Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Patricot, 20 December 1800

To Patricot

Washington Dec. 20. 1800.


I have in my possession a letter & power of attorney for you, recieved from France, which I am desired not to forward till I know certainly where you are. if this should find you, be pleased to inform me by what address I may send them to you. I am Sir

Your most obedt. servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); at foot of text: “M. Patricot. Norfolk”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso. Enclosed in the preceding document.

Patricot, who lived in New York when TJ located him in January 1801, was evidently one of a number of French refugees from Saint-Domingue who made Norfolk a temporary or permanent home beginning in 1793. His brother, whose first name is also unknown, was the librarian of the La Rochefoucauld estate at La Roche-Guyon, France, and probably served as secretary to the Duc de La Roche-Guyon et de La Rochefoucauld d’Enville. Following the death of the duke in 1792, that Patricot continued in the employ of the Duchesse de La Rochefoucauld, the nobleman’s widow and William Short’s intimate friend, which explains how TJ became the channel for communication between the two brothers (Thomas J. Wertenbaker, Norfolk: Historic Southern Port [Durham, N.C., 1931], 97–8; Doina Pasca Harsanyi, ed., Lettres de la Duchesse de La Rochefoucauld à William Short [Paris, 2001], 265; Patricot to TJ, 16 Jan. 1801).

Letter & power of attorney: see Enclosure No. 2 listed at William Short to TJ, 18 Sep. 1800, and TJ to Patricot, 24 Jan. 1801.

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