Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Sharp Delany, 15 January 1791

To Sharp Delany

Philadelphia Jan. 15. 1791.


I have been in daily expectation of recieving the invoice wherein the prices of the paper will be stated, as Mr. Short assured me it should come in his next letter. But I have not yet recieved it. If it be necessary however for the regularity of your accounts, I think we can come at it nearly. The invoice of the articles which came with them, states 150.1 rouleaux of paper. Turning to a paper I had, I find that I paid once in Paris 2 livres 10. sols for a single rouleau. Buying by the quantity will make it come much cheaper. As it is all very plain paper, I do not expect it will cost me more than 2. livres a rouleau which will be 300. livres the whole. If you think proper to settle the duty on that price or any other you think more probable, I shall be glad to pay it immediately, and if the price should be found to have been settled too low when my account comes, I will pay the difference. If you will be so good as to let me know the amount of the duty on the wine and paper, I will call with it or send it to you. I am with great esteem Sir Your most obedt. humble servt.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi).

The above was in response to Delany’s request of 12 Jan. 1791 reading: “I am closing my last Quarters Accounts, which obliges me to request, that you may furnish the Office with the Value of the Paperhangings in Your Entry” (RC in DLC, endorsed by TJ as received 14 Jan. 1791 and so recorded in SJL). Entry refers to TJ’s customs declaration for wines and wallpaper imported on Henrietta, Benjamin Wickes, master, which arrived from Le Havre in October. This declaration, dated 22 Oct. 1790 and signed by TJ, reads in part:

“Twelve Cases Containing } Galls. 145– 10 – 14.50
Fifty six dozen & Eight Bottles 18.00 –5pCt.– 0.90
Bottles Wine
61. One Case Containing 145 } Livres 300
Rolls Paper Hangings adv.  30
Doll. 61.05–7½- 4.58
  disct. 10pct. 1.99
dollrs. 17.99”

(MS in ViU; in clerk’s hand, countersigned by Sharp Delany). The declaration contains this marginal note: “a seperate entry for 65 packages furniture &c.” An entry in TJ’s Account Book for 4 Feb. 1791 shows that he gave Delany an “order on bank for 28.39 duty and portage of wines and papers.” See Short to TJ, 7 Nov. 1790.

1Thus in MS. The invoice for Case No. 61 in TJ’s shipment of furniture shows that 145 rolls were received (see note, Short to TJ, 7 Nov. 1790).

Index Entries