Thomas Jefferson Papers

Luis de Onís to Thomas Jefferson, 21 May 1817

From Luis de Onís

Washington 21st May 1817.


Not doubting that it will be gratifying to you to be informed of the respect paid at the Havana to the memory of the late Dr Valli, whose death was occasioned by a dangerous experiment which he tryed on himself, which was announced some time ago in the Public Papers of this Country, I take the liberty to send to you inclosed, the Funeral Oration that was pronounced at an extra meeting of the Royal Patriotic Society of said city, and which was transmitted to me by Don Alexandro Ramirez, Intendent General of the Island of Cuba, a Member and Director of said Royal Patriotic Society, together with the resolution of that Board that “the Memory of Dr Valli, be perpetuated by a neat & plain monument, to be erected as a testimonial of the gratitude which is due to those illustrious men who sacrifice themselves in the cause of humanity.”1

In addressing you, Sir, I cannot forbear the opportunity of expressing to you the sentiments of great regard and high consideration, with which I have the honor to remain,

Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant.

The Chevalier de Onis

RC (DLC); at foot of first page: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 5 June 1817 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Tomás Romay y Chacón, Elogio del Dr. D. Eusebio Valli … Leído en junta ordinaria de la Sociedad económica de esta ciudad el 22 de noviembre de 1816 (Havana, 1816; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 5 [no. 163]).

Eusebio Valli’s monument was to read “Epitafio. Aqui Yace el Dr. Eusebio Valli, victima de su amor a la humanidad; La Sociedad Economica de La Habana recomienda su memoria. Año de 1816” (“Epitaph. Here lies Dr. Eusebio Valli, victim of his love of humanity. The Economic Society of Havana commends his memory. In the year 1816”) (Romay y Chacón, Elogio del Dr. D. Eusebio Valli, 11).

1Omitted closing quotation mark editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • Elogio del Dr. D. Eusebio Valli (T. Romay y Chacón) search
  • Onís y González Vara López y Gómez, Luis de; letters from search
  • Onís y González Vara López y Gómez, Luis de; sends pamphlet to TJ search
  • Ramirez, Alexandro; intendant general of Cuba search
  • Romay y Chacón, Tomás; Elogio del Dr. D. Eusebio Valli search
  • Valli, Eusebio Giacinto; funeral oration for search