Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to James P. Patterson, 18 May 1821

To James P. Patterson

Monticello May 18. 21.


The morning that I left your house, my servants left within your bar, where the other baggage had been deposited, a Latin book, Cornelius Nepos, which I trust you found there, and request you to keep until I call for it.

When I told you the distances of the road, as indicated [by?] my odometer, it escaped me that it needed a small correction from the circumstance that my wheel is not so large by about an Inch as that for which the Odometer is calculated. I subjoin the correct distances of your road as far as I have travelled them, the result of several admeasurement, & salute you with respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of Frederick A. Mayo to TJ, 5 May 1821; one word faint; at foot of text: “Mr Patterson”; endorsed by TJ. Recorded in SJL as a letter to “Patterson   tavern.” Enclosure not found.

James P. Patterson kept an ordinary in Buckingham County (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1375, 1381, 1396; Vi: RG 48, Personal Property Tax Returns, Buckingham Co., 1822).

Index Entries

  • Buckingham County, Va.; Patterson’s Ordinary search
  • inventions; odometer search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Travels; to Buckingham Court House search
  • Nepos, Cornelius; works of search
  • odometers search
  • Patterson, James P.; Buckingham Co. tavern keeper search
  • Patterson, James P.; identified search
  • Patterson, James P.; letter to search