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).
Date Range
December 14, 1824 to December 19, 1824