Quondam's 28th Year       Stephen Lauf


"I see sham pane, but no glasses"
1812 June 20 Saturday
This evening M. & Mrs. Das[c]hkoff and M. Cor[r]ea came hither [to Ury]. They had lost their way and got wet in a heavy shower at 6 o'clock. About 8 S[arah] and S[amuel] Longstreth came and brought me the newspaper with an Act of Congress declaring War against Great Britain!!!
Since there is no further mention of Daschkoff and Correa within the subsequent day's journal entries, I imagine the diplomats immediately hurried back to town upon hearing the news of war.
Abbe Correa: Jose Correa da Serra, Minister from Portugal, the most famous wit and epigrammatist of his day. He it was who called Washington the "City of magnificent distances."
As with any creator, Jefferson at times doubted that his vision of an academical village would ever materialize. In an 1817 letter to the Abbé Correa de Serra, he writes: "Mine, after all may be an Utopian dream, but being innocent, I have thought I might indulge in it until I go to the land of dreams, and sleep there with the dreamers of all past and future times"
Thomas Jefferson's clock and thermometer, plus a Rembrandt Peale portrait of Jefferson's close friend, the botanist Jose Francisco, Abbe Correa de Serra. All three items have been on loan to Monticello, Jefferson's Virginia estate, for about three years, and the society is negotiating a sale to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, Monticello's owner and operator. For insurance purposes, the clock and thermometer were appraised in 1992 for $775,000 and $25,000, respectively, and the portrait of the Abbe was valued in 1994 at $20,000.
1812 June 21 Sunday
Morning without a cloud. Wind NW/N. Temperature 60°. This is the anniversary of my birth, and I went to Meeting with some desire that the entrance of my 65th year might be favored with some improvement in religious experience.
Looks like Miers had planned to celebrate his birthday with the company of a Russian Prince and Princess and a Portuguese Abbe.

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