James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 24 July 1791

From Thomas Jefferson

Philadelphia July 24. 1791.

My dear Sir

Yours of the 21st. came to hand yesterday. I will keep my eye on the advertisements for Halifax. The time of my journey to Virginia is rendered doubtful by the incertainty whether the President goes there or not. It is rather thought he will not. If so, I shall go later & stay a shorter time. I presume I may set out about the beginning of September, & shall hope your company going & coming. The President is indisposed with the same blind tumour, & in the same place, which he had the year before last in New York. As yet it does not promise either to suppurate or be discussed.1 He is obliged to lye constantly on his side, & has at times a little fever. The young grandson2 has had a long & dangerous fever. He is thought better to-day. No news yet from Genl Scott: nor any thing from Europe worth repeating. Several merchants from Richmond (Scotch, English &c) were here lately. I suspect it was to dabble in federal filth. Let me hear of your health. Adieu my dear Sir. Yours affectionately

Th: Jefferson

P. S. The inclosed are for yourself, being duplicates.

RC (DLC); FC, Tr (DLC: Jefferson Papers).

1After returning from his southern tour, Washington suffered “another carbuncle, less serious than that of 1789” (Freeman, Washington, VI, 324 n. 10). Jefferson uses “discussed” in the archaic medical sense: “To dissipate, dispel, or disperse (humours, tumours, or obstructions)” (OED description begins Oxford English Dictionary. description ends ).

2George Washington Parke Custis (1781–1857) was the son of John Parke Custis (d. 1781) and Eleanor Calvert (Wayland, The Washingtons and Their Homes [1973 reprint], pp. 335–36).

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