Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas G. Watkins to Thomas Jefferson, 21 December 1817

From Thomas G. Watkins

Monday Decr 21 Glenmore

T G Watkins expected to have had the pleasure of tendering his respects to Mr Jefferson with the inclosed letter in person and called at Monticello on a former visit to the neighbourhood. Since his return TGW. has to regret that it has been next to impracticable to leave his family—He, now, has the honor to beg that Mr Jefferson will accept, with the inclosed, the homage of his particular respects

RC (MHi); partially dated; dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 21 Dec. 1817 received two days later and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) John Pope to TJ, 10 Mar. 1817. (2) Anthony Charles Cazenove to TJ, 25 Oct. 1817, and enclosure.

Thomas G. Watkins (d. 1830), physician, was a native of Maryland. By 1804 he practiced medicine in Nashville, where his patients included the family of Andrew Jackson. Watkins moved to eastern Tennessee in 1807. In 1812 he participated in a military campaign against the Creek Indians, and in 1814 he served as surgeon of the 3d Rifle Regiment, United States Army. Watkins moved in 1817 to Glenmore, an estate in Albemarle County. He became active in the Agricultural Society of Albemarle the same year, and in 1824 he served as the first president of the Washington Agricultural Society of East Tennessee. In 1818 Watkins treated slaves owned by Thomas Jefferson Randolph, and the next year he cared for Randolph after his violent confrontation with Charles L. Bankhead. Watkins then served until 1825 as TJ’s family physician. In 1821 TJ wrote of his complete confidence in him. Watkins frequently visited Tennessee and returned there permanently in 1825, dying in Jefferson County (Jackson, Papers description begins Sam B. Smith, Harold D. Moser, Daniel Feller, and others, eds., The Papers of Andrew Jackson, 1980– , 9 vols. description ends , 2:24, 5:141–2; Chillicothe Supporter, 18 Apr. 1812; Heitman, U.S. Army description begins Francis B. Heitman, comp., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, 1903, repr. 1994, 2 vols. description ends , 1:1008; Watkins, A Topographical Sketch, with remarks on the diseases of West Tennessee [Baltimore, 1814]; True, “Agricultural Society,” description begins Rodney H. True, “Minute Book of the Agricultural Society of Albemarle,” Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1918 (1921), 1:261–349 description ends esp. 269; American Farmer 6 [1824]: 81; Thomas Jefferson Randolph’s Account with Watkins, 6 Jan. 1818–4 Nov. 1821 [ViU: Randolph Family Papers]; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, 2 vols., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1369–70; TJ to James Madison, 28 Jan. 1821; Watkins to TJ, 15 Sept. 1822, 11 May 1825; National Banner, and Nashville Whig, 22 Jan. 1830).

21 Dec. 1817 was a Sunday, not monday.

Index Entries

  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Watkins, Thomas G. search
  • Watkins, Thomas G.; forwards mail to TJ search
  • Watkins, Thomas G.; identified search
  • Watkins, Thomas G.; letters from search
  • Watkins, Thomas G.; visits Monticello search