From James Wilkinson
January 18th. 1802
presuming that a sample of the Waters of the Mississippi & Arkansaw Rivers, remarkable for their difference to each other & to the Waters of all other Rivers within my Knowledge, may not be unacceptable to you, I avail myself of a conveyance by Doctor Carmichael of the Army, who will have the Honor to deliver this, to send you a Bottle of each, taken from those Rivers in their lowest & least disturbed State—that from the Arkansaw being not full—It may not be uninteresting to remark, that the “Voyageurs” of the Mississippi, who drink constantly of, & prefer, its Water, are never afflicted by the Graval, and that they ascribe curative properties to its external application in cutaneous affections: In the same Box I have deposited a few distinct petrefactions, collected in the State of Tenessee during the late Season
With the most respectful attachment I have the Honor to be. Sir Your Obliged, Obedient, & ready Servant
RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson President of the U.S.”; endorsed by TJ as received 11 Mch. and so recorded in SJL.
Dr. John F. Carmichael was a U.S. Army surgeon, the collector of the district of Mississippi, and inspector of the revenue at Loftus’s Heights (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:333; Heitman, Dictionary description begins Francis B. Heitman, comp., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, Washington, D.C., 1903, 2 vols. description ends , 1:283; Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1934–75, 28 vols. description ends , 5:551n).