Primary Resource

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to William DuVal (June 19, 1806)

In a letter to William DuVal, dated June 19, 1806, Thomas Jefferson inquires about the will of George Wythe and the circumstances surrounding his death.

Transcription from Original

Washington June 19. 06

DearSir

I have this moment recieved by post the paper directed to me in the handwriting of my best & most revered departed friend, mr Wythe, & superscribed by yourself as found among his papers. it covers his will in his own handwriting, dated Apr. 20. 1803. with a codicil of Jan. 19. 1806. with a label indorsed 'Testament of G. Wythe to be published when he shall cease to breathe, if not by him required before' and making yourself his executor. is this a duplicate, of which another copy is with you? or is it the sole original? if the latter, it shall be forwarded for publication & proof by the first safe conveyance, & in the mean time a copy shall be furnished you. he recommends in it to my patronage 'the freed boy Michael Brown.' is this the boy who is said to have died a few days before mr Wythe, or is he still living, & in this case will you be so good as to give me such information of him as may enable me to judge how I may best fulfill the wishes of my friend. Accept my friendly salutations & assurances of esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson