The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


Your welcome favor of the 12th came to hand two days ago. I was just returned from Poplar Forest, which I have visited four times this year. I have an excellent house there, inferior only to Monticello, am comfortably fixed and attended, have a few good neighbors, and pass my time there in a tranquillity and retirement much adapted to my age and indolence. …I am very little able to walk, but ride freely without fatigue. No better proof than that on a late visit to the Natural Bridge I was six days successively on horseback from breakfast to sunset. You enquire also about our University. All its buildings except the Library will be finished by the ensuing spring. It will be a splendid establishment, would be thought so in Europe, and for the chastity of its architecture and classical taste leaves everything in America far behind it. But the Library, not yet begun, is essentially wanting to give it unity and consolidation as a single object. It will have cost in the whole but 250,000 dollars. The library is to he on the principle of the Pantheon, a sphere within a cylinder of 70 feet diameter, -- to wit, one-half only of the dimensions of the Pantheon, and of a single order only. When this is done you must come and see it. I do not admire your Canada speculation. I think, with Mr. Rittenhouse, that it is altogether unaccountable how any man can stay in a cold country who can find room in a warm one, and should certainly prefer, to polar regions of ice and snow, lands as fertile and cheap which may be covered with groves of olives and oranges. I envy M. Chaumont nothing but his French cook and cuisine. These are luxuries which can neither be forgotten nor possessed in our country.

to an Unknown Recipient, 24 November 1821