Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Mann Randolph, 22 March 1798

To Thomas Mann Randolph

Philadelphia Mar. 22. 98.

Th:J. to TMR.

Your’s of Mar. 5. was recieved after mine of the 15th. was sealed. I have observed for some time past that your letters come 2. days later than mr Madison’s. I suspect therefore that your’s come by the way of Richmond.

I think, considering the poor appearance of the wheat crop, & high price of tobacco, it will be best for Page & George to push at as much of the latter as they can. I should be glad to know how much tobo. George made the last year, & whether it is gone to Richmd. I pray you to direct Page to get your corn in time before you will want it. I have just had put on board the sloop Sally, capt Potter for Richmond, a harpsichord for Maria, and a box of plants, which I shall desire mr Jefferson to forward up the river without delay. the plants are distinguished by numbers as follow.

No. 1. Rhododendron maximum 3. plants. to be planted in the Nursery.
2. Scotch pines. 3. plants } to be planted among the Kentuckey Coffee trees in an open space between the Pride of Chin trees & the Grove, about S.W. & by W. from the house. they may be planted within 20. feet of one another, therefore I suppose there will be space enough in the place I describe to receive them all, without disturbing the Coffee trees.
3. Norway firs. 2. do.
4. Balm of Gilead. 2. do.
6. Dwarf Ewe 3. do.
5. Juniper. 3. plants. to be planted on the upper Round about betweenor in continuation of the Arbor vitaes & Cedars.
7. Aesculus Virginica yellow Horse chesnut 1. plant. } on the Slope leading from the Pride of China trees down to the shops, among the Catalps, Crab-apple trees &c wherever there are vacant spaces.
8. hybrida Variegated 1. do.
9. Pavia. Scarlet 1. do.
10. Alba White 1. do
11. Sugar maple. 2. plants
12. Balsam poplars. 3. do.
13. Viburnum opulifolium. bush cranberry. 3. plants. in the curran or gooseberry squares
14. Alpine strawberries } in new & separate beds in the garden. both of these kinds are immensely valuable.
15. Chili strawberries
16. Antwerp raspberry. twenty odd plants I expect. in some new row by themselves. it has the reputation of being among the finest fruits in the world.1
Peruvian winter grass. many roots of this are packed in among the plants. it is a most valuable grass for winter grazing. John had better take some favorable place under trees to set it out. the cherry trees in the garden would be good places, if there is not danger of too much trampling.
Many nuts of the yellow & scarlet Horse chesnut are stuck in among the moss. John must set them out in the nursery instantly, & before they dry.

I must ask the favor of you, the moment these things arrive at Milton, to send to James to go for them with his waggon, & to take a ride to Monticello, as soon as they get there, & direct John where to plant them. he would do well perhaps to dig his holes before hand, to mellow the earth. all the trees to be well staked, & the numbers preserved.

You will see in the public papers a message from the President declaring that he sees nothing further to be expected from negociation, and recommending measures for protecting our commerce by force. this has thrown an inexpressible gloom over the advocates for peace, while those for war are in the highest exultation. we had expected that war measures might have been rejected by a majority of about 4. but such is the weight of the executive opinion, & such the advantage that the warparty has by it’s alliance with the Executive, that the issue is now become very doubtful. our Evans, who, from the exposed situation of his constituents,2 was afraid to vote for war, and yet whose party attachment forbid his voting against it, went off yesterday home. another (a quaker) whose religious principles forbade the indulgence of his British attachments, is gone off. those who are most sanguine count now on no more than an equal division 52. and 52. our three members are exactly those who have carried every vote against us, and who make the scale of war-advocates preponderate. the steady, sure merchants, trading on real capital are in dismay. the tottering, and those foreigners whose attachment to their native3 country is greater than to this, are well pleased. they will avail themselves of the President’s having withdrawn his prohibition to arm. it is not yet certain what measures will be proposed by the whigs. but a proposition is spoken of to adjourn in order to consult their constituents on the great crisis in their affairs now existing. my warm affections to my dear Martha, & kisses to the little ones. Adieu affectionately.

RC (DLC); endorsed by Randolph as received 1 Apr. 1798.

A letter from Randolph to TJ of Mar. 5, 1798, recorded in SJL as received ten days later, has not been found.

Our three members: Thomas Evans, description begins Charles Evans, Clifford K. Shipton, and Roger P. Bristol, comps., American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of all Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America from … 1639 … to … 1820, Chicago and Worcester, Mass., 1903–59, 14 vols. description ends James Machir, and Daniel Morgan, three Virginia congressmen who voted with the Federalists (see TJ to James Madison, 18 May 1797).

1Sentence interlined.

2Word written over a partially erased and illegible word.

3Word interlined.

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