Thomas Jefferson Papers

William Wirt to Thomas Jefferson, 2 October 1816

From William Wirt

Richmond. Oct. 2. 1816

Dear Sir.

I sent you about three or four weeks ago a second, and by the last mail, a third parcel of my biographical M.S.—Not having heard of their arrival and having had frequent proofs of the irregularity of the mails, I begin to be1 fearful that the packets have miscarried.—I beg you to be assured that it is not with the most distant intention of hurrying you in the kind and obliging office2 which you have been so good as to undertake for me, that I trouble you with this note—but singly and sincerely to ascertain whether the packets3 have arrived—because if they have not, I will have them immediately recopied and forwarded through a private channel,4 and shall thus save time which might5 otherwise be lost, on the supposition that the papers6 have miscarried.—So far7 from hurrying you I feel myself most sensibly8 obliged by every hour of the time which you are so good as to devote to this little business of mine,9 and am much more disposed to10 Enlarge than to contract your opportunity for remark.

Respectfully and affectionately—Yours

Wm Wirt

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 24 Oct. 1816 and so recorded in SJL. Dft (ViU: TJP); with apparently unrelated computations by Wirt on verso. Tr (MdHi: Wirt Papers); follows RC.

1Dft: “I am.”

2Remainder of phrase in Dft reads “you have undertaken for me, that I drop this note.”

3Dft: “parcels.”

4Preceding four words not in Dft.

5Dft: “wd.”

6Dft: “<the packets> they.”

7Dft here adds “indeed.”

8Dft: “myself much.”

9Preceding two words not in Dft.

10Dft: “and had much rather.”

Index Entries

  • books; biographical search
  • Henry, Patrick (1736–99); W. Wirt’s book on search
  • Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry (W. Wirt); draft chapters of sent to TJ search
  • Wirt, William; letters from search
  • Wirt, William; Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry search