Thomas Jefferson to Wythe, 29 May 1799

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Thomas Jefferson finally writes to get his unbound volumes back after having had them kept in George Wythe's possession since 1796. Jefferson is sending his relative George Jefferson to pick them up and bind them. Thomas Jefferson mentions having sent a letter in 1796 to change the labels on the volumes and includes a copy of the letter so Wythe does not have to go searching for the old letter. Jefferson thanks Wythe for having been a good friend all these years and wishes him good health in his remaining years.

"Thomas Jefferson to Wythe, 29 May 1799." Image from the Library of Congress, The Thomas Jefferson Papers.

Letter text

Monticello May 29. 99.

Th: Jefferson to G. Wythe

In order to relieve you, my very dear & antient friend from the trouble of the volumes I sent you in 96. I have desired my friend & relation George Jefferson to call & receive them if you have no further use for them. he is to get them bound. I think I had arranged them into volumes, & labeled each, but that in a subsequent letter to you I wished a change of some of the labels. I inclose him a copy of that letter so that I am in hopes he will be able to direct the binding without troubling you.

Though the different walks of life into which we have been led, do not bring us together, yet I enquire of your health, with anxious concern, from every one who comes from you. & with great pleasure I learn generally that you enjoy good health. I shall for ever cherish the remembrance of the many agreeable & useful days I have past with you, and the infinite obligations I owe you for what good has fallen to me through life. may your remaining years be as many as you would wish them, and filled with the enjoyment of all your faculties. a thousand friendly & respectful salutations to you. Adieu affectionately.

[sideways- a copy of the following text]

T.J. to G. Wythe.     Monticello Jan. 16. 96.

I was so hurried to get ready my collection of printed laws before the departure of the waggon, that I did the work imperfectly. I have since found the laws of 1702 May & Oct. which I should be glad to have added to the end of my 6th. volume. If you can procure a copy of those of 1773. I will pray you to add it to the end of the 5th volume, and in both cases to make corresponding changes in the middle one of the three printed labels proposed on these volumes. indeed I would wish the middle label of the 4th volume to be

Fugitive                                        Fugitive            
Sheets        & of the 8th to be        Sheets
1734-1773                                    1775-1783


I choose to bring for the 11th volume to 1783 that it may terminate at the same period with the Chancellors revisal.

See also