Thomas Jefferson to Wythe, 6 May 1787

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In a letter to George Wythe, Thomas Jefferson discusses the affairs of Mr. Paradise, the man that Jefferson had recommended to Wythe on May 29, 1786. Paradise had asked Jefferson to recommend one or two nearby estates that he would be able to place his steward under. However, since Jefferson was no longer in Williamsburg at the time and unsure of any changes in the town, he suggested that Paradise execute his power of attorney. Jefferson asked Wythe to take his place and nominate two names for Paradise on the document. Jefferson let Wythe know that he had told Paradise about Colonel Taliaferro, but, being unfamiliar with Taliaferro's affairs, Jefferson did not know if Taliaferro would be capable of taking on a steward. This reason was ultimately why he chose Wythe to help Mr. Paradise.

"Thomas Jefferson to Wythe, 6 May 1787." Image from the Library of Congress, The Thomas Jefferson Papers.

Letter text

May 6. 1787.

Dear Sir

Mr. Paradise being desirous of placing the conduct of his steward under the controul of some one or two good gentlemen in the neighborhood of his estate, has desired me to recommend his affairs to the persons whom I should think best. But since my departure from Williamsburg things are as much changed that I am incompetent to that nomination. I therefore advise him to execute a power of attorney, leaving a blank for the two names, & that I would ask the favor of you to perform the office, which he had desired of me, of inserting two names. I have been led to take this liberty by a knowledge of your desire to do good, and have it in my power to assure you that you can never render service to a better man. I have mentioned to him Col. Taliaferro as adjoining his estate, understanding perfectly what a steward should do, & therefore most capable of making one do his duty: but at the same time that I did not know whether Colo. Taliaferro’s own affairs would permit him to undertake this office. I remit & recommend therefore Mr. Paradise to your goodness, and beg you to accept th assurances which both duty & inclination ever prompt me to make of the perfect esteem & respect with which I am Dear Sir

Your friend and servant
Th: Jefferson

See also