Extract from Daniel Webster’s Account of a Visit to Monticello

Mr. Jefferson is between 81& 82–over 6 ft high–an ample long frame–rather thin & spare. His head which is not peculiar in its shape is set rather forward upon his shoulders & his neck being long when he is in conversation, or walking, there is a considerable protrusion of his chin–His head still well covered with hair, which having been once red & now turning to white, is of an indistinct, light, sandy colour–His eyes are small, & very light, & now neither striking nor brilliant–His chin is rather long & not sharp. His teeth are still good. His mouth well formed and generally [. . .] strongly compressed, with an expression of benevolence & contentment. His skin formerly light and freckled is now rough & bears the marks of age & cutaneous affections. His limbs are uncommonly long & his wrists especially of extraordinary size. His walk is not precise & military, but easy & swinging. He stoops a little, not so much from age, as from constitutional formation–When sitting he seems short & low, partly from not sitting erect & partly from the disproportionate length of his limbs ... His general appearance indicated an extraordinary degree of health, vivacity, and spirits for his age.

MS (ViU: Mss 5205); with date corrected based on TJ’s notation of Webster’s visit in his Summary Journal of Letters (DLC).
Author
Daniel Webster
Date Range
Date
December 14, 1824 to December 19, 1824
Collection
Quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson