Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to David Bailie Warden, 6 June 1817

To David Bailie Warden

Monticello June 6. 17.

Dear Sir

Your several favors of July 12. 14. & Aug. 9. with the invoices of the books, in the purchase and dispatch of which you were so kind as to take a part, and the books themselves have been all safely recieved. I am under great obligations to you for your aid in this supply to the amusements of my old age; and for the satisfactory manner in which the Messrs Debures freres1 have executed my commission. by placing me too in correspondence with them it enables me at this time to address a commission for another supply to themselves directly without troubling you with it, and of continuing to do the same thing annually as I shall probably do. I am sure you will always be so good as to advise them of the best opportunities of conveyance on their application.   I hope that in your new undertaking as agent for the settlement of claims you find success & compensation, towards which, in that or any other line, my good wishes & offices should certainly never be wanting or spared.

On the Volcanic situation of Europe perhaps it is best to say nothing; and the rather as we can foresee nothing certain & may compromit the safe transmission of our letters by useless speculations. on the subject of England only I will permit myself to express my belief that the great crisis so long foretold by the political prophets is now at length arrived, and, by putting her hors de combat, will give the world some respite from war, some leisure for the pursuits of peace, industry and happiness. with us, three main objects occupy our attention. the payment of our public debt, establishment of manufactures, & internal improvement by canals, roads and public education.   I thank you for your kind attention to mr Terril. he is a worthy young man. but his friends here are apprehensive he is indulging in a style of expence to which his means are not competent, and they are giving him admonitions which they think necessary on that subject.

Winter passages for letters to Europe being rare, slow & uncertain I have got into the habit of taking up my pen, cum hirundine primâ, to recall myself to the recollection of my friends there. the opening spring will soon therefore convey my friendly salutations to Baron Humboldt, to whom, altho’ our country offers nothing worthy of communication, I shall certainly take occasion to convey the expressions of my very affectionate & respectful attachment. I salute you on the part of my family as well as myself2 with the same assurances of esteem & friendship.

Th: Jefferson

RC (MdHi: Warden Papers); edge damaged, with missing punctuation supplied from PoC; addressed: “Mr David B. Warden à Paris,” with “Rue Pot de Fer St Sulpice No 12” added in an unidentified hand; endorsed by Warden as received 12 Aug. PoC (DLC); on reused address cover of Wilson Cary Nicholas to TJ, 24 Feb. 1817; endorsed by TJ; additional notation by TJ at foot of text: “sent under cover to mr Gallatin.” Dupl (MdHi: Warden Papers); endorsed by Warden. Enclosed in TJ to Albert Gallatin, [before 6 June 1817], TJ to John Vaughan, 7 June 1817, and TJ to Daniel Brent, 8 June 1817.

For Warden’s new undertaking, see the third enclosure to his 9 Aug. 1816 letter to TJ. compromit: “compromise” (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ). cum hirundine primâ references Horace, Epistles, 1.7.12–3, which reads “te, dulcis amice, reviset cum Zephyris, si concedes, et hirundine prima”: “you, dear friend, he will—if you permit—revisit along with the zephyrs and the first swallow” (Fairclough, Horace: Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica description begins H. Rushton Fairclough, trans., Horace: Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica, Loeb Classical Library, 1926, repr. 2005 description ends , 294–5).

1Word not in Dupl.

2Preceding ten words not in Dupl.

Index Entries

  • books; sent by D. B. Warden search
  • de Bure Frères (Paris firm); TJ purchases books from search
  • Great Britain; peace with search
  • Horace; TJ quotes search
  • Humboldt, Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander, Baron von; TJ sends greetings to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; orders books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Literary Quotes; Horace search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Great Britain search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; U.S. future search
  • Terrell, Dabney Carr (TJ’s sister Martha Jefferson Carr’s grandson); finances of search
  • United States; and Great Britain search
  • Warden, David Bailie; and books for TJ search
  • Warden, David Bailie; as claims agent search
  • Warden, David Bailie; letters to search