Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Charles Clay, 9 August 1819

To Charles Clay

[9 Aug. 1819]


I MUST have been misunderstood by those who thought I disapproved of the judgment in the case of the negroes. I thought I said very distinctly it was the fittest procedure which could be adopted, inasmuch as the medicine was not furnished by the Doctor with ill intent, nor proved to have produced ill effect, the only case which could authorize severer punishment. I am under a smart attack of rheumatism in both shoulders, wrists & knees, insomuch that I can scarcely walk or write. BETTER HEALTH TO YOU AND AS MUCH MORE GOOD ROASTING TO THE SWINDLING TRIBE AS YOU PLEASE!

Tr (ViU: TJP-ELS); typescript, based on an unidentified sales catalogue, listing letter as item 112 priced at $27.50 and describing it as “1 full p. oblong 4to.,” dated 9 Aug. 1819, and “signed at top.” Not recorded in SJL.

Index Entries

  • African Americans; doctors search
  • Clay, Charles; and TJ’s slaves search
  • Clay, Charles; letters to search
  • health; of slaves search
  • health; rheumatism search
  • Hercules (TJ’s slave; b.1794); accused of murder search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; rheumatism search
  • medicine; for slaves search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); slaves at search
  • rheumatism; TJ’s search
  • slaves; accused of murder search
  • slaves; health of search
  • slaves; medical treatment for search