Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Philippe de Létombe, 29 July 1801

To Philippe de Létombe

Washington July 29. 1801.

Dear Sir

Proposing to set out tomorrow for Monticello, and knowing that mr Bingham is on his departure for Europe, I have thought it best to dispatch Rapin express to Philadelphia in order to engage Le Maire. every information I recieve convinces me he will suit me infinitely better than Schroeder. several circumstances respecting the latter render him less eligible than the other. Rapin will be able to satisfy all the doubts of Le Maire if he has any, & he will either bring him back with him & deliver up the house to him in my absence, or he will come back & recieve him when Le Maire shall find it convenient to come.

I have the pleasure to inclose you the letter I had promised, to repeat my thanks for all your kindnesses and to assure you that you carry with you my friendly esteem & high consideration & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); at foot of text: “M. Le Tombe”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso. Enclosure: TJ to Létombe, 27 July.

R. Gatier of Philadelphia, knowing that Joseph Rapin wanted to return to that city, where his family was, but unaware of TJ’s decision to hire Étienne Lemaire, wrote TJ on 26 July to offer his services as “Maitre d’hotelle.” Gatier was a stranger to TJ, and that brief letter is the only correspondence to or from him recorded in SJL. He did not state his qualifications for the position, but named Honoré Julien and Noël De Clary to vouch for him. De Clary was “garçon de cuisine” at the President’s House. His name first appeared in TJ’s financial memoranda during July 1801, although TJ noted wages for an unnamed person as “garçon de cuisine” for the period 26 Apr.-26 May. TJ recorded De Clary’s name simply as “Noel” and paid him wages of $12 per month plus a drink allowance of $2. He last appears by name in TJ’s financial memoranda in May 1803, after which TJ stopped listing the staff members’ names when they were paid each month (RC in MHi, in French, at foot of text: “à Mr. Thomas Jefferson President Des Etats Unis,” endorsed by TJ as received 6 Aug. and so recorded in SJL; MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1042, 1045, 1054, 1056, 1061, 1077, 1100).

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