Extract from the Journal of William Maclay

Jefferson is a slender man; has rather the air of stiffness in his manner; his clothes seem too small for him; he sits in a lounging manner, on one hip commonly, and with one of his shoulders elevated much above the other; his face has a sunny aspect; his whole figure has a loose, shackling air. He had a rambling, vacant look, and nothing of that firm, collected deportment which I expected would dignify the presence of a secretary or minister. I looked for gravity, but a laxity of manner seemed shed about him. He spoke almost without ceasing. But even his discourse partook of his personal demeanor. It was loose and rambling, and yet he scattered information wherever he went, and some even brilliant sentiments sparkled from him.

Published in Edgar S. Maclay, ed., Journal of William Maclay, United States senator from Pennsylvania, 1789–1791 (1890), 271–2.
Author
William Maclay
Edgar S. Maclay
Date Range
Date
May 24, 1790
Collection
Quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson
Repository
Printed Text, accessed through DLC