To James Madison
Monticello Mar. 25. 10.
You knew, I believe that the society of Agriculture of Paris had sent me a plough which they supposed the best ever1 made in Europe. they at the same time requested me to send them one of ours with my mould board. I have made one for them which every body agrees to be the handsomest & of the most promising appearance they have ever seen, and I have five at work on my own farms, than which we have never seen ploughs work better or easier. I have taken as a model the ploughs we got through Dr Logan (you & myself) a dozen years ago, & fixed my mould board to it. but how to get it to Paris I know not, unless you can favor it with a passage in some public vessel. it is a present, & therefore no matter of merchandise. can you encourage me for this purpose to send it to Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia or New York? taking into account that I set out for Bedford tomorrow, not to return under two or three weeks, & consequently that your answer will have to lie here unopened to that time. Jarvis writes me he has sent us a pair of Merino sheep, each, to arrive at Alexandria. whether he has designated them individually I do not know; but as they are so liable to accidents by the way I propose that we make them a common stock not to be divided till there be a pair for each, should any have died. we are suffering by drought, & our river is so low as to be scarcely boatable. it would take very unusual quantities of rain to ensure it’s usual state through the ensuing summer. wheat looks well generally. it is believed the fruit has been all killed in the bud by the late extraordinary cold weather. mine is untouched, tho I apprehend that a very heavy white frost which reached the top of the hill last night may have killed the blossoms of an Apricot which has been in bloom about a week. a very few peach blossoms are yet open. always affectionately yours.
RC (DLC: Madison Papers); at foot of text: “The President.” PoC (DLC); endorsed by TJ.
Madison asked TJ to procure several plows for him from the Philadelphian George logan in the spring of 1793, and TJ purchased one of Logan’s plows for his own use on 30 Dec. of that year (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 , 25:660, 26:586; 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 , 2:906). TJ set out for bedford on 27 Mar. 1810 (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 , 2:1254).
1. TJ here canceled what appears to be “ass.”
- Alexandria, Va.; merino sheep shipped to search
- apricots; trees search
- France; attempted conveyance of plow to search
- Jarvis, William; and merino sheep search
- Logan, George; sells plows search
- Madison, James; and conveyance of plow to France search
- Madison, James; and merino sheep search
- Madison, James; letters to search
- Madison, James; plows of search
- merino sheep; sent to TJ and J. Madison search
- Monticello (TJ’s estate); frost damage search
- Monticello (TJ’s estate); plow moldboards at search
- Monticello (TJ’s estate); wheat crop at search
- peaches; trees search
- plows.; Guillaume search
- plows.; TJ’s moldboard search
- Rivanna River; water level of search
- Société d’agriculture du département de la Seine; and moldboard plows search
- Société d’agriculture du département de la Seine; sends plow to TJ search
- trees; apricot search
- trees; peach search
- weather; cold search
- weather; drought search
- weather; effect on crops search
- wheat; prospects for coming harvest search