Saturday, January 03, 1801
In a letter to his daughter, Mary Jefferson Eppes, President Jefferson wrote, “I went yesterday to Mount Vernon, where mrs [sic] Washington & mrs [sic] Lewis enquired very kindly after you. mrs [sic] Lewis looks thin, & thinks herself not healthy; but it seems to be more in opinion than any thing [sic] else. she [sic] has a child of very uncertain health.”
Editorial note: “TJ began his trip to MOUNT VERNON on 2 Jan. and returned the next day, dining and spending the night at Gadsby’s tavern at Alexandria, for which he paid $5.50, plus 75 cents as a tip for the servants. He crossed the Potomac by ferry at Georgetown, paying 50 cents each way. New Hampshire Senator John Langdon, another boarder at Conrad and McMunn’s, probably accompanied the vice president….For the journey TJ hired a horse from William Tunnicliff, paying him $3 for the two days…Tunnicliff operated the Washington City Hotel located near the Capitol….”
Jefferson left Monticello for Washington, as appears by his diary, November 24, 1800….He did not return until nearly a month after his inauguration as President April 1. On the 7th of January he appears to have sought counsel of the Sage of Mount Vernon.
According to historian Don Higginbotham, “Mrs. Washington supposedly said later “that, next to the loss of her husband,” Jefferson’s appearance there was “the most painful occurrence of her life.””