Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to William Richardson, 6 [May] 1814

To William Richardson

[M]on[ticello] Apr. [May] 6. 14.


My grandaughter Ellen Randolph purchased for me at your store about six weeks1 ago 15. yds of scarlet rattinett. we want 2. yds more to compleat the lining of the carriage it was intended for. I will be obliged to you if you will do up that much compactly in the size and form of a moderate letter and put it into the post office, to come by our first mail as it is the last article we want to finish a carriage, for which I am waiting to set out on a journey. if you have no more of the stuff, you would oblige me by procuring it elsewhere to prevent disappointment and delay. mr Gibson will be so good as to pay the price on your presenting him this letter. Accept my respects

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); misdated, but endorsed as a letter of 6 May 1814 and so recorded in SJL; one word faint; at foot of text: “Mr Richardson.”

William Richardson was a merchant in Richmond (The Richmond Directory, Register and Almanac, for the Year 1819 [Richmond, 1819], 65).

ellen W. Randolph (Coolidge) visited Richmond from roughly the end of February until late in April 1814 (Ellen W. Randolph [Coolidge] to Martha Jefferson Randolph [ca. 2 Mar.], 30 Mar., 24 Apr. 1814 [ViU: TJP-ER: Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge Correspondence]). Rattinet (rattinett) is a plain-woven fabric with a rough surface used for upholstering (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 ).

1Preceding two words interlined in place of “a fortnight.”

Index Entries

  • carriages; upholstery of search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); purchases fabric for TJ search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); travels of search
  • Gibson, Patrick; payments made for TJ search
  • rattinet (fabric) search
  • Richardson, William (merchant); identified search
  • Richardson, William (merchant); letters to search
  • Richardson, William (merchant); TJ orders rattinet from search
  • textiles; rattinet search