To James P. Cocke
Monticello Apr. 24. 12.
I am so anxious to save a year, by taking advantage of the present spawning season, not yet over, that I send the bearer to take the chance of your being able by some means to catch some chubs and the rather as his time is not very valuable: insomuch that if a detention of 2. or 3. days could secure my object, I should think it more than an equivalent for his time. I suppose that if taken with a hook & line and the hook carefully withdrawn from the mouth, it would not hurt them, especially if the beard of the hook were filed off. I have therefore furnished the bearer with a line and hooks of different sizes, and altho’ he knows nothing about angling, yet with a little of your kind direction he would immediately understand it, and may employ himself in catching them, until you think he has a sufficiency. I am sorry to give you so much trouble, and must rest for the apology on your friendship. Accept the assurance of my great esteem and respect.
PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr Cocke”; endorsed by TJ.