Thomas Jefferson Papers

José Corrêa da Serra to Thomas Jefferson, 11 October 1820

From José Corrêa da Serra

Philadelphia 11. October. 1820.

Dear Sir.

I cannot Let go Judge Cooper to Monticello, without once more before i Leave your country expressing to you my strong attachment to you, of which you shall have constant proofs as Long as i Live.

He will inform you of the things, which i promised to write to you—as he is thorougly informed of them. I respect your person and your repose too highly, to wish to meddle you in the Least in this dirty affair. I am resolved to Let things have their course, and time will insensibly bring on the proper reaction and due retribution. If in the end it proves an unprofitable and ruinous trade, Let the parties now concerned bewail the consequences, of which they themselves are the manufacturers.

Mr Vanhuxem of Philadelphia accompanies Judge Cooper. He is one of the most thriving among the many proselites of science, which the nursery established by Mr Maclure in this city has already afforded. Some of them and Mr Vanhuxem amongst the others have gone to Paris at the fountain head of natural sciences, and with great profit. Multa ferunt anni venientes commoda secum. I can add also, multa recedentes adimunt, because i see with pain that the beautiful and novel caracter which you had imprinted on your nation is fast wearing away. Posterity will discriminate easily what belonged to your mind, and what was natural to the soil, which is productive of rank weeds, rather smothering the fine crop.1 I know you well enough to suppose that though your historical caracter will certainly appear brighter, you may feel flattered from what i am saying.

My most cordial souvenirs to Colonel Randolph, and my respects to his Lady and family.

Most attached faithful friend and servt

Joseph Corrèa de Serra

RC (DLC: TJ Papers, 218:38992); endorsed by TJ as received 17 Oct. 1820 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Frederick A. Mayo, 11 May 1821, on verso; addressed: “T. Jefferson Esq Late President of the U.S. Monticello.”

mr vanhuxem: Lardner C. Vanuxem. multa ferunt anni venientes commoda secum (“Many blessings do the advancing years bring with them”) and multa recedentes adimunt (“many, as they retire, they take away”) are from Horace, Ars Poetica, 175–6 (Fairclough, Horace: Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica description begins Horace: Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica, trans. H. Rushton Fairclough, Loeb Classical Library, 1926, repr. 2005 description ends , 464–5). souvenirs: “regards; remembrances.”

1Omitted period at right margin editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • Cooper, Thomas (1759–1839); and J. Corrêa da Serra search
  • Cooper, Thomas (1759–1839); visits Monticello search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; and T. Cooper search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; as Portuguese minister plenipotentiary search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; introduces L. C. Vanuxem to TJ search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; letters from search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; plans to return to Europe search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; sends greetings to Randolphs search
  • geology; scholars of search
  • Horace; quoted by J. Corrêa da Serra search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Maclure, William; as geologist search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Cooper, Thomas search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Vanuxem, Lardner C. search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); greetings sent to search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); greetings sent to search
  • Vanuxem, Lardner Clark; and T. Cooper search
  • Vanuxem, Lardner Clark; as geologist search
  • Vanuxem, Lardner Clark; introduced to TJ search
  • Vanuxem, Lardner Clark; visits Monticello search