Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to George Jefferson, 25 June 1802

To George Jefferson

Washington June 25. 1802.

Dear Sir

Roberts & Jones have just shipped by the schooner Nancy

14. bars of bar iron 5 — 0 — 8
11. bars German steel 1 — 0 — 7
6 —0 — 15

which being of particular sizes and of particular quality, ordered for a special peice of work, I will ask your attention to in forwarding to Milton1 that it may not get mixed with others. perhaps a mark of chalk on each bar may be useful. accept my affectionate esteem.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); at foot of text: “Mr. George Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso. Recorded in SJL with notation “iron from Rob. & Jones.”

For the order of IRON and STEEL, see TJ to Roberts & Jones, 13 June 1802. A reply from the firm, dated 22 June, has not been found but was recorded in SJL as received 24 June with the notation “iron & steel 52.73. D.”

The SPECIAL PEICE OF WORK may have been for a carriage that TJ had his blacksmith William Stewart complete at Monticello. During a visit there in September 1802, Anna Thornton described in her diary TJ’s enthusiasm for a “phaeton which he has had constructed after eight years preparation” and added “The mind of the P. of the U.S.—ought to have more important occupation” (MS in DLC: Anna Maria Brodeau Thornton Papers). A few years later, Augustus John Foster, the secretary to the British legation to the United States, found that TJ retained his pride in the carriage, which he described as “a Sulky upon four wheels with the Spring in the Centre, a very rough sort of Carriage but which he preferred to any other as having been made by an Irish Mechanic at Monticello under his own Superintendence and to praise which was a sure way to prejudice him in your favour” (Margaret Bailey Tinkcom, “Caviar along the Potomac: Sir Augustus John Foster’s ‘Notes on the United States,’ 1804–1812,” WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892- description ends , 3d ser., 8 [1951], 100).

1Preceding two words interlined.

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