Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Barnes to Thomas Jefferson, 2 April 1821

From John Barnes

George Town Coa—2d April 1821.

Dear Sir,

My Valued friend Mr Parr, an English Gentn of Science & fortune, passionately fond of this favd country, has induced him to incounter many inconvenings to satisfy his Anxious wishes—a transit View—(of CountryLaws. Men & Manners) has already made a tour thro several of the Western States. principly—on foot—thro’ Choice—passed the late summer thro’ the Eastern—to Montreal—Quebec &ca—and returned a few days since—to Head Quarters—Geo Town & Washington—Having expressed his ardent desire (if not too late) of paying his respects—to you & Mr Madison—previous to his embarking for Liverpool—I could not withhold the liberty I have taken—in thus introducing him to your friendly notice—his pleasing Manners and Acquirements—I trust will warrant the Attempt. and withal—not without the long wished for—flattering Hope! of receving on the Return of my friend—the gratifying pleasure, of a few lines—Assuring me—of yr Accustomed Health—and families injoyments—Except my Earing, in part—I have every Reason to be,—and am most assuredly. truly thankfull—for the Many—very many. unmerited Blessings—bestowed—upon so Unworthy an Object.—

as Your Obedeint Humbe servt

John Barnes,

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello—favr of Mr Parr whose seat of Residence is Near Boston—Lincolnshire”; endorsed by TJ as received 5 Apr. 1821 and so recorded (with additional bracketed notation: “by mr Parr”) in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to William Barret, 5 Sept. 1822, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello—Virginia” and “Honored—Mr Parr.”

On the day that this letter arrived, Ellen W. Randolph (Coolidge) described Monticello’s current occupants, including but not naming Mr. Parr, the english gentn: “the house has been so full of company as to render it difficult for me to find a moment’s leisure. The meeting of the Visiters of the University, you know takes place the beginning of this month; they have just left us, & we have but one guest remaining, an English gentleman who has travelled all over the Northern and Western States, on foot. a pedestrian tour of about 2000 miles, and this from choice, merely to gratify his own curiosity and love of information. he found it, he says, easier to obtain an accurate knowledge of the country and it’s inhabitants, travelling on foot, than in any other way. he just stepped a little out of his course and walked from Washington here, to pay his respects to Grandpapa and means to trip it back again as lightly as he came with a change of clothes hung upon his arm” (Randolph [Coolidge] to Francis Eppes, 5 Apr. 1821 [RC in ViU: Eppes Papers]).

Index Entries

  • Barnes, John; introduces Mr. Parr search
  • Barnes, John; letters from search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); describes Monticello occupants search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); visitors to search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Parr, Mr. search
  • Parr, Mr.; introduced to TJ search
  • Parr, Mr.; travels of search
  • Parr, Mr.; visits Monticello search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; meetings of search