James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 9 February 1786

From Thomas Jefferson

Paris Feb. 9. 1786

Dear Sir

In my letter of yesterday I forgot to inclose one I have received on the subject of a debt due to mr Paradise,1 and I wish the present letter may reach the bearer of that in time to go by the same conveiance. The inclosed from Doctor Bancroft will explain itself. I add my solicitations to his, not to ask any thing to be done for mr Paradise inconsistent with the justice due to others, but that every thing may be done for him which justice will permit. Your assistance in this either by yourself or by interesting such other person in it as may be more in the way to forward it will oblige Dear Sir Your friend & servant

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC). Addressed and franked by Jefferson. On the visor of the cover, “L’Orient March 5th. 1786 forwarded by Sir your most obedt. Servant Z: Loreilhe.” Docketed. The enclosure was Edward Bancroft’s letter to Jefferson, 18 Nov. 1785 (Boyd, Papers of Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (18 vols. to date; Princeton, N. J., 1950——). description ends , IX, 40–41).

1John Paradise (1743–1795) was born in Greece of British-Greek parents. He attended Oxford and in 1769 married Lucy Ludwell of Virginia, an heiress to the fortune of Philip Ludwell III (d. 1767). Their extravagant mode of living led them into heavy debt, which occasioned Bancroft’s letter to Jefferson. Lucy Paradise’s inheritance was confiscated during the war but later released after the Treaty of Paris was signed. Bancroft appealed to Jefferson to aid Paradise in recovering “what is due to him from the State of Virginia” (ibid, IX, 41; Archibald B. Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell of London and Williamsburg [Richmond, 1942], pp. 182–85).

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