you the hint—make what you please of it. Send a copy of the same to Miss Jefferson. Dont say that the hint came from me or from any body. It’s being original with you will render it still more agreeable. This is my last will before my departure and you will execute it or not as you please. If you do, I think you may be assured of doing a very agreeable thing. The picture by Brown of Mr. Adams is an excellent likeness; that of Mr. Jefferson is supposed by every body here to be an étude. It has no feature like him” (DLC: Short Papers). For a reproduction of the portrait of TJ by Mather Brown, see frontispiece to Vol. 1.

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