Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Barnes, 28 August 1800

From John Barnes

George Town, Potomac 28th. Augst: 1800


I had the pleasure addressing you 22d—Inst. since when, have been inabled to state—what I presume to be, the Nt Balce.—on your, & Mr Randolphs 4th: Instal[mt.] becoming payable 18th Next Mo, say $193.51 as per a/c Annexed and should, your Occasional drafts, exceed that Amot:—do not, I pray you, hesitate in drawing them—Allowing me, time suitable, to the immediate Occasion—Your 1st: Octo. Compensation is drawing Near: Moreover I shall soon be inabled to get discounted. at Bank penna.1 Mr Liepers last, $1000. Note payable 18th Novr:—P.Ms: $567.10 not noticed in this a/c I have Ordered—Mr Richards. to purchase—a sett of Bills ex. on best terms in the Name of, and transmit, to Messrs: VS. & Hubbards Amsterdam—whom I shall address per same conveyance directing it. to be passed to the Credit of said P.M. accordingly—your draft, in favr of S.T. Mason have not yet made its Appearance? I am now got nearly settled—a Neat little two story house, 2 rooms on a floor—within 6 Minutes walk of my Store—garden & Cow house &ca &ca. better calculated, however, for the present season than Winter—under the Care—of Mrs Ratcliff, & Negro Girl, and for my Store—I would not—wish—a Better—Roomy—& compleatly shelved: Counting Room, with a fire place & small Bed room adjoining. for the Young Man who Assists me in tending it, and withal—a Compleat Cellar under the whole, sufficiently large to contain thirty or forty pipes & qr Casks Liqrs—Wine—Brandy &c—with which, I am induced to store it, against the Approaching meeting of Congress-GK $4,500 WS. $1500 & JB. $800–8 per Ct Stock—in 5 Certificates—have already issued. recd, & transferred to the Treasury Books City of Washington Mr Simpson—I find, notwithstandg: I gave him particular direction, to issue the two former in their respective Names have Nevertheless made the whole of them—in Mine Only—can be transferred again—at leisureplease favr me with your Usual letter—to Mr Steele—.

with great Esteem, I am sir—your mst Obedt: &c

John Barnes

RC (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire Monticello—Virginia”; with subjoined statement of account in Barnes’s hand, signed and dated by him on 28 Aug., charging TJ with $541.27 as a balance carried over from 24 May, plus $2 paid to William Russell Birch on 4 June for two “Views,” apparently pictures from Birch’s City of Philadelphia series (Barnes noting the entry as “with JB”), plus $28.77 paid on 19 July on an invoice concerning the sloop Sally and $5.50 paid on 11 Aug. for shipment and wharfage of seven packages sent from Philadelphia to Georgetown, the total of those debits placed against credits of $463.58 ½ for TJ and $307.46 ½ for Thomas Mann Randolph anticipated as Thomas Leiper’s fourth installment of payment, due 18 Sep., for tobacco, giving a net balance of $193.51 in TJ’s favor to be carried forward as of that date; endorsed by TJ as received 5 Sep. and so recorded in SJL.

Barnes’s letter of the 22D, received by TJ from Georgetown on the 28th, is recorded in SJL but has not been found. Also recorded in SJL, but missing, is a letter from TJ to Barnes of 10 Aug.

4th: instalmt.: the terms of Thomas Leiper’s purchase of TJ’s and Thomas Mann Randolph’s tobacco called for five bimonthly payments, which began in March; see TJ to Randolph, 28 Jan., 17 Feb., 4 Mch. 1800, and Statement of Account from John Barnes, 12 May 1800.

P.M: Philip Mazzei.

At his new store Barnes offered for sale a variety of teas, coffee, sugar, spices, Madeira, sherry, brandy, English porter, gentlemen’s hats from London, playing cards, pasteboard, wrapping paper, and Irish linen. Negro girl: Barnes was or became a slaveholder. After he died in Georgetown in February 1826 his will freed two slaves, Abigail and Nellie Gray, and granted them annuities for life (Centinel of Liberty, or George-Town and Washington Advertiser, 24 Oct. 1800; Cordelia Jackson, “John Barnes, A Forgotten Philanthropist of Georgetown,” Records of the Columbia Historical Society, 7 [1904], 42–4).

GK: Tadeusz Kosciuszko. ws: William Short. Each quarter TJ, under power of attorney from Short, had written to Comptroller John steele authorizing Barnes to collect the proceeds of Short’s federal securities; see, for example, notes to Barnes to TJ, 10 Mch. 1799, 24 May 1800.

1Interlined in place of “US.”

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