Thomas Jefferson Papers

Louis H. Girardin to Thomas Jefferson, 20 February 1819

From Louis H. Girardin

Staunton, febry 20th, 1819

Dear and respected Sir,

Mr Simon Chaudron, a Gentleman probably better known to You by his talents than by his misfortunes, but recommended by both to those who feel and think like You, has enclosed to me the letter which I now take the liberty to transmit to You. The following extract from his letter to me on the subject, will point out to You a wish that his modesty and his fear to be deemed obtrusive have prevented him from explicitly expressing to Yourself:

J’ai besoin d’un mot de vous à Mr Jefferson. Je vous envoye ouverte la lettre que Je lui écris.—Veuillez l’apostiller, s’il doit la lire, ou la détruire, Si vous pensez qu’elle doive lui déplaire. Il ne faut pas troubler le repos d’un sage; mais il me semble qu’il suffiroit qu’il me souhaitât le bonheur pour que Je l’obtinsse.”

“On me reserve une petite place dans le Comté où Je vais. Je suis à peu près sûre qu’elle m’est dévolue; mais Je croirois la mériter, si Je possédois la plus petite marque de bienveillance, tracée de la main du grand homme.”

I think with Mr Chaudron that your repose ought to be undisturbed; yet, I am sure that whenever You can pour into the wounds of an unfortunate a drop of that balm which flows from Your heart and Your pen, You are not disposed to complain of obtrusion, especially, when Your kindness is claimed for the deserving.—I conceive that a few friendly lines from You to Mr Chaudron would eminently conduce to his success.—What the petite place to which he alludes is, I can not conjecture; but my sympathy and regard for him, and my consciousness of your philanthropy, induce me to solicit for him Your benevolence.—He is in Philada, preparing for his intended removal.

I thank You very sincerely for the loan of Botta. I have commenced the task—but they wish me to print, in the P. folio, as specimens, translations of the speeches supposed by the Historian to have been delivered in Congress for and against the declaration of Independence. This must depend on Your having it in your power to lend me the vole which contains those speeches.

I congratulate You, and Your beloved Country, on the Act respecting the establishment of an University. This is a great step towards a great and good work.

Accept my ardent wishes for the continuance of Your health; and my very respectful Salutations.

L. H. Girardin

RC (DLC); addressed: “Ths Jefferson Esqr Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 28 Feb. 1819 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Simon Chaudron to TJ, 7 Feb. 1819.

j’ai besoin d’un mot … la main du grand homme: “I need you to say a word to Mr. Jefferson. I am sending you, open, the letter I have written to him.—Please add a note to it, if he is going to read it, or destroy it, if you think it might displease him. One must not disturb the tranquillity of a sage, but it seems to me that his wishes for my happiness would be enough to make me happy. A modest position has been reserved for me in the county where I am going. I am almost certain it has been assigned to me, but I would surely believe that I deserve it, if I had the slightest token of kindness in the hand of the great man” (translation by Dr. Genevieve Moene).

p. folio: the Philadelphia journal Port Folio.

Index Entries

  • Alabama Territory; French settlement in search
  • American Revolution; books on search
  • American Revolution; speeches delivered during search
  • An act for the establishment of an University (1819) search
  • books; on American Revolution search
  • Botta, Carlo Giuseppe Guglielmo; Storia della Guerra dell’ Independenza degli Stati Uniti d’America search
  • Chaudron, Jean Simon; and French settlement in Ala. search
  • Chaudron, Jean Simon; and testimonial from TJ search
  • Continental Congress, U.S.; speeches in search
  • Declaration of Independence; debate on search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; and C. G. G. Botta’sStoria della Guerra dell’ Independenza degli Stati Uniti d’America search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; and J. S. Chaudron search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; and University of Virginia search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; letters from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books and Library; loans books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Bill to Establish a University search
  • Port Folio; andStoria della Guerra dell’ Independenza degli Stati Uniti d’America (C. G. G. Botta) search
  • Storia della Guerra dell’ Independenza degli Stati Uniti d’America (C. G. G. Botta) search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; Bill to Establish a University search