Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to George Jefferson, 6 November 1809

To George Jefferson

Monticello Nov. 6. 09.

Dear Sir

Mr I. Coles was mentioning to me to day a sale of tobacco by mr Carter, his brother in law, the other day, under the hammer as he termed it for 39/6 tho the remnant & most indifferent of the crop, & that his brothers had sold in this way for high prices for two years past. the sale he says was by his agent there (perhaps of the name of Gwathney) getting some merchants together to bid against one another, himself taking care by a by-bidder not to let it go below a certain price. I barely mention this to you, assured that in this or such other way as you judge best, you will procure a sale of mine whenever you can obtain my minimum of 6.D. a sale before the meeting of Congress will be more probably advantageous than afterwards. Jackson’s budget will then be known & will probably be a damper. I wish to begin the reduction of my note to mrs Tabb. always affectionately yours

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); at foot of text: “Mr G. Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ.

The sister of Isaac A. coles, Mary Eliza Coles, married Robert carter (William B. Coles, The Coles Family of Virginia [1931, repr. 1989], 52, 55). TJ had sold tobacco to the firm of R. & T. gwathney (Gwathmey) through Gibson & Jefferson the previous year (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1233; Gibson & Jefferson to TJ, 29 Oct. 1808 [MHi]). budget: figuratively, a collection or stock of news or a letter containing it (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ), presumably here referring to information from British envoy Francis James Jackson on trade restrictions that could lower tobacco prices.

Index Entries

  • Carter, Mary Eliza Coles (Robert Carter’s wife) search
  • Carter, Robert; sells tobacco search
  • Coles, Isaac A.; visits Monticello search
  • Jackson, Francis James; British minister to U.S. search
  • Jefferson, George (TJ’s cousin); letters to search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Coles, Isaac A. search
  • Richmond, Va.; tobacco prices at search
  • Robert & Temple Gwathmey (Richmond firm) search
  • Tabb, Frances Peyton; loan from search
  • tobacco; price of in Richmond search