The University of Delaware Library announces that the letter from Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Joseph Bringhurst dated February 24, 1808 and recently discovered in a newly received library collection will be on view on Saturday, June 5, 2010 from Noon-4 p.m. (These are expanded hours from what was previously announced.) The Jefferson letter will be located in a secured exhibition case in the Information Room of the Morris Library.
On Thursday, November 5, 2009, two graduate students of the University of Delaware found an original letter written by Thomas Jefferson among the many boxes of unsorted early material of the Bringhurst family, a family that once owned Rockwood, the estate in North Wilmington, now the Rockwood Museum. The Jefferson letter has substantive content with a distinct Delaware connection and was written during the time Jefferson was president.
The letter was posted from Washington and addressed to Dr. Joseph Bringhurst who had informed Jefferson, in a letter of February 16, 1808, about the recent death, in Wilmington, of John Dickinson on February 14, 1808. Thomas Jefferson’s letter is an eloquent tribute and expression of condolence on the loss of Dickinson: “a more estimable man, or truer patriot, could not have left us.” Jefferson said Dickinson was “among the first of the advocates for the rights of his country when assailed by Great Britain” and “one of the great worthies of the revolution.” Jefferson described himself in relation to Dickinson and their joint service in the Continental Congress as a “junior companion of his labors in the early part of our revolution.”
Members of the public are invited to view the Thomas Jefferson letter.
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