Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas P. Mitchell to Thomas Jefferson, 24 February 1818

From Thomas P. Mitchell

Philadelphia Feb. 24th 1818


You will pardon one so little known to you as myself for troubling you with a few lines recommending to your notice a young gentleman from France Mr Parat as an usher, should you require one, in the Central College. I have been acquainted with this gentleman for some time, & believe his morals to be very correct & himself an excellent Latin scholar, in which he converses, and composes both prose & hexameter verse with much ease & I think, elegance; I am also informed by good judges that he understands his own language extremely1 well.

I have requested him to address a letter to you accompanying2 this. A few lines to either of us on this subject from you, would be very satisfactory

Should you think me officious, pray, attribute it to no other motive than a wish to see education florish in our country & state by a selection of the best teachers in the school you are now establishing

Your very Obd Servant

Thomas P. Mitchell

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 5 Mar. 1818 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Daniel Brent, [ca. 12 May 1818], on verso; addressed: “Mr Thomas Jefferson Charlottesville Albemarle County Virginia”; stamp canceled; postmarked (ink stained) Philadelphia, 2[5] Feb.

The author of this letter was probably the Virginia physician, educator, and politician Thomas P. Mitchell (1787–1861), a longtime resident of Bedford County who was principal of the New London Academy in 1816 and served in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1838–43 and 1845–46. Shortly before his death he owned real estate valued at $8,400, personal property worth $9,000, and around twenty slaves (Philadelphia Franklin Gazette, 18 Mar. 1818; Washington and Lee University, Historical Papers 4 [1893]: 149; 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 , 2:1322; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends ; DNA: RG 29, CS, Bedford Co., 1820–40, 1860, 1860 slave schedules; gravestone in Col. David Saunders Cemetery, Bedford Co.).

1Manuscript: “extrmely.”

2Manuscript: “accompaning.”

Index Entries

  • Central College; ushers for search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • Mitchell, Thomas P.; identified search
  • Mitchell, Thomas P.; letter from search
  • Mitchell, Thomas P.; recommends R. Parat search
  • Parat, Romain; as Latin scholar search
  • Parat, Romain; seeks teaching appointment search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search