Thomas Jefferson Papers

Robert Patterson to Thomas Jefferson, 23 January 1819

From Robert Patterson

Philadelphia Jany 23, ’19.


Sometime in the beginning of winter, a young gentleman, Mr Trist, I believe, brought me a telescope which he said you had sent to be repaired. He also informed me that you had sent me a letter, but that he had left it, inadvertently, at Washington, with his portmantua & would forward it from N. york where he expected it would be sent. I have not yet, however, received it. The telescope was immediately put into the hands of Mr Davenport to be repaired, & after repeated calls & solicitations, he this day informed me that all the eye-glasses for celestial observations are missing, & cannot be supplied here.—He can however fit it up for land-observations, at a small expense—not exceeding $10—   You will please, Sir, to signify whether you will have it thus repaired—& in what manner to have it forwarded when completed—

I am, Sir, with the greatest esteem Your obedt Servt

Rt Patterson

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 31 Jan. 1819 and so recorded in SJL.

portmantua: an obsolete variant of “portmanteau” (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

Index Entries

  • Davenport, William; repairs telescope search
  • Patterson, Robert; and telescope search
  • Patterson, Robert; letters from search
  • scientific instruments; telescopes search
  • telescopes; repaired search
  • Trist, Nicholas Philip; and telescope search