Thomas Jefferson Papers

Joseph Delaplaine to Thomas Jefferson, 10 February 1816

From Joseph Delaplaine

Philadelphia February 10th 1816.

Dear sir,

I have taken the liberty of writing to you several times lately, & have not been favoured with a reply.—

I am desirous to place your portrait & a biographical sketch of your life in the second half volume of my work, & shall do so if it is possible to get an approved portrait of you. Mr Wood one of the most extraordinary portrait painters of the present day has been sent by me to Washington to paint the portraits of President Madison Mr Munroe, Mr Clay &c. He is now busily engaged in painting those characters.

I regret exceedingly that I cannot afford to send Mr Wood to your house for the purpose of painting your portrait. If sir, any means for effecting this very desirable object, should present to you, do have the goodness to inform me & Mr Wood shall proceed accordingly thither.—I will venture to affirm, that for truth of likeness, Mr Wood has no rival in this, or any other country.

I beg sir, you will have the goodness to furnish me with a sketch of your life. Birth, parentage—Education—profession—times of going abroad—offices &c &c &c. The late President Adams & Mr Jay as well as other characters have readily complied with my requests on the subject. I pledge my honor, that nothing of politics, religion, or any other subject, which can possibly offend, shall appear in the Repository.—

In the second half volume of my work the portrait & life of the late Peyton Randolph will be given.—The Honble Judge Tucker of Williamsburg refers me for a small sketch of his life to you in these words “Mr Jefferson is probably the only man now alive that can do justice to the character of this truly great and good man.” Can I trouble you sir for a few facts.

I enclose for your acceptance a portrait of Mr Jay.—

With great respect I am your obedt st

Joseph Delaplaine

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 16 Feb. 1816 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to George Watterston, 2 Mar. 1816, on verso; glued to backing sheet, with address illegible; postmarked Philadelphia, 11 Feb.

Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of John jay was engraved by William S. Leney and included in Delaplaine’s Repository description begins Joseph Delaplaine, Delaplaine’s Repository of the Lives and Portraits of Distinguished Americans, Philadelphia, 1816–18, 2 vols.; Poor, Jefferson’s Library, 4 (no. 139) description ends , vol. 1, plate opp. p. 157.

Index Entries

  • Adams, John; and J. Delaplaine’sRepository search
  • Clay, Henry; and J. Delaplaine’sRepository search
  • Delaplaine, Joseph; Delaplaine’s Repository search
  • Delaplaine, Joseph; letters from search
  • Jay, John; and J. Delaplaine’sRepository search
  • Jay, John; engraving of search
  • Jay, John; G. Stuart’s portrait of search
  • Leney, William Satchwell; engraver search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); and J. Delaplaine’sRepository search
  • Monroe, James; and J. Delaplaine’sRepository search
  • Randolph, Peyton (ca.1723–75); and J. Delaplaine’sRepository search
  • Repository of the Lives and Portraits of Distinguished Americans (J. Delaplaine) search
  • Stuart, Gilbert; portrait of J. Jay by search
  • Tucker, George; and J. Delaplaine’sRepository search
  • Wood, Joseph; as portrait painter search