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He dined with me a week ago and is now dead.

Poor Hutcheson dined with me on Friday was [?] sennight [one week], was taken [ill] that night on his return home, & died the day before yesterday.
Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, September 8, 1793

In the face of coronavirus, I’m excerpting correspondence about the 1793 yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia, the nation’s capital at the time, which killed 5,000 of the city’s 50,000 residents.

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Death strikes close to home for leaders, too.
“Hutcheson” was James Hutchinson, physician, University of Pennsylvania chemistry professor and political organizer for the republican cause. Jefferson liked to share the main meal of the day with others, usually around 3:00 PM. A week before, Hutchinson was his dinner guest, took ill that night and died September 5.

With the yellow fever epidemic far behind him,
Thomas Jefferson will bring an inspiring message to your audience.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
NOTE: The link to Thomas Jefferson’s letter is subject to change by Founders’ Archives. It was accurate when this post was written. If the link is now wrong, search FoundersArchives.gov or call me. I’ll help you find it.
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