Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to John Marshall, 23 June 1798

To John Marshall

June 23. 98.

Th: Jefferson presents his compliments to General Marshall. he had the honor of calling at his lodgings twice this morning, but was so un-lucky1 as to find that he was out on both occasions. he wished to have expressed in person his regret that a preengagement for to-day which could not be dispensed with would prevent him the satisfaction of dining in company with Genl. Marshall, and therefore begs leave to place here the expressions of that respect which in common with his fellow citizens he bears him.

RC (Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, on deposit ViHi); addressed: “General Marshall at Oellers’ hotel.” Not recorded in SJL.

Marshall did not overlook the slip of the pen by which TJ initially declared himself lucky to have missed seeing the returned envoy. According to Marshall’s great granddaughter, later in his life he “frequently laughed over it, saying, ‘Mr. Jefferson came very near writing me the truth’ “when he omitted the negative prefix, which “policy alone demanded” (Sallie E. Marshall Hardy, “John Marshall,” The Green Bag, 8 [1896], 482–3; Marshall, Papers description begins Herbert A. Johnson, Charles T. Cullen, Charles F. Hobson, and others, eds., The Papers of John Marshall, Chapel Hill, 1974–2006, 12 vols. description ends , 3:471n).

A letter from Marshall to TJ of 12 Apr. 1797, recorded in SJL as received on 21 Apr. of that year, has not been found.

1First syllable and hyphen interlined.

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