Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Beale Ewell, 10 August 1819

Washington 10th august 1819

Dear Sir,

I spent last winter in Philadelphia in order to improve my knowledge of the branches of my profession. Under the operation of different motives—I published a collection of various essays & attempts at improvement, which I had made—as you may have seen advertised in the Intelligencer under the head of “Statement of improvements in the theory & practice of the Science of medicine.” Without your leave, I took the liberty of dedicating the work to you for the reasons there stated—that “for more than half a century you had been the patron of genius & benefactor of your country—alike distinguished as the Chief of the statesmen and the ornament of the Philosophy of america” I directed the publisher mr Bi[. . .]er to send you a copy—and supposing you had received it—I wondered that I had not heard from You—that you considered my gratitude & veneration for you—as strong now as in the days of your office. I suspect you have not received it. I have received but one copy which I presented to the French Minister—who had been a physician, and who has undertaken to have it translated into French & published at Paris.

I send you a part of the sheets I had to correct from the Press—and you may observe in page 145 that I still retain my attachement to the ‘Ancient Dominion.” Indeed nothing could shake this feeling—nothing could contribute more to my happiness than in the pursuit of science to be ableto return to Virga I will send you in a few days half a dozen copies of my work alluded to for the Trustees of the University of Virga If you & the gentlemen associated, should think me worthy of a station in the medical School—gladly would I leave Washington & take my residence near the university.—I would prefer teaching—the principles of medicine—if I could make a selection.   my friend Smith President of W. & M. College is now with me and says this office has been offered to him and he Declined it. The Trustees I believe could not appoint one who would more ardently devote himself to the duties of his office than I would.

My prayrs are constantly offered to god—that you may be blessed and happy as you wish to be.

Thomas Ewell

P.S. I should be much gratified to learn your opinions of the address to the medicine society—concerning page 121—

MHi: Coolidge Collection.

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