Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Constantine S. Rafinesque, 6 November [1820]

To Constantine S. Rafinesque

Monticello Nov. 6.


Your favor of Oct. 18. was recieved yesterday. the three letters on Alleganian antiquities have not yet come to hand. for the 1st no of your annals of nature I have still to thank you. they have not been before acknoleged because the inexorable laws of old age and ill health have withdrawn me from the labors of the writing table to which I am no longer competent. writing is become slow, laborious and painful. the Western Minerva will doubtless be valuable, and give useful exercise to the talents of our Western brethren, whom I rejoice to see advancing in the career of science.

Our University, after which you enquire, will have all it’s buildings compleated by this time twelvemonth. but to accomplish this we have contracted a debt which if not taken off our hands by our legislature, will require for it’s redemption several years of our funds, and so long leave us without the means of employing professors, so that the epoch of opening it hangs on that dilemma, as does the question whether I shall live to see it. with sincere prayers for the progress of science in every part of our country I tender you my friendly and respectful salutations.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; partially dated; at foot of text: “Mr Rafinesque”; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 6 Nov. 1820 and so recorded in SJL.

Index Entries

  • Alligewi Indians search
  • Annals of Nature (C. S. Rafinesque) search
  • Indians, American; Alligewi search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; receives works search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; fatiguing or painful to search
  • Kentucky; literature from search
  • Rafinesque, Constantine Samuel; and Alligewi antiquities search
  • Rafinesque, Constantine Samuel; Annals of Nature search
  • Rafinesque, Constantine Samuel; editsWestern Minerva, or American Annals of Knowledge and Literature search
  • Rafinesque, Constantine Samuel; letters to search
  • Rafinesque, Constantine Samuel; seeks professorship search
  • Virginia, University of; Administration and Financial Affairs; funding for search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; progress of search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; and General Assembly search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; opening of search
  • Virginia, University of; Faculty and Curriculum; faculty applicants search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search
  • Western Minerva, or American Annals of Knowledge and Literature search