Professor finds letter to Jefferson

May 24, 2018 536

BY: Rick Dandes

Medical advice offered via a letter sent in 1812 to Thomas Jefferson from a friend in Italy has been discovered by a Bucknell University professor, who came upon it by accident two years ago, while in a rare manuscript room in Florence, Italy. At first, Lisa Perrone, assistant professor of Italian Studies at Bucknell, didn’t know the letter, which was addressed to “Dear Friend” was really meant for Thomas Jefferson.

“I figured it was a letter sent to one of his descendants, or to one of his lawyers,” she said Wednesday. She transcribed the letter and saved it to her computer. Perrone found the letter while doing research in Italy in 2015, seeking information about Carlo Bellini, whom Jefferson hired in 1779 to teach modern languages at her alma mater, the College of William & Mary. “I was interested in Bellini because I studied languages at William and Mary as well,” Perrone said.

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