Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Jones, 6 December 1802

To Benjamin Jones

Washington Dec. 6. 1802


Your favor of Nov. 15. came to hand in due time, but it has not been till lately I could find time to look through our past account. it was thoroughly impressed on my mind that I had never failed to order paiment for every supply of iron at the term of three months a little more or less. but I find in effect that the two small articles of Sep. 12. sash weights & Oct. 28. bar iron to Stewart, had been forgotten, which added to the last article furnished makes up the balance stated in your account. I accordingly now inclose you a draught on the bank of the US for 186. D 22 c and I state below the supplies & paiments as they appear on my books.   I am sincerely sorry for the death of your partner: but not doubting equal fidelity in the executing my commission, I shall continue to send them to you. my nailery has done little lately. it is now under a new direction and will occasion a greater demand for rods & hoop. Accept my best wishes & respects.

Th: Jefferson

Th: Jefferson in acct. with Roberts & Jones D[r].
1800. July 17. To supply of rods & hoops. 406.62
Oct. 12 Stoves 73. 
1801. May 22. Rods 268.12
June 24 Rods & hoops 218.82
Sep. 12. Sash weights 52.[97]
Oct. 28.  Stewart Bar iron     [80.22] 133.19
1802. Apr. 6  Rods & hoops 327.20
June 22.  Bar iron & steel 52.73

1800. Oct. 8. By remittance by Barnes 406.32
1801. Jan. 7.    do. 73  
Sep. 16    do. [268.12]
Nov. 9.    do. 218.82
1802 July 18.    do. 327.20
Dec. 7 now inclosed 186.22

PrC (MHi); faint; at foot of text, in ink: “Mr. Benjamin Jones”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso. Recorded in SJL with notation “186.22.”

Benjamin Jones (1767–1849), a Philadelphia ironmonger and investor, pursued several business partnerships in the 1790s before going into business with Joseph Roberts, TJ’s regular iron merchant, in 1800. After the death of Roberts in 1802, Jones retained TJ’s business with his new firm Jones & Howell. TJ continued to purchase iron and lead from Jones until at least 1815. In additon to his merchandising, Jones held an interest in iron furnaces in New Jersey, speculated in land, served as a director of the Delaware Insurance Company of Philadelphia, and was a member of the central committee of the Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Manufactures and the Mechanic Arts (Philadelphia Gazette and Universal Daily Advertiser, 17 Mch. 1795, 6 Feb. 1797, 13 Jan. 1800; Philadelphia Inquirer, 16 Dec. 1829; Philadelphia North American, 16 May 1849; “Meeting of the Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Manufactures and the Mechanic Arts, held in Philadelphia, on 14th May, 1827” [Philadelphia, 1827], 12; biographical information in PHi: Jones and Taylor Family Papers; RS description begins J. Jefferson Looney and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, Princeton, 2004- , 8 vols. description ends , 4:634n; Vol. 37:598n).

Jones’s favor was recorded in SJL as received from Jones & Howell “for Roberts & Jones” on 19 Nov. but has not been found.

TJ had placed the enslaved workers at his nailery under the discipline of Gabriel Lilly, instead of William Stewart (TJ to James Dinsmore, 1 Dec.).

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