Thomas Jefferson Papers

José Corrêa da Serra to Thomas Jefferson, 20 September 1817

From José Corrêa da Serra

Philadelphia 20th Septber 1817


According to the wishes you expressed in your Letter of June Last, i have invited Mr Gilmer to come with me to Monticello and to keep himself ready by the end of this month, in order to Leave Winchester, when i should pass by. He writes to me that the courts are sitting there almost all October, and that he will be in the impossibility of quitting the town till November. He seems to be entirely mersus civilibus undis, and i cannot disapprove him, though i am disappointed in this occasion, and must content myself with seeing him at my return, if i take that road.

I trust to your goodness, that you will not find it too presumptuous, if i fill the place that Mr Gilmer Leaves vacant, by taking with me one of the most interesting young Americans, whom you know by his works, and who wishes to have the honor of your acquaintance, Mr Walsh the author of the American review &ca He began his youthful career with the federalists but was brought to better ways of thinking by the excesses of the Boston stamps during the war. This explanation is indeed unnecessary, since i know how you soar above minutious party feelings. The 25th i shall leave Philadelphia, and stopping a day in Washington to greet the President for his happy return, hasten to pay you my respects once more.

I beg you to remember me to Mr and Mrs Randolph, and the whole family, the Little ones not excepted. I remain with the highest esteem and veneration

Sir Your most obedt servt

J. Corrèa de Serra

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 29 Sept. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Bernard Peyton, 15 Nov. 1817, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello Albemarle Cty Virginia”; franked; postmarked Philadelphia, 21 Sept.

mersus civilibus undis (“plunged into the tide of civil life”) is a slight variant of Horace, Epistles, 1.1.16 (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 , 252–3). boston stamps: in this context, “Federalists of the Boston stamp.”

Index Entries

  • American Register; or Summary Review of History, Politics, and Literature (ed. R. Walsh) search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; and R. Walsh search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; friendship with F. W. Gilmer search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; letters from search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; proposed visit of search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; U.S. travels of search
  • Federalist party; and War of1812 search
  • Gilmer, Francis Walker; friendship with J. Corrêa da Serra search
  • Gilmer, Francis Walker; plans visit to Monticello search
  • Horace; quoted by J. Corrêa da Serra search
  • Monroe, James; presidential tour search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); greetings sent to search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); greetings sent to search
  • Walsh, Robert; and J. Corrêa da Serra search
  • Walsh, Robert; editor ofAmerican Register; or Summary Review of History, Politics, and Literature search
  • Walsh, Robert; proposed visit of search
  • War of1812; opposition to search