Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 27 December 1820

To Richard Rush

Monticello Dec. 27. 20.

Dear Sir

I took the liberty, in October last, to request you to put a catalogue of books, which I inclosed, into the hands of an honest bookseller, one to whom I might address myself with confidence hereafter without troubling you; and at the same time desired my correspondent in Richmond Capt Bernard Peyton to remit a bill of 40.£ sterling to be delivered to the Bookseller to be placed by him to my account.

I now avail myself of the protection of your cover for the two inclosed letters. that to mr Roscoe will readily find it’s destination. mrs Cosway’s address I do not know. mr Cosway her husband, about 31. or 32. years ago when I knew them both in Paris, was the most celebrated miniature painter in England & perhaps in Europe. his house in London & Cabinet was the fashionable daily resort of the diplomatic corps,1 of foreigners & distinguished natives. he was living a year ago but paralytic. I think their residence will be known to the gentlemen of that art.

I will say nothing to you of politics because I know no more of them than from the newspapers which you get. we are laboring hard under the portentous Missouri question. the preceding generation sacrificed themselves to establish their posterity in independent self-government, which their successors seem disposed to throw away for an abstract proposition. they have a right to do it, as we have to lament it. in all events I salute you with friendship & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (ICN: Thomas Jefferson Letters); addressed: “His Excellency Richard Rush Minister Plenipotentiary of the US. of America London”; endorsed by Rush; with notations by Rush mentioning the enclosed letters and “<His felicitous> The happy brevity of his allusion to the ‘Missouri question.’” PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of Chapman Johnson to TJ, 17 June 1819; damaged at seal; at head of text: “thro depmt of State”; endorsed by TJ. Recorded in SJL with the additional notation: “inclosed to mr D. Brent of the depmt of state.” Enclosures: (1) TJ to Maria Cosway, 27 Dec. 1820. (2) TJ to William Roscoe, 27 Dec. 1820. Enclosed in TJ to Daniel Brent, [ca. 27 Dec. 1820], not found (see note to Brent to TJ, 26 Feb. 1821).

1Word interlined in place of “court.”

Index Entries

  • Brent, Daniel; forwards letters to and from TJ search
  • Cosway, Maria Louisa Catherine Cecilia Hadfield (Richard Cosway’s wife); letter forwarded to search
  • Cosway, Richard (Maria Cosway’s husband); as artist search
  • Cosway, Richard (Maria Cosway’s husband); health of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books &amp; Library; orders books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; European search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Missouri question search
  • Missouri question; TJ on search
  • paintings; miniatures search
  • Peyton, Bernard; payments made for TJ search
  • Roscoe, William; letter forwarded to search
  • Rush, Richard; and books for TJ search
  • Rush, Richard; as minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain search
  • Rush, Richard; forwards letters to and from TJ search
  • Rush, Richard; letters to search