Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Appleton to Thomas Jefferson, 2 June 1820

From Thomas Appleton

Leghorn 2nd June 1820—

Dear Sir—

The unexpected departure of a vessel in the course of the day, Affords me but a short time to reply to your letter of 15th of feby receiv’d by me on the 5th of mayat the same time, I receiv’d a bill of excha from mr Vaughan, on Paris, which produc’d here, precisely four hundred dollars, and has been paid equally between the wives of the Raggi’s.—The wife of Giacomo, who is advanc’d in years, infirm, and has a daughter on the point of being married, has determin’d not to leave her native place; the younger mrs Raggi, is greatly desirous of joining her husband with her infant-child; but the obstacles are great & numerous—to pay her small debts, & purchase what She would require before embarking, would consume nearly the 200 Drs.—then there is no vessel in port, bound nearer to her husband, than Boston; for since the failure of Purviance & nicholas, not a vessel has arriv’d from Baltimore—but the greatest of all the obstacles is, considering that history furnishes but one Joseph,1 that she should find a second.—on the whole, there is no probability, that she will embark this year; and I am inclin’d to beleive, her husband will approve her2 determination, considering that the elder woman, has absolutely refus’d to leave her country.—I hope shortly to receive your remittances for mesdames mazzei and Pini, as their frequent inquiries, strongly indicate their wants.—I shall be gratified to learn the safe arrival of the seeds I sent you to Richmond; as likewise, if you shall require any architectural works in marble from Italy, for the edifices you are erecting; for, as I presume, they could be imported free of duties, there would only be the freight to add to the cost at Carrara.—

accept, Sir, the renewal of my invariable esteem & respect—

Th: Appleton

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson esqr Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 21 Aug. 1820 and so recorded in SJL. FC (Lb in DNA: RG 84, CRL); in Appleton’s hand; at foot of text: “Sent by Ship Francis for Boston 2. June.”

history furnishes but one joseph: Appleton apparently alludes to the biblical story of Joseph, Mary, and the virgin birth of Jesus, thereby implying that Michele Raggi was not the biological father of his wife’s infant child.

1Remainder of sentence in FC reads “he might Still <remain> continue the Solitary example of mere admiration.”

2Remainder of sentence in FC reads “resolution, considering the elder woman will not leave her native country.”

Index Entries

  • Appleton, Thomas; and capitals for University of Virginia search
  • Appleton, Thomas; and families of G. Raggi and M. Raggi search
  • Appleton, Thomas; and P. Mazzei’s estate search
  • Appleton, Thomas; and seeds for TJ search
  • Appleton, Thomas; letters from search
  • Bible; and virgin birth search
  • building materials; marble, Carrara search
  • Carrara marble search
  • Francis (ship) search
  • Italy; marble from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business &amp; Financial Affairs; debt to P. Mazzei search
  • Jesus; paternity of search
  • Joseph (Jesus’s father; New Testament figure) search
  • marble; Carrara search
  • Mary (Jesus’s mother; New Testament figure) search
  • Mazzei, Antonia Antoni (Philip Mazzei’s second wife); and P. Mazzei’s estate search
  • Mazzei, Philip; TJ’s debt to search
  • Pini, Elisabetta Mazzei (Philip Mazzei’s daughter; Andrea Pini’s wife); and P. Mazzei’s estate search
  • Purviance &amp; Nicholas (firm); failure of search
  • Raggi, Giacomo; family of search
  • Raggi, Michele; family of search
  • seeds; sent to TJ search
  • taxes; customs search
  • Vaughan, John (1756–1841); and payments made for TJ search