Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Jeremiah A. Goodman, 31 December 1811

To Jeremiah A. Goodman

Monticello Dec. 31. 11.


The people arrived here on the evening of Saturday the 28th with every thing well except 1. hog tired & killed on the road. the articles for Dick to carry back will be now soon ready to put on board his waggon, but it is now raining, so that it is not likely he will set off today. the inclosed paper will tell you what they are & what is to be done with them. we are in very great want of the pair of oxen from Poplar forest, as only 1. pair of those we have are worth a farthing for work. as soon as you can spare the other pair I must get you to send them here.  the day I left Poplar Forest I met many carts with a pr of oxen & a horse carrying a hhd of tobo to Lynchbg and with great ease. it occurred to me that instead of making another waggon as I hinted to you, we had much better adopt this mode of carrying our tobo to market, & wheat also. each plantation might equip 2. such carts, so as with the [wa]ggon they might send 5 hhds of tobo or 160. bushels of wheat a day to market. if you see no difficulty in this you had better engage the wheels, to be made strong as those I saw there, to be ready as soon as may be. every consideration urges the sending all our tobo to Richmond without the loss of a moment which can be avoided. I mentioned to mr Darnell to have the stock taken off of the clover immediately. I shall be glad to recieve by post the list of stock at both places as soon as it is taken. Accept my best wishes

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViU: TJP); torn at seal; addressed: “Mr Jeremiah A. Goodman Poplar forest Bedford by Dick.” Enclosure not found.

Jeremiah Augustus Goodman (ca. 1780–1857) was hired by TJ as overseer at his Lego plantation on 25 Dec. 1809. Late in 1811 TJ transferred him to Poplar Forest, where he remained until TJ dismissed him at the end of May 1815. After leaving TJ’s service Goodman returned to Albemarle County. In 1830 and 1850 he owned seventeen and sixteen slaves, respectively, and his real-estate holdings toward the end of his life were valued at $6,000 (Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901 description ends , 210; 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 , esp. 2:1250, 1267, 1317n; Goodman to TJ, 16 June 1815; DNA: RG 29, CS, Albemarle Co., 1830, 1850, 1850 slave schedules; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 9:3–6 [full name in father’s will], 24:96–8, 25:330–1).

Goodman’s 13 Jan. 1812 reply, not found but recorded in SJL as received from Poplar Forest on 22 Jan. 1812, may have included a discussion of an exchange of one hundred pounds of flour from the Shadwell Mill then under the management of Thomas Mann Randolph and James McKinney (Account with Randolph and McKinney, [10 June 1812]).

Index Entries

  • clover; as fodder search
  • Darnil (Darnell; Darniel; Darnold), Nimrod; Poplar Forest overseer search
  • Dick (TJ’s slave) search
  • Goodman, Jeremiah Augustus; identified search
  • Goodman, Jeremiah Augustus; letters to search
  • Goodman, Jeremiah Augustus; Poplar Forest overseer search
  • horses; at Poplar Forest search
  • horses; transport tobacco search
  • livestock; at Poplar Forest search
  • livestock; oxen search
  • McKinney, James; and Shadwell mills search
  • oxen; sent from Poplar Forest search
  • pigs; at Poplar Forest search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); horses at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); livestock at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); tobacco grown at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); wheat grown at search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); and Shadwell mills search
  • Shadwell mills; and T. M. Randolph search
  • Shadwell mills; managed by J. McKinney search
  • tobacco; grown at Poplar Forest search
  • wheat; at Poplar Forest search