Primary Resource

Letter from William DuVal to Thomas Jefferson (June 8, 1806)

In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, dated June 8, 1806, William DuVal tells the U.S. president about the death of George Wythe and the circumstances surrounding his alleged poisoning.

Transcription from Original

Richmond June 8th. 1806


Our venerable great and pious Friend departed this Life about half an Hour after Nine of the Clock this Morning—Doctrs. [William] Foushee Currie Grunhow [Samuel Greenhow] [James] McClurg & [James D.] McCaw opened his Chest & Bowels, here was considerable inflamation in the Stomach. It is strongly suspected that he & Michael Brown were poisoned with Yellow Arsenic by Geo W. Sweeny.—On Thursday he said I am murdered but mentioned no name—The day before Yesterday he said Let me die righteous—he during his severe complaint displayed uncommon patience & Fortitude—He called on the Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy on him—

The Governour & Council have desired that his Body shall be conveyed to the Capitol. Tomorrow at four O'Clock in the Afternoon his Funeral Oration will be pronounced by Mr Wm. Montford [Munford] who lived with Mr Wythe formerly, and is a Member of our Council of State. When Mr Wythe's will shall be proven, I shall enclose you a Copy of the Will with the Codecils. I believe he enclosed to you a Copy of it.

I am, with great Respect Yr obt. Servt

Wm DuVal