Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Mary Jefferson, 29 May 1791

From Mary Jefferson

[Monticello] May 29

My Dear Papa

I am much obliged to you for the veil that you sent me and shall allways were it. I have began to learn botany and arithmetic with Mr. Randolph. The mare that he bought for me is come. She is very pretty and is sister to brimmer. She can only trot and canter. The fruit was not killed as you thought. We have a great abundance of it here. Adieu Dear Papa I am your affectionate daughter,

Mary Jefferson

P.S. Little anna grows fast an is very pretty

RC (ViU); endorsed by TJ as received 21 June 1791 and so recorded in SJL.

Brimmer was a thoroughbred of distinguished lineage, purchased by TJ in 1790 (see note, TJ to Fitzhugh, 21 July 1790). Mary’s statement that the mare sharing that lineage could only trot and canter—a dubious assertion as TJ surely knew—was no doubt intended to reassure him. He had already warned her never to be venture some with the animal, asserting that “a lady should never ride a horse which she might not safely ride without a bridle” (TJ to Mary Jefferson, 8 May 1791).

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