Thomas Jefferson Papers

Hugh Holmes to Thomas Jefferson, 17 May 1813

From Hugh Holmes

Winchr May 17th 1813

Dear sir

Since my return to this place I have procured and now enclose a reciept from One of Our manufacturers for washing merino wool

If you have determined to prepare yr merino wool at home for the loom this reciept will be usefull—The filling ought to be spun with a band and but slightly twisted—If however you should prefer Our management of the fabrick ab initio and will send the wool in its unwashed state by the stage addressed to me I will with much pleasure have the whole work executed for you—Or you may send me the yarn or web which will lessen the bulk weight & price of carriage and in either case I will have the work completed—a navy blue can be dyed here, but not the best blue, at least they are not in the practice of dying the best blue by reason of the increased expence which few are willing to pay—the difference of price between the best blue & any other colour is said to be 6/– per yd—if I can render you a service sir in this business, let me repeat the assurance of my readiness to do so with pleasure—

yr friend

Hh Holmes

PS. Mr Divers yr neighbour wishes to see the Reciept


RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 4 June 1813 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

Hugh Holmes (1768–1825), judge and farmer, was a native of York County, Pennsylvania, who attended the College of William and Mary, studied law, and became an attorney in Winchester. He was mayor of Winchester in 1795, and he represented a district consisting of Berkeley, Frederick, Hampshire, and Hardy counties in the Senate of Virginia, 1795–99. Holmes was a presidential elector for TJ in 1800. He represented Frederick County in the House of Delegates, 1802–05, with service as Speaker, 1803–05. Resigning his seat to accept a judgeship on the General Court, he held that post until his death. Holmes had a keen interest in agricultural improvements, wrote on the subject of stone fences in 1820, and was elected the same year to honorary membership in the Agricultural Society of Albemarle. In 1824 he chaired a citizens’ committee in support of a national turnpike projected to run through Frederick County (Garland R. Quarles, Some Worthy Lives; Mini-Biographies, Winchester and Frederick County [1988], 127–8; ViWn: Hugh Holmes Records; Holmes to TJ, 17 Dec. 1801 [DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–09]; William and Mary Provisional List description begins A Provisional List of Alumni, Grammar School Students, Members of the Faculty, and Members of the Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary in Virginia. From 1693 to 1888, 1941 description ends , 22; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends ; Staunton Political Mirror, 3 June 1800; JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends , 1805 sess., 10, 11, 12 [6, 7 Dec. 1805]; Baltimore American Farmer, 10 Mar. 1820; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 21 Oct. 1824; True, “Agricultural Society,” 288; Richmond Enquirer, 1 Feb. 1825; Frederick Co. Will Book, 12:346–7, 15:190–2).

╳ band: “cross band” is yarn with a warp or left-hand twist (Louis Harmuth, Dictionary of Textiles [1915], 48).

Index Entries

  • Divers, George; and wool manufacture search
  • Holmes, Hugh; and TJ’s merino wool search
  • Holmes, Hugh; identified search
  • Holmes, Hugh; letters from search
  • manufacturing, household; cloth search
  • textiles; dyeing of search
  • textiles; wool search
  • wool; dyeing of search
  • wool; merino search