Extract from Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge Comments on Henry S. Randall’s Manuscript Chapters for Life of Thomas Jefferson

With regard to Mr Jefferson’s skill on the violin ... Mr Randall’s idea that he became “one of the best violinists of his day” is a little extreme. My grandfather would I believe have disclaimed it ... we see at once that the time given to music by Mr Jefferson could never have accomplished more than a gentlemanly proficiency. No amateur violinist could hope to equal a professor. Mr Jefferson played I believe very well indeed, but not so well as to stand a comparison with many other persons, especially such as he must have met with abroad.

Tr in Letterbook (ViU: Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge Correspondence); partially dated; at head of text in Coolidge’s hand: “Some remarks on the first chapters of Mr Randall’s book which he sent me in MS. in 1853, & which I returned as I read them.”.
Date Range
January 1, 1853 to December 31, 1853
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