Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John Trumbull, 10 January 1817

To John Trumbull

Monticello Jan. 10. 17.

Dear Sir

Our last mail brought me your favor of Dec. 26. the lapse of 28. years which you count since our first intimacies, has diminished in nothing my affection for you. we learn, as we grow old, to value early friendships, because the new-made do not fit us so closely. it is an age since I have heard of mrs Church. yet her place, in my bosom, is as warm as ever; and so is Kitty’s. I think I learned from some quarter that mrs Cosway was retired to a religious house somewhere. and Mde de Corny, what is become of her? is she living or dead?—thus you see how your letter calls up recollections of our charming Coterie of Paris, now scattered & estranged but not so in either my memory or affections. it has made me forget too that the torpitude of age, with a stiffening wrist (the effect of it’s Paris dislocation) warn me to write letters, seldom and short.—to the object of yours therefore. you think you need a borrowed patronage at Washington. No, my dear Sir, your own reputation, your talent known to all, is a patronage with all; to which any addition offered would be impertinent, if you did not ask it. and mine especially is now obsolete. the turns of the magic lanthern have shifted all the figures, and those it now presents are strangers to me. merely to shew you my willingness however, I inclose you a letter to Colo Monroe, who without it would do every thing he could for you, and with it not the less. his warm heart infuses zeal into all his good offices. I give it to him the rather also because he will be in place when you will need them. mr Madison will be away, and it would be useless to add to the labors of his letter-reading: and I know moreover his opinions and dispositions towards you to be as favorable as can be wished. I rejoice that the works you have so long contemplated are likely to come to light. if the legislature, to the reedification of the public buildings, will take up with spirit their decoration also, your’s must be the first objects of their attentions.

I hope they will do it, and honor themselves, their country and yourself by preserving these monuments of our revolutionary atchievements.—my daughter, whom you knew an infant, has with her family, given me a dozen associates at our daily table. she is well and remembers all her friends affectionately. I am, as I ever have been, sincerely yours.

Th: Jefferson

RC (CtY: Franklin Collection); addressed: “Colo John Trumbull at the Post office Washington”; franked; postmarked Charlottesville, 13 Jan.; endorsed by Trumbull. PoC (DLC); on reused address cover of Noah Worcester to TJ, 31 Oct. 1816; endorsed by TJ. Mistakenly recorded in SJL as a letter of 6 Jan. 1817. Enclosure: TJ to James Monroe, 10 Jan. 1817.

Angelica Schuyler church died in New York City on 6 Mar. 1814 (New-York Evening Post, 7 Mar. 1814). TJ fondly recalled her and her daughter Catherine Church Cruger’s (kitty’s) acquaintance. TJ’s daughter was Martha Jefferson Randolph.

Index Entries

  • aging; TJ on his own search
  • Capitol, U.S.; J. Trumbull’s paintings for search
  • Church, Angelica Schuyler (John Barker Church’s wife) search
  • Corny, Marguérite Victoire de Palerne de; TJ inquires about search
  • Cosway, Maria Louisa Catherine Cecilia Hadfield; retires to convent search
  • Cruger, Catherine “Kitty” Church search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; TJ on search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; aging search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; and wrist injury search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; aging search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; friendship search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); and J. Trumbull’s historical paintings search
  • Monroe, James; and J. Trumbull’s historical paintings search
  • paintings; by J. Trumbull search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation from TJ search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); children of search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); health of search
  • Revolutionary War; J. Trumbull’s paintings of search
  • Trumbull, John (artist); friendship with TJ search
  • Trumbull, John (artist); historical paintings of search
  • Trumbull, John (artist); letter to search