Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Richard Claiborne, 10 May 1818

To Richard Claiborne

Monticello May 10. 18.

[Dear] Sir

Were I twenty years younger your fav[or] [. . .] [n]ot recieved till Oct. 16. should not h[ave] [. . .] long unacknoleged. but the torpor of age is on me, [. . .] writing is particularly slow and irksome. this oblig[es me] to brevity. I remember well your duck foot paddle and am pleased to learn that you expect to make it a means of defence; altho I hope there will be no occasion for it in your time or mine. one war is enough for one man’s life; but you & I have seen two: surely there is not a third in reserve for us: but if there is I hope1 that your combination of steam with the foot of the Duck and thorns of the porcupine will be an useful annoyance. with assurances of my continued friendship I pray you to accept those also of my great respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; upper corners torn; at foot of text: “Colo Richard Claiborne”; endorsed by TJ.

TJ recieved Claiborne’s letter of 4 July 1817 on 16 Oct. of that year.

1Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • boats; military search
  • boats; steamboats search
  • Claiborne, Richard; and duck-foot paddle search
  • Claiborne, Richard; letters to search
  • inventions; duck-foot paddle search
  • steamboats; paddles for search