Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Joseph Coolidge, 13 October 1824

Boston: October 13. 1824.

My dear Sir

I have delayed to express the gratification wh. my visit to Monticello, (during the last Spring) gave me, until called upon to ask of you further kindness. During the fortnight which I passed so agreably in your family, the many valuable qualities of Miss Randolph made an impression upon me wh, at parting, I did not attempt to conceal:—I confessed to Mrs Randolph the interest her daughter had inspired—; but, want of sufficient knowledge of my character was an objection to then forming an engagement wh. involved the happiness of life; & my own judgment acquiesced in a delay wh, tho. painful to my feelings, permitted something more to be known of myself and family than could be learned from the letters I had presented: permission to write occasionally was however, granted me, and the correspondance wh. followed has perhaps assisted in shewing us something of each others character;—it certainly has confirmed the high opinion I had formed of Miss Randolph’s heart & understanding. Several months have since elapsed: my friends have given their full consent; and I now ask of you, Sir, permission to return to Monticello, that my own character may become better known, by longer personal intercourse: The visit I am about to make does not involve Miss Randolph in any positive, or implied engagement:—should she see fit to decline all connection but that of friendship, I should think less well of myself, but not of her: if she consent, after farther acquaintance, to gratify my dearest wish, may I not hope, Sir, for the sanction of yr. approval?

I do not presume that you now hear, for the first time, of my attachment to a member of your family—: but, respect and gratitude alike forbid me to ask again the protection of your roof without confessing the true motive of my visit: Apart from the interest wh. I feel in you, Sir, as the cherished relative of one who, under every circumstance, will be dear to me, may I not be permitted to assure you of my individual unfeigned regard?

J: Coolidge Jr.


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