Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Peter S. Du Ponceau, 7 July 1820

To Peter S. Du Ponceau

Monticello July 7. 20.

Dr Sir

I have lately had an opportunity of procuring a copy of a Vocabulary of the Nottoway tribe of Indians. these with the Pamunkies and Mattaponies were component parts of the great Powhatan confederacy which covered all the lower part of this state, and probably spoke the general language of the Powhatans. this vocabulary was taken by mr John Wood formerly professor of mathematics in Wm & Mary college. I do not know whether vocabularies of these tribes or of some of them might not have been among those I formerly sent you. in that case this may still be of service by collating their orthographies. I tender you constant assurances of my friendship & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (PPAmP: Thomas Jefferson Papers); at foot of text: “Peter S. Duponceau esq.” PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of James Gibbon to TJ, 12 June 1820; endorsed by TJ.

Index Entries

  • Du Ponceau, Peter Stephen; and Indians search
  • Du Ponceau, Peter Stephen; letters to search
  • Indians, American; languages search
  • Indians, American; Mattaponi search
  • Indians, American; Nottoway search
  • Indians, American; Pamunkey search
  • Indians, American; Powhatan search
  • Indians, American; TJ’s vocabularies of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; sends manuscripts search
  • language; Indian (American) search
  • Mattaponi Indians search
  • Nottoway Indians search
  • Pamunkey Indians search
  • Powhatan Indians search
  • Virginia; Indians in search
  • William and Mary, College of; faculty of search
  • Wood, John (ca.1775–1822); and College of William and Mary search
  • Wood, John (ca.1775–1822); and Indian languages search