I am well. I need to know you are well!
my health being always so firm as to leave you without doubt on that subject, but it is not so with yourself & little one. I shall not be easy therefore if either yourself or mr Eppes do not once a week or fortnight write the three words ‘all are well.’ that you may be so now, & so continue is the subject of my perpetual anxiety, as my affections are constantly brooding over you. heaven bless you my dear daughter.
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Leaders with adult children never cease worrying about their kids.
Jefferson’s 2nd daughter had recently delivered her 2nd child, a son Francis. She was of frail health, like her mother who died after childbirth 20 years before, and her father worried greatly about her. He also worried about the baby, as Mary’s first child died just three days after birth. (Four of Jefferson’s six children died by the age of five.)
He had high expectations of his daughters, and one of those was that they write to him regularly. Mary was a particularly poor correspondent, and her father brooded over the silences. He beseeched her often to write more frequently.
Here, he said his health was so good there was no cause for them to worry about him. So that he would not worry about them, he pleaded that at least every two weeks, she or her husband write to him, if only to convey, “All are well.”
This baby Francis would live a long, productive life. He was the only one of Mary’s three children who survived infancy. Mary herself would die three years later, months after her third delivery, a daughter who lived only a few weeks.
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Originally published at http://ThomasJeffersonLeadership.com/blog/
Speaker, actor and author Patrick Lee has portrayed Thomas Jefferson professionally for more than 25 years, inspiring, teaching and entertaining conference audiences from Maine to Hawaii.