Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Lewis Littlepage, 18 June 1802

To Lewis Littlepage

Washington June 18. 1802.

Th: Jefferson presents his friendly salutations to General Littlepage, and according to the desire expressed in his letter of the 16th. this moment recieved, he sends him the sealed paper deposited in his care. he shall be happy to see Genl. Littlepage here according to his intimation.

RC (ViHi); addressed: “General Lewis Littlepage Fredericksburg”; franked and postmarked. PrC (MHi); endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

The contents of the SEALED PAPER that TJ had held for safekeeping since 23 Dec. are not known, but on 21 June, the day after Littlepage got the document back from TJ, Littlepage composed a new will. He was evidently suffering from some unidentified illness, from which he died on 19 July 1802, at the age of 40. Waller Holladay, his half-brother, attributed Littlepage’s death to “exposure in Court and camp” during the time he spent in Europe (Nell Holladay Boand, Lewis Littlepage [Richmond, 1970], 288–9; Curtis Carroll Davis, The King’s Chevalier: A Biography of Lewis Littlepage [Indianapolis, 1961], 386–9; Vol. 32:3–4; Vol. 36:194).

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