Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Lucy Ludwell Paradise, 31 July 1802

From Lucy Ludwell Paradise

July: 31st. 1802

Dear Sir

I take the liberty to trouble your Excellency with a few lines to enquire after the health of your Excellency and Amiable Daughters.

It is by writing only that we can know if our friends are well and happy. Mr William Smith who was our Minister at Portugal came here a few Months and stayed a short time and I am told he is gone to Holland.

The Russian Ambassador his Excellency Count de Woronzow and the Revd. Mr Smirnove Chaplin of Legation who I think your Excellency remembers have behaved to Me ever Since I have been a Widow with the greatest attention and politeness. I wish My Relations and My Country Men would do the Same and Protect Me now and years to Come. I have nothing to live upon in this Country but my Income from my dear fathers Estates he left in Virginia. A Short letter from your Excellency desiring My Nephew William Ludwell Lee Esqr and Mr Ambler and Mr P Harris to exert themselves to fix me in a good Steward who would follow my orders and Send Me My Remittances and Tobaccoes regularly during My life. This indeed would be the Greatest favour Your Excellency could confer upon1 Me who am

With the Greatest Respect Your Excellencies Most Obedient Humble Servant and Respectful Friend

Lucy Ludwell Paradise

My direction is Mrs. Lucy Ludwell Paradise No 29 Howland Street Fitzroy Square London It will confer an honour upon me by sending me an Answer2

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “His Excellency Thoms Jefferson Presedend of the United States of North America”; endorsed by TJ as received 17 Nov. and so recorded in SJL.

Upon release from his diplomatic duties in Portugal in 1801, WILLIAM SMITH and his brother traveled throughout western Europe, spending the spring of 1802 in London. In July, the brothers traveled to Holland together but parted company in Amsterdam (George C. Rogers, Jr., Evolution of a Federalist: William Loughton Smith of Charleston (1758–1812) [Columbia, S.C., 1962], 337, 339, 340).

Semyon Romanovich WORONZOW, the younger brother of Princess Ekaterina Romanovna Dashkova, was Russian minister at London for 16 years prior to becoming ambassador in 1801. A promoter of amicable Anglo-Russian ties throughout his long service in London, Woronzow arranged that Lucy Paradise’s husband, John Paradise, receive a pension from Catherine II for his efforts to prevent England from declaring war on Russia in support of Turkey in 1791 (Nina N. Bashkina and others, eds., The United States and Russia: The Beginning of Relations, 1765–1815 [Washington, D.C., 1980], 1136, 1139; Gleb Struve, “John Paradise—Friend of Doctor Johnson, American Citizen and Russian Agent,” VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893– description ends , 57 [1949], 362–4, 367, 372).

In 1780, Yakov Smirnov (SMIRNOVE) came to London, where he resided for the next 60 years, serving as chaplain of the Russian Embassy Church until 1837 and occasionally filling a diplomatic role. Lucy Paradise referred to him as her “priest” and she and her husband, who was born into the Greek Orthodox Church, regularly attended the legation chapel where he officiated. John Paradise left Smirnov a bequest of £100 (A. G. Cross, “Yakov Smirnov: A Russian Priest of Many Parts,” Oxford Slavonic Papers, new ser., 8 [1975], 37, 41; Archibald Bolling Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell of London and Williamsburg [Richmond, 1942], 438; VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893– description ends , 57 [1949], 363, 364–5, 367; Lucy Ludwell Paradise to TJ, 27 Aug. 1805).

MY DEAR FATHERS ESTATES: Philip Ludwell III of Green Spring, near Williamsburg, left his estates to be divided equally among his three daughters upon his death in 1767 (Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell, 33–5).

WILLIAM LUDWELL LEE appointed William Coleman as new STEWARD for his aunt after the death of William Wilkinson in 1800 (Vol. 32:238, 526).

1MS: “up.”

2Written at head of text.

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