Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Sullivan, with Account of Expenses for Obtaining Moose Skeleton, 26 April 1787

From John Sullivan, with Account of Expenses for Obtaining Moose Skeleton

Durham April 26th. 1787

Dear Sir

This Letter comes by my good friend Captain Samuel Pierce on board of whose vessel I send a Large Box containing the Articles mentioned in the Inclosed Account, which will show you the amount of Expences. A copy of my directions to him which I also inclose will show the means used by me to forward those expensive Curiosities to you. Capt. Pierce from motives of friendship for me has engaged to transport it to England and forward it to havre De Grace without any Expence except what may be Demanded for the Conveyance from England to France. And from motives of friendship for you I only Charge for the expences I have paid in Cash without any thing for my own Trouble which has been very considerable. I wish them safe to hand and am very respectfully sir Your most obedt. Servt.,

Jno. Sullivan


His Excellency Thos. Jefferson Esqr. To Jno. Sullivan Dr. 1787
£ s d
To paid Capt. Robert Colburn for the Skeleton
of a moose and Transporting to Durham
28 13 2 
To a pair of moose horns and Expence of
procuring them
3 15 0 
To a pair of Elks horns & expence of procuring 2 10 0 
To a pair of Deers horns & expence of procuring 1 10 0 
To a pair of Carribous Horns & Expence of procuring 3 15 0 
To expence of cleansing the Skeleton from flesh
and salting and tending the same to prevent
2 14 0 
To paid a Tanner for fleshing the Skins 12 0 
To paid Expence of Dressing the Skins to preserve
it with the hair on, free from worms &c with
expence of Allum brick Dust & Tobacco
2 18 0 
To paid Expence of a Box and putting up the skeleton &c 16 0 
To expence of sending the Box to Portsmouth 12 0 
To paid for horns of the Spike hornd Buck 18 0 
To paid Expence of 3 times sending to Effingham
Connecticut River and the province of Main, to
procure the skeleton
12 0 0 
To Truckage and Storage paid at Durham and
1 4 0 
Errors Excepted        Lawful money 61 17 2 
Equal in Sterlg. to 46 7 10½

     To Jno. Sullivan

RC (DLC). Recorded in SJL as received 1 Sep. 1787 (TJ did not receive Sullivan’s letters of 16 and 17 Apr. and 29 May until 26 Sep. 1787). Enclosures: (1) Account of expenses, as above (DLC). (2) Sullivan to Samuel Pearce, 26 Apr. 1787, informing him that the box in his custody “contains the skin, horns and skeleton of a Moose; the horns of the Carribou, Elk, Deer and the spike horn’d Buck”; also requesting him to keep the box right side up as directed; to “preserve it from wet, and give it as much air as possible, without exposing it to heat”; and to send it to the American consul at Le Havre “with my letter to him and the other to Governor Jefferson” (DLC). This letter and enclosure were sent to TJ with Sullivan’s of 9 May 1787, q.v.

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