Thomas Jefferson Papers

James W. Wallace to Thomas Jefferson, 10 October 1817

From James W. Wallace

Fauquier Oct 10th 17

My dear sir,

A few days since passing by Elk Run Church, a Gentleman presented me with a very large tooth, several having been found together about four feet below the Surface of the Earth.

You will at once see how widely it differs from the tooth of the mammoth, by the impressions which it makes on the enclosed papers.

the post master thinks it cannot be sent by the mail, or I would enclose it to you. If the mail can bring it with propriety, let me know, & I will send it to you. be pleased to favour me with your Opinion about it. If I well recollect the size and shape of the Elephants tooth, tis much like.

God bless You, and Yours Mr Jefferson.

James W. Wallace

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 18 Oct. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to John Barnes, 5 Jan. 1818, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Monticello”; stamped; postmarked Fauquier Court House (now Warrenton), 10 Oct.

elk run church was a community located in Fauquier County.

Index Entries

  • elephants; compared to mammoths search
  • fossils; in Va. search
  • mammoth; compared to elephants search
  • mammoth; tooth impressions sent to TJ search
  • Virginia; mammoth bones found in search
  • Wallace, James Westwood; and mammoth’s tooth search
  • Wallace, James Westwood; letters from search