Thomas Jefferson Papers

Joseph Dougherty to Thomas Jefferson, 3 July 1809

From Joseph Dougherty

City of Washington July 3rd–09

Dear sir

yours of the 26th of last month I recd the 29 your kind wish and always ready and willing to aid me, is a thing nither strange1 nor unknown to me; and had I any reason to suppose that you were able to assist me I should solicit you, on such an occasion, with more confidence than any person I know. you may2 have thought sir, that I hinted at somthing of that in my last letter. but I can assure you, that nothing of that entered my mind

I went the other day to a Mr scotts plantation in Virg. 6 miles above the little falls, to look at his flock of sheep and a spanish ram. a sample of the wool of the spanish ram is here inclosed. whilst I was there, we weighed 3 of his best ram lambs from an iceland ram and spanish ewes, one of the lambs was droped the 15th of January, and on saturday last, the 1st July: his weight was 122 lbs. that is, 12¼ ounces he has3 growed each day

sir, you say in a letter, that the privilege of being first supplyd with the merinoes is a sufficient favor, that is not my wish. When your cart comes for the broad tail ram if you have nothing to send by it, if you would think proper to send me some of Mr T. M. Randolphs ewes such as the one we had here with one ear cut short, thers another ewe in your flock, which I bought here, with verry short fine wool and her tail cut short, she is the finest ewe of the short tailed ones that was here. sir if you should think of sending any, either yourself or Mr Randolph let them be of the finest wool, and I will supply yourself and Mr Randolph from your own ewes, which will make verry fine wool the first cross of them and my merino rams this together with one of your many horn breed when they become pure; will satisfy me.

it would [be]4 necessary to keep them from the ram

sir it may be that you have some old negros that is of little or no use to you. if such you should have, and would think it right to send one to me to take care of my sheep; I will agree to give you any reasonable compensation you would ask, for such a man I canot find in this place

I sent your books in care of Mr Eppess Betsy as far as Fredericksburgh wher Mr T.J. Randolph was to take charge of them

Sir, your Humble Servt

Jos. Dougherty

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thos Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 10 July 1809 and so recorded in SJL.

The plantation was probably Strawberry Hill, from which John Scott had recently won a “prize cup for tups … for his lamb Palafox” (Washington National Intelligencer, 10 May 1809). betsy: probably Betsy Hemmings, a slave given by TJ to John Wayles Eppes when Eppes married Maria Jefferson in October 1797 (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 31 vols. description ends , 29:550; Stanton, Free Some Day description begins Lucia Stanton, Free Some Day: The African-American Families of Monticello, 2000 description ends , 106, 132; Hemmings’s gravestone inscription at John Wayles Eppes’s Mill Brook estate, Buckingham County).

1Manuscript: “srange.”

2Word interlined.

3Manuscript: “heas.”

4Omitted word editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • books; carried by B. Hemmings search
  • Dougherty, Joseph; and merino sheep search
  • Dougherty, Joseph; letters from search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); slaves of search
  • Eppes, Maria (Mary) Jefferson (TJ’s daughter; John Wayles Eppes’s first wife); receives slaves from TJ search
  • Hemmings, Betsy (J. W. Eppes’s slave); carries books search
  • merino sheep; and J. Dougherty search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); carries books to TJ search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); and merino sheep search
  • Scott, John C.; and J. Dougherty search
  • sheep; Iceland ram search
  • sheep; Spanish search
  • slaves; of J. W. Eppes search
  • slaves; requested by J. Dougherty search
  • Spain; merino sheep and wool from search
  • wool; merino search
  • wool; samples of search