Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Robert Lewis, 2 March 1790

To Robert Lewis

Tuckahoe March 2. 1790.

Dear Sir

On conversing with Capt. Mullins the day I left your house I found that you had greatly miscalculated the amount of the interest on the price of my land. Supposing, as he told me, it would be upwards of £400, when in fact it will be only but £56–5 sterling or £75 currency. The paiments accomodated to your situation would be as follows in sterling money.

1st. paiment  625 £
2d in 1791. 75 with 1. years int. 3–15
3d. in 1792. 75 2 y.  do.  7–10
4th. in 1793 75 3 y.  do.  11– 5
5th. in 1794 75 4 y.  do.  15–  
6th. in 1795 75 5 y.  do.  18–15
1000 56– 5

7th. in 1796 would be the £56–5 interest. or stating it in currency would be as follows

1st paiment  831–6–82 £
2d in 91.
3 92
4th. 93
5 951
6 961
with 1. y’s int.
2  y. do.
3  y. do.
4  y. do.
5  y. do.
 100 10
 100 15
 100 20
 100 25
1331–6–82 75

7th. in 1796 would be the £75 interest so that the land would cost you principal and interest £10753 sterling or £1406–6–82 currency.—Observe I state no interest on the 1st paiment because tho’ you would have to pay interest on it, yet you are also receiving interest on the bonds which are to furnish the money, except a trifling part of them. I have stated the first paiment at £625. or £831–6–8 because the amount of your bonds was thereabouts. The time of that paiment may be fixed at 3. or 4. months after the last of your bonds becomes paiable or later if you please. Supposing that a misaprehension of the article of interest might have occasioned our not bargaining, I have thought it best to set it to rights. Should you on this view of the matter chuse to make the purchase I shall be at Richmond till Sunday and ready to execute a deed before my departure if you think proper to send to me there. I am &c.

Dft (MHi); written by TJ in highly abbreviated form.

Capt. Mullins: On 5 Mch. 1790 when TJ was in Richmond settling with James Lyle his balance due Kippen & Co. and Henderson, McCaul & Co., excluding his bond to Richard Harvie assigned to them in 1775, he noted in Account Book: “the errors of R. Harvie’s account previous to that bond are to be settled, the bond corrected, and a paiment of £70. by R. Anderson and H. Mullins credited, tho not endorsed on the bond.” On that day also he noted in SJL a letter from Henry Mullins, dated the same day, and on the next day he recorded receipt of a letter from Nathaniel Anderson, dated at Richmond, 6 Mch. 1790; both letters presumably referred to this bond and neither has been found. On the terms TJ offered Lewis for the land in Cumberland, see TJ to Nicholas Lewis, 7 Mch. 1790.—A memorandum in TJ’s hand listing “Silver left at Monticello, Mar. 1. 1790” contains the following:

  • “2.cans
  • a waiter
  • 4. salt cellars and spoons
  • 12. new table spoons
  • 1. old do. (there were 1. or 2. more, but mislaid at the moment)
  • 11. new teaspoons (there is 1. more)
  • 8. old do.
  • tea tongs
  • 8. bottles vinegar
  • 7. bottles oil
  • 6. do. Monrachet
  • 4 do. Meursault
  • 1. do. Frontignan” (MS: MHi).

1Thus in MS; TJ meant 1794 and 1795.

2Thus in MS; the figures should be £833 6s. 8d., £1333 6s. 8d., and £1408 6s. 8d., respectively.

3Thus in MS; TJ meant to write £1056 5s. sterling.

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