Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Charles Willson Peale, 18 February 1818

To Charles Willson Peale

Monticello Feb. 18. 18.

Dear Sir

Your favor of Jan. 15. is recieved, and I am indebted to you for others; but the torpitude of increasing years, added to a stiffening wrist making writing a slow & painful operation, makes me also a slow correspondent. I promised you a plough so long ago that I dare say you have forgot it: but I have this day sent it to Richmond to be forwarded to you. I claim nothing in it but the mould board. as it has never been in the ground, it will probably, as all other new ploughs, need some little rectifications, to make it perform it’s functions.   you ask my opinion of a new invention of spectacles. I never heard of them before, and am at a loss to understand how those of 3.f. focus can be made conveniently to direct the operations of the human hand which with difficulty can be extended to that distance. however the invention answers an useful purpose, if it adds to your amusement, and I rejoice to learn that new improvements in your art increase your attachment to it; for one of the evils of age is the loss of interest in most of those employments which in earlier life constituted our happiness. I am sorry to learn that you have still difficulties on the subject of your Museum. this ought not to be so; and the functionaries of your government ought to understand how much they are indebted to you for this great ornament to your city and state. my great enjoyment is reading, but an oppressive correspondence rarely permits me to look into a book. wishing you many years of good health & of life busied to your mind I salute you with affection & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (TxU: Thomas Jefferson Collection); at foot of text: “Mr Peale.” PoC (MHi); on verso of portion of reused address cover of John H. Cocke to TJ, 4 Jan. 1818; endorsed by TJ.

TJ had promised Peale in a letter of 21 Mar. 1815 that he would send him one of his mould board plows.

Index Entries

  • aging; TJ on his own search
  • eyeglasses search
  • household articles; eyeglasses search
  • inventions; eyeglasses search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; TJ on reading of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; fatiguing to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; aging search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; wrist injury search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; aging search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; reading search
  • museums; Philadelphia Museum search
  • Peale, Charles Willson; and eyeglasses search
  • Peale, Charles Willson; and Philadelphia Museum search
  • Peale, Charles Willson; and plows search
  • Peale, Charles Willson; as artist search
  • Peale, Charles Willson; letters to search
  • Philadelphia Museum; TJ on search
  • plows; TJ’s moldboard search