Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Henry Dearborn, 26 March 1820

To Henry Dearborn

Monticello Mar. 26. 20.

Dear Sir

The negociation with mr Stuart has given you much more trouble than I had expected, and more than it should have given had I expected it. however we may now hope to close it by accepting one of the alternatives he proposes. I shall be perfectly content to recieve the original he drew in Philadelphia in 1805, which was of the common size (what the painters call, I believe, a bust).1 it will suit me better than a half length, as it will range better in the line of my other portraits, not one of which is half length. I have no doubt that mr Stuart’s justice will think me entitled to the original, & not merely a copy. there was something pleasanter in the aspect of that portrait & which I liked better than the second drawn at Washington. it will come safest by water addressed to the care of Capt. Bernard Peyton Richmond. the affectionate recollections of our whole fire side attend on mrs Dearborne and yourself & none more cordially than mine

Th: Jefferson

RC (TxDaHCL); addressed: “Majr General Henry Dearborne Boston”; franked; postmarked; endorsed by Dearborn. PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; endorsed by TJ.

TJ sat for Gilbert Stuart’s original portrait in Germantown, near Philadelphia, in 1800, not 1805. He posed in Washington in the latter year for what became known as the “Edgehill Portrait” (Bush, Life Portraits description begins Alfred L. Bush, The Life Portraits of Thomas Jefferson, rev. ed., 1987 description ends , 45–7, 57–9).

1Omitted period at right margin editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • Dearborn, Henry; and G. Stuart’s portrait of TJ search
  • Dearborn, Henry; letters to search
  • Dearborn, Sarah Bowdoin (James Bowdoin’s widow; Henry Dearborn’s third wife); greetings sent to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Portraits; G. Stuart’s paintings search
  • paintings; by G. Stuart search
  • Peyton, Bernard; and goods for TJ search
  • Stuart, Gilbert; portraits of TJ by search