Thomas Jefferson’s Last Letter

This letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Mayor of Washington DC, Mr. Roger Weightman, was written on June 24, 1826. He wrote it using his left hand, as he had broken his right hand and it never healed. He was very ill: he will become bedridden two days later and die on July 4. I wrote it in Simplified for the blog.

Attachment: thomas-jeffersons-last-letter.pdf

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  1. Fantastic!  Now that's a step up in vocabulary compared to the typical outlines found in the Gregg books!  Jefferson always used a highly educated vocabulary.  Always glad to read anything by Jefferson!  Thanks for all your hard work in supplying us shorthand reading material!

    One thing, Monticello is pronounced MontiCHello, though maybe it doesn't matter in Simplified.  Not sure.  I'm not as familiar with Simplified.


    1. Jefferson's Monticello is the only one in the US pronounced with the ch, as far as I know. I just wrote it with the s in the first place because it was easier to write. However, due to popular demand, I changed the outline (not wanting to upset any Virginians).

      As a curious note, the NBC Handbook of Pronunciation lists Monticello to be pronounced with an s:

      This almost created an uproar in Charlottesville, as you can imagine …

      1. How funny about the uproar!  The only reason I knew it was pronounced with the "ch" was because I visited it once.  Monticello also has its own YouTube channel, and they pronounce it with the "ch."  Jefferson was fluent in many languages so it wouldn't surprise me if he pronounced it with the "ch."  The word means "little mountain"– his house is located on top of a little mountain.

        Long live Jefferson's writings– and Carlos's shorthand!  smiley


        1. Sadly, there are now calls to remove Mr. Jefferson's statue from the UVA grounds–it was even vandalized this year on the occasion of his birthday. These are strange times.

          Thanks for posting, Carlos. It's important to preserve his ideas just as we're trying to preserve Gregg shorthand!

          Note in passing:  Mr. Jefferson's most important contribution, in my opinion, was his Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774) in which he clearly outlined what Mr. Madison called "the Fundamental Principle of the Revolution." Almost no one knows what the principle even was anymore. Perhaps this document would be worth writing up in shorthand someday. I might even take the project on myself.  🙂

            1. Awesome! That pamphlet had a tremendous influence on the First Continental Congress, which Mr. Jefferson was unable to attend personally due to illness. John Adams got the crucial resolution through–which made the Revolution inevitable.

              There's more to the story of course, not generally known now for reasons which would be controversial to explain. Mr. Adams's public argument in Massachusetts Bay with the royal Governor Hutchinson, the Richard Bland pamphlet (1766) which influenced Mr. Jefferson's views on the subject, James Wilson's pamphlet (1775) which amplified the Fundamental Principle drawing support even from British judicial rulings, and Mr. Jefferson's statement in the Declaration of Independence which typically goes right past us.

              But I don't want to stray too far off topic–although there is the "Anything Goes" tag where I suppose we could expound further, if I don't push Carlos's patience too far.  🙂

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