Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Mary Jefferson Eppes, 18 May 1798

To Mary Jefferson Eppes

Philadelphia May 18. 98.

My dear Maria

It is very long since I have heard from Eppington. the last letter I [recieved?] was from mr Eppes dated Apr. 4. so long without hearing from you, I cannot be without uneasiness for your health. I have been constantly in the hope that we were within 3. or 4. weeks of rising, but so often disappointed I begin to lose my faith as to any period of adjournment; and some begin now openly to avow that it would not be proper for Congress to separate. under this uncertainty I would wish you not to put off your return to Monticello, if mr Eppes & yourself would find it agreeable to be there and indeed I think his experience of ill health in the lower country should urge him to quit it before the hot weather comes on. I sent from here on the 10th. instant the necessary groceries & stores for the use of the family. these will probably be arrived at Richmond by the time you recieve this, and I have desired mr Jefferson to forward them up by water immediately, and to give mr Eppes notice; in order that you may time your journey so as to find them there. all other necessaries, either in the house or farms, have administered to you as if I were there. I have given notice to them at home that you will come and I shall have the pleasure of finding you there as soon as I can get from here, and in the mean time brood over the pain of being uselessly kept from the society and scene for which alone I would wish to prolong life one moment. for here it is worse than nothing. you will find your harpsichord arrived at Monticello, and without injury as mr Randolph informed me. I shall go of necessity by the shortest route to Monticello, & of course must deny myself the pleasure of taking Eppington in my way this time. present my friendly salutations to mr & mrs Eppes; as also to our mr Eppes & the family. to yourself my tenderest love & Adieu.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); at foot of text: “Mrs. M. Eppes”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

The letter from John Wayles Eppes to TJ of 4 Apr. 1798, recorded in SJL as received seven days later, has not been found. Mr Randolph informed me: see Thomas Mann Randolph to TJ, 29 Apr. 1798.

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