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


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