Tag Archives: Gifts
Some time last summer I recieved … a very elegant walking staff … [but no] indication from what quarter it came … I desired … to trace from what quarter it came … yesterday [I learned] … the favor had come from yourself. I enter into these details to shew how it has happened that I have been so long silent. it is now high time that I make my acknolegements to you for what is certainly the most elegant thing of the kind I have ever seen …
To John F. Oliveira Fernandes, February 28, 1806
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Grateful leaders take pains to show their appreciation.
Jefferson did not know who sent the gift of an exotic animal horn walking stick that passed through several hands to come to him at Monticello. He made repeated inquiries as to its source. He finally learned it had come from Fernandes, a Portuguese physician, friend and fellow wine-fancier. For brevity, I deleted involved details of Jefferson’s search, but he was intent on learning the source. Once known, even though months later, he was quick to express his appreciation and explain the delay.