Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Edward Bancroft, 12 July 1789

To Edward Bancroft

Paris July 12. 1789.

Dear Sir

Mr. Paradise will be arrived in London before this reaches you. He could not determine to await the deed any longer. But he proposed to and at your house in order to know in the first moment whether it was signed. He left in my hands a bill on you for £176. sterling which I have advanced for him and Mrs. Paradise at different times. It was part of a sum of money which I was to have paid in London before the last day of June. Having failed to do this, I have received a letter on the subject which gives me uneasiness. I postpone answering it till I can hear from you what provision was made or left open by the deed for reimbursing this. My situation here leaves me no other resource: but if the first remittances from Mr. Paradise’s estate will be free, I think they can not be long coming. I will thank you for an answer by return of post.—I have not yet received my permission to go to America, nor have any news about it. I begin to suspect they prefer my being absent during the winter, rather than the summer. I am with very great esteem Dear Sir Your most obedient & most humble servt.,

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC).

In DLC: TJ Papers, 50: 8521–2, there is a letter of advice from Paradise addressed to “Mr. William Wilkinson Junr Williamsburg in Virginia,” dated at Paris, 11 July 1789, as follows: “The purport of this letter is to inform you that I have drawn a bill upon Dr. Bancroft for one hundred and seventy six pounds sterling, money which Mr. Jefferson has had the generosity to advance me for my support. I desire you, therefore, to reimburse this sum to him immediately, and take the bill for your voucher. Had it not been for the unparalleled kindness of this invaluable man, I most certainly must have starved; but as the Jeffersons are scarce, very scarce indeed in this world, I must desire you, my friend, for the future to be a little more regular in your remittances. To-morrow I shall set off for London, from whence I shall write to you a long letter. In the mean while I beg my best compliments to your good mother and our other friends in Virginia” (words in italics, supplied, are inserted in TJ’s hand). A statement of the debt referred to in this letter is in same, 50: 8596 and shows that between 3 Nov. 1788 and 11 July 1789 TJ gave orders on Grand to Paradise for various sums totalling the amount stated, including £20 for Mrs. Paradise on 2 Mch. 1789 and a draft for £30 plus £6 in cash on 10–11 July 1789. Two copies of the bill on you are in same, 50: 8519, 8523, in TJ’s hand, signed by Paradise: one is the triplicate, addressed “Doctr. Edward Bancroft No. 21 Charlotte street near Rathbone place London,” and dated “Paris July 11. 1789. Excha. for £176-sterling,” reads: “Sir, On sight (my first and second of the same tenor and date unpaid) pay to Thomas Jefferson or order one hundred and seventy six pounds sterling with or without advice for value received and charge the same to Sir Your very humble servt, John Paradise”; the other is the duplicate or “second of the same tenor,” and its signature is cancelled by being partly torn away (the “first … of the same tenor”—the one that was paid—is missing). The letter that gave TJ uneasiness was that from McCaul of 25 June 1789. See TJ to McCaul, 3 Aug. 1789, and to Bancroft, 5 Aug. 1789.

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