Thomas Jefferson Papers

John F. Oliveira Fernandes to Thomas Jefferson, 12 July 1816

From John F. Oliveira Fernandes

Norfolk 12th July 1816

Dear Sir!

My Last respects to you, from Newyork in April Last, were in answer to your much esteemed favour, of the 24 January Last—

Although I have not had as yet, Mr Richardsons acct in full of all the charges on, the Tenerife-wine; I know now; that the Cost freight; duties & &—will bring the price for the Quarter Cask, you had—to $63.81—; for which, I will draw, within 2 or 3 weeks on Messrs Gibson & Jefferson of Richmond; to whom you will have the goodness to inform of it, before Same.—

These Gentlemen will forward to you, a Small bundle, containing a book, which in all probability, will amuse you, a little; in your Solitude.

To avoide, however, your just Censure, for having taken this liberty; I will offer to you my apology—   A french book Seller, newly Stablished in Newyork; having received a new provision of books, while I was there; it So happened, that I visited his Shop, in the moment, he was opening Some of the boxes—

Among them, was—this L’Angletterre vue A Londres; et dans Ses Provinces—par Le Marechal de Camp—Pillet

Curiosity; as well as my inveterated1 Aversion to that Cabinet, induced me to purchase, a Copy, which I perused with avidity & horror!

I was immediatly persuaded that the English at Paris, would not like it at all—and of Course Some Police-measure would be adopted to forbid its perusal; (which I knew, in Philada, it had already taken place in Paris)—I purchased in the very next day the only 5 remaining2 Copies, out of 6. imported.—Sent 4—to Some of my Friends at the Court3 of Rio de Janeiro; Kept one for You, & other for me—

My books and other objects having arrived on the 8th instant from Newyork—it was only yesterday that I had the opportunity, to have it delivered to a Safe hand to Carry it to Messrs G & J—

Consequently the Circumstance of the book being extremely Scarce, was my reason for taking the liberty of Sending it to you—

I remain—very respectfully Dr Sir Your mo: obt Servt

John F. Oliveira Fernandes

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire”; notation by TJ beneath endorsement: “Mar. 24.”; endorsed by TJ as received 16 July 1816 and so recorded in SJL.

René Martin pillet, chevalier de Saint Louis, relied on a four-year residence in England to create an unfavorable description of English government, society, and manners in his L’Angleterre Vue a Londres et dans ses Provinces, pendant un séjour de dix années, dont six comme prisonnier de guerre (Paris, 1815; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 7 [no. 329]). He also described the cruelty and hardships he suffered during six years as a prisoner of war on a British pontoon off the coast of England (Biographie universelle description begins Biographie universelle, ancienne et moderne, new ed., 1843–65, 45 vols. description ends , 15:248). Reviews of Pillet’s book appeared in London in the Quarterly Review 13 (1815): 442–8, and in such American newspapers as the Richmond Enquirer, 18 May 1816.

1Manuscript: “inverated.”

2Manuscript: “remainin.”

3Manuscript: “Cout.”

Index Entries

  • Gibson & Jefferson (Richmond firm); and books acquired by TJ search
  • Gibson & Jefferson (Richmond firm); and wine acquired by TJ search
  • Gibson & Jefferson (Richmond firm); transports goods search
  • Great Britain; prisoners of war in search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; orders wine from J. F. Oliveira Fernandes search
  • L’Angleterre Vue a Londres et dans ses Provinces, pendant un séjour de dix années, dont six comme prisonnier de guerre (R. M. Pillet) search
  • Oliveira Fernandes, John Francisco; and wine for TJ search
  • Oliveira Fernandes, John Francisco; letters from search
  • Oliveira Fernandes, John Francisco; sends book to TJ search
  • Pillet, René Martin; L’Angleterre Vue a Londres et dans ses Provinces, pendant un séjour de dix années, dont six comme prisonnier de guerre search
  • Richardson, Mr. (of Norfolk) search
  • Tenerife (wine) search
  • wine; of Tenerife search
  • wine; TJ orders from J. F. Oliveira Fernandes search