Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from St. George Tucker, 11 December 1793

From St. George Tucker

Williamsburg, Decr: 11th: 1793.

Dear Sir

This Letter will be delivered to you by my son in law John Randolph, who has resided in philadelphia for some time, with intent to avail himself of the instruction and friendship of the Attorney General of the United States, in the pursuit of his professional studies, and in his entry into life: I have some reason to apprehend that some degree of misunderstanding has subsisted between them lately, which, together with Mr. Randolph’s removal from phila. renders the benefits which I flattered myself my son would derive from his patronage at least doubtful. The season of the year is such that I am unwilling to press his immediate return to Virginia: might I presume so far on your Attachment to those of your native country, who wish to improve themselves, as to sollicit your friendship and advice to him? I know, Sir, that I am not authorised to make this request upon any other footing. Permit me then to place it upon that ground, and to assure you that it is equally dictated by my Anxiety for the advancement of my son, & by that esteem with which I have the honor to be, Sir, Your very obedt: hble Servt.

S: G: Tucker

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 22 Dec. 1793 and so recorded in SJL.

John Randolph of Roanoke, Tucker’s stepson, who was later to become TJ’s floor leader in Congress and then one of his bitterest political enemies, had returned to Philadelphia after his participation in a duel led to his departure from the College of William and Mary earlier this year. Neither this nor a period in 1790–92 under the instruction of Attorney General Edmund Randolph proved productive, with the younger man later accusing his kinsman of inattention to his legal training and embezzlement of his funds (William C. Bruce, John Randolph of Roanoke, 1773–1833, 2 vols. [New York, 1922], i, 74–6, 123–5). removal from Phila.: Edmund Randolph remained in Germantown after the end of the yellow fever epidemic (TJ to Martha Jefferson Randolph, 1 Dec. 1793).

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