Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Randolph Lewis, 23 April 1807

Monticello Apr. 23. 07.

Dear Sir

Yours of the 20th. is recieved. nobody feels more strongly than I do the desire to make all practicable sacrifices to keep man & wife together who have imprudently married out of their respective families, & I had accordingly told Moses that if it should be your pleasure to sell his wife reasonably, I would buy her when I could with convenience. for I assure you that no body is less able to make purchases than myself, or more pressed for money, or time for it’s paiment. the epoch of your departure would find me illy able to meet any considerable new engagement. but if you will be so good as to say to me, in one word, what is the lowest sum you will take for the woman & her children, I will in like manner say in one word, yea or nay. I prefer deciding for myself on the price I may consent to pay, rather than leave to valuers to fix one which may be beyond my convenience or approbation. I would ask you also to fix what times of paiment would be necessary, as, to avoid disappointments, I must take them into calculation. you may perhaps leave some debts to be paid after you are gone, which may bring the object more within my compas. I suppose you would prefer that the delivery of the persons should be about the time of your departure when I shall be probably here, as I expect to be here during the months of August & September. with every wish for your success and happiness I salute you with friendship & esteem.

Th: Jefferson

MHi: Coolidge Collection.

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