Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 10 January 1817

To James Monroe

Monticello Jan. 10. 17.

Dear Sir

It would seem mighty idle for me to inform you formally of the merits of Colo Trumbull as a painter or as a man. yet he asks my notice of him to my friends, as if his talents had not already distinguished him in their notice. on the continent of Europe his genius was placed much above West’s. Baron Grimm, the arbiter of taste at Paris in my day, expressed to me often his decided & high preference. not so in London, where all follow suit to the taste of the king, good or bad. Colo Trumbull expects that as the legislature are with liberality rebuilding the public edifices, they will proceed in the same spirit to their decoration. if so, his paintings should certainly be their first object. they will be monuments of the taste & talents of our country, as well as of the scenes which gave it it’s place among nations. I recommend him to your kind offices, and rejoice in seeing that you are to be in a place where they may have effect

Th: Jefferson

RC (PHi: Gratz Collection); addressed: “Colo Monroe Secretary of State Washington favored by Colo Trumbull”; endorsed by Monroe. PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of William Munford to TJ, 29 Sept. 1816 (letter, not found, accounted for at TJ to Benjamin W. Crowninshield, 9 Oct. 1816); endorsed by TJ. Mistakenly recorded in SJL as a letter of 6 Jan. 1817. Enclosed in TJ to John Trumbull, 10 Jan. 1817.

Index Entries

  • Capitol, U.S.; construction and repair of search
  • Capitol, U.S.; J. Trumbull’s paintings for search
  • Congress, U.S.; and paintings for U.S. Capitol search
  • George III, king of Great Britain; artistic taste of search
  • Grimm, Friedrich Melchior, Baron von; opinion of J. Trumbull search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation from search
  • Monroe, James; and J. Trumbull’s historical paintings search
  • Monroe, James; letters to search
  • paintings; by J. Trumbull search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation from TJ search
  • Revolutionary War; J. Trumbull’s paintings of search
  • Trumbull, John (artist); Europeans on search
  • Trumbull, John (artist); historical paintings of search
  • West, Benjamin; compared to J. Trumbull search