John Paradise (1743–1795) was a scholarly Englishman of partly Greek descent, who had married the Virginia heiress Lucy Ludwell (1751–1814) in London in 1769. They lived and kept a salon in Charles Street, Cavendish Square. A dinner given by them in April 1786, also attended by John Adams, may have been the occasion on which Jefferson met the Paradises, whose adviser and protector during their endless personal and financial difficulties he became. (See Archibald B. Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell of London and Williamsburg, 1942). Jefferson shared an interest in Greek antiquity with Paradise and scholarship thereon, and he enlisted the help of Mrs. Paradise to bid for him at the Pinelli sale (March 1789-February 1790).
Copies of this letter were sent to a variety of influential Virginians including Archibald Cary, and Edmund Randolph. The present copy was sent to John Page (1743-1808), an old friend of Jefferson’s from the College of William and Mary.
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