Tag Archives: Thank you
Having recieved a box of fine Havanna segars & knowing your fondness for them, I cannot make any use of them so gratifying to myself as by sending them to you. having occasion to send a cart to Washington, it will go by Fauqr C.H. [Fauquier Court House] to deposit this charge with you. it will return by Dumfries for a pair of Wild geese promised me there, as I have had the misfortune to lose the goose of the pair you were so kind as to give me. ever affectionately yours
To Doct. James W. Wallace, August 24, 1809
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Thoughtful leaders remember kindnesses shown them by others.
While Jefferson raised tobacco, the only cash crop available besides wheat, there is no record he used it other than on rare ceremonial visits from Indian chiefs. So, what to do with a box of “fine Havanna segars” that must have been a gift to him?
In other correspondence the same day, he said “Davy,” a servant (slave) would leave the next day with a horse and cart to retrieve a “big-tailed ram” promised him to replace two that died. The route would take him near Wallace’s home. Remembering his friend’s fondness for cigars, he would have Davy leave them at a convenient place for Wallace to retrieve. He was returning the kindness Wallace had shown earlier in giving him a pair of geese.
The female of Wallace’s pair died. Davy would return by another route to pick up a replacement pair offered to the former President.
“…your presentation brought to life not only the spirit of Thomas Jefferson
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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.