Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 8 December 1809

To John Wayles Eppes

Monticello Dec. 8. 09

Dear Sir

I should sooner have informed you of Francis’s safe arrival here but that the trip you meditated to N. Carolina rendered it entirely uncertain where a letter would find you. nor had I any expectation you could have been at the first meeting of Congress till I saw your name in the papers brought by our last post. disappointed in sending this by the return of the post, I avail myself of General Clarke’s journey to Washington for it’s conveyance. Francis has enjoyed constant & perfect health, and is as happy as the day is long. he has had little success as yet with either his traps, or bow & arrows. he is now engaged in a literary contest with his cousin Virginia, both having begun to write together. as soon as he gets to z (being now only at h) he promises you a letter.

You will expect no political news hence. you are at the source from whence it is to flow. I find here but one general sentiment of indignation against mr Jackson both as to the matter & manner of his offers. I am not disappointed as to his matter, but as to his manner I am. I expected he would be oily, wily & able. I find him rude, malignant, & muddy headed. as to the question what is to be done, I do not puzzle myself with it. satisfied that that will be done which is wisest & best, I am predetermined to concur in it, well knowing that if we all pull together we shall be safe, in whatever direction we move. knowing the drudgery of letter-writing which oppresses the members, I shall ask nothing from you but to inform us at times of your health and to be assured of my constant affection & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViU: TJP); addressed: “The honble John W. Eppes Washington”; franked; postmarked 15 Dec. in Richmond. PoC (DLC).

On 28 Nov. 1809, the opening day of the second session of the 11th congress, Eppes was appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee (JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States description ends , 7:107).

Index Entries

  • Clark (Clarke), William; travels to Washington search
  • Congress, U.S.; opens search
  • education; at Monticello search
  • Eppes, Francis Wayles (TJ’s grandson); education of, at Monticello search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); and Ways and Means Committee search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); letters to search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); travels to N.C. search
  • House of Representatives, U.S.; Ways and Means Committee search
  • Jackson, Francis James; recall of search
  • Jackson, Francis James; TJ on search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Family & Friends; relations with grandchildren search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); schooling at search
  • Trist, Virginia Jefferson Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); education of search