From George Jefferson
Richmond 31st. May 1803
The last of your Tobacco, excepting the light hogshead, which I suppose will not come to us arrived to day. I am very apprehensive that the heavy rains we have lately had may have injured it. I have been making some little inquiry to day, and am doubtful whether the price of seven dollars can be now obtained without opening it, or at least a few Hhds.—the noise which was made by M. & F. respecting the crop they purchased for Jackson & Wharton, I suspect must have injured the credit of yr. crops. Richard, likewise, who purchased the last crop for the same persons, I am inclined to think has been of no service to them; he says it turned out but tolerably,—yet appears anxious to get the present crop.
Although I disapprove of the practice of opening Tobacco generally, yet under existing circumstances I think it will be advisable to open a few hhds. of yours.—I shall however wait your orders. The current price of transient Hhds is now 33/.—that of good known crops about 40/. yet a few particular Hhds of prime quality, and which it was supposed would suit particular markets, have sold even as high as 50/.!
I am Dear Sir Your Very humble servt.
RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thos. Jefferson esqr.”; endorsed by TJ as received 3 June and so recorded in SJL.
In late 1800, the Richmond firm McMurdo & Fisher purchased TJ’s tobacco crop on behalf of the Philadelphia concern of jackson & wharton and subsequently forwarded the latter firm’s report on the crop’s poor quality. John Richard was Jackson & Wharton’s buyer for TJ’s last crop (Vol. 32:516, 545–7; Vol. 38:430). Richard, who was frequently identified as Richards, moved to Richmond from Philadelphia, where he had handled a number of transactions on behalf of John Barnes and TJ (Vol. 32:64; Vol. 33:289n; Vol. 35:11, 225).