Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JOSEPH COOLIDGE 1 - The Works, vol. 12 (Correspondence and Papers 1816-1826)
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TO JOSEPH COOLIDGE 1 - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 12 (Correspondence and Papers 1816-1826) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 12.
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TO JOSEPH COOLIDGE1
Monticello, October 24, ’24
—I should not have delayed a single day the answer to your interesting and acceptable letter of the 13th inst. but that it found me suffering severely from an imposthume formed under the jaw, and closing it so effectually as to render the introduction of sustenance into the mouth impossible but in a fluid form, and that, latterly, sucked thro’ a tube. After 2 or 3 weeks of sufferance, and a total prostration of strength, I have been relieved by a discharge of the matter, and am now on the recovery; and I avail myself of the first moment of my ability to take up a pen to assure you that nothing could be more welcome to me than the visit proposed, or it’s object. During the stay you were so kind as to make with us, my opportunities were abundant of seeing and estimating the merit of your character; insomuch as to need no further enquiry from others. Nor did the family leave me uninformed of the attachment which seemed to be forming towards my grandaur. Ellen. I learnt it with pleasure; because I believed of yours, and knew of her extraordinary moral qualifications, I was satisfied no two minds could be formed, better compounded to make each other happy. I hold the same sentiment now that I receive the information from yourself, and assure you that no union could give to me greater satisfaction, if your wishes prove mutual, and your friends consenting. What provision for a competent subsistence for you, might exist or be practicable, was a consideration for both parties. I knew that the circumstances of her father, Governor Randolph, offered little prospect from his resources, prostrated as they have been by too much facility in engagements for others. Some suffering of the same kind myself, and of sensible amount, with debts of my own, remove to a distance anything I could do, and certainly should do, for you. My property is such that after a discharge of these incumbrances, a comfortable provision will remain for my unprovided grandchildren. This state of things on our part leaves us nothing to propose for the present put to submit the course to be pursued entirely to your own discretion, and the will of your friends, under the general assurance that whenever circumstances enable me to do anything, it will be directed by justice to the other members of my family, a special affection to this particularly valued granddaughter, and a cordial attachment to yourself. Your visit to Monticello and at the time of your own convenience will be truly welcome, and your stay whatever may suit yourself, under any views of friendship or connection. My gratification will be measured by the time of it’s continuance.
I ought sooner to have thanked you for the valuable work of Milisia, on Architecture: searching, as he does, for the resources and prototypes of our ideas of beauty in that fine art, he appears to have elicited them with more correctness than any other I have read: and his work, as a text book, furnishes excellent matter for a course of lectures on the subject, which I shall hope to have introduced into our institution. The letters of Mr. Gilmer are encouraging as to the time and style of opening it.
I expect in the course of the 1st. or 2d week of the approaching month to receive here the visit of my antient friend Genl La Fayette. The delirium which his visit has excited in the North invelopes him in the South also. The humble village of Charlottesville, or rather the county of Albemarle, of which it is the seat of justice, will exhibit it’s great affection, and unpretending means, in a dinner to be given the General in the buildings of the University, to which they have given accepted invitations to Mr. Madison also and myself as guests, and at which your presence, as my guest would give high pleasure to us all, and to none, I assure you, more cordially than to your sincerely attached friend.
[1 ]From a copy in the possession of A. C. Coolidge, Esq., of Cambridge.