Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Charles Willson Peale, 7 August 1819

To Charles Willson Peale

Poplar Forest near Lynchburg1 Aug. 7. 19.

My good friend

Passing considerable portions of my time at this place, I keep for use here the portable Polygraph which mr Hawkins was so kind as to send me. but I have had the misfortune to break one of it’s ink glasses, which suspends it’s use, as no such thing can be got here. and to whom can I apply to replace it but to a friend in small things as well as great. without apology therefore I inclose you the gage of my glass, and pray you to procure one for me. I think it may be so securely packed in paste-board as not to be in danger of being broke in the mail. address it to me, if you please, at Monticello, where I shall be before it can come to me. for such a trifle I will say nothing about repayment, and yet if ever I can find means to remit such a fraction, it shall be done. I salute you with constant and affectionate esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

[TJ’s drawing, at foot of PoC, lacking in RC:]

RC (TxU: Thomas Jefferson Collection); at foot of text: “Mr Peale.” PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of William Lambert to TJ, 27 July 1819; endorsed by TJ.

ink glasses: “vessels or receptacles for holding writing or printing ink” (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 ). The gauge (gage) of the circle in TJ’s drawing was roughly 1 inch in diameter, with each side of the square surrounding it measuring approximately 1716 inches.

1Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Hawkins, John Isaac; and polygraph search
  • household articles; inkstands search
  • inkstands; for polygraph search
  • Peale, Charles Willson; and polygraph search
  • Peale, Charles Willson; letters to search
  • polygraph; and C. W. Peale search
  • polygraph; and J. I. Hawkins search
  • polygraph; at Poplar Forest search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search