Thomas Jefferson Papers

George Logan to Thomas Jefferson, 1 November 1816

From George Logan

Stenton Novbr 1: 1816

Dear Sir

Knowing your anxiety to promote the agriculture of your country, as the most stable support of the best interests of civil society I herewith send you a specimen of dressed flax, which I lately received from my friend Sir John Sinclair He says nothing respecting the mode of its preparation; but I am informed it is accomplished by beating and friction, without its being previously rotted. When I become acquainted with the whole process, I will do myself the pleasure of1 communicating it to you. I also at the same time received from him the inclosed account of the astonishing production of the mangel wurzel which merits your attention.

In Sir John’s Letter to me he says “I rejoice exceedingly at the restoration of peace between the two countries. It was neither your fault nor mine, that a war so unfortunate for both countries was not prevented.” How much more honorable, how much more beneficial to the whole family of mankind are such communications, than mutual acts of violence and bloodshed; instigated by the cupidity of merchants or the ambition of statesmen.

My Wife unites with me in sentiments of respect to yourself and amiable family
Accept assurances of my friendship

Geo Logan

What do you think of the inclosed delineation of Sir John’s plough which he has politely forwarded for my consideration?


RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thos Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 21 Nov. 1816 and so recorded in SJL; notation by TJ adjacent to endorsement: “dressd flax Sr J. S. plough Mangel worzel.” Enclosure: George Turnbull, Mangel Wurzel. Account of a Crop of this most valuable Root grown in the Year 1815, in the Garden Ground at Bedfords, the Seat of John Heaton, Esq near Romford, in Essex, dated Bedfords, 1 Jan. 1816, in which Turnbull, writing as Heaton’s gardener and planter, states that mangel-wurzel seed was sown on one plot of ground on 6 May; indicates that most of the leaves were removed from half of the plants on 27 July to determine “what degree of injury the roots would receive by taking off the leaves in summer”; announces that at harvest on 6 Nov. the roots of those plants weighed “12 tons 11cwt. 48lbs” less than those that had been left unmolested; concludes from this that “taking off the leaves does impede the growth of the root”; and provides harvest results for plants that were transplanted from the plot to a garden on 13 June and harvested on 2 Nov. (printed circular in DLC: TJ Papers, 205:36578–9; addressed by Sinclair: “Dr Logan Stenton Pensilvania”). Other enclosure not found.

Sinclair’s letter to Logan was dated Edinburgh, 20 July 1815 (PHi: Logan Papers; printed in James Wilkinson, Memoirs of My Own Times [Philadelphia, 1816], 1:462–3).

1Manuscript: “of of.”

Index Entries

  • agriculture; books on search
  • books; on agriculture search
  • crops; mangel-wurzel search
  • flax; dressed search
  • Great Britain; G. Logan on peace with search
  • Great Britain; peace with search
  • Heaton, John; English estate of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Logan, Deborah Norris (George Logan’s wife); sends greetings to TJ search
  • Logan, George; and flax specimen search
  • Logan, George; and peace with Great Britain search
  • Logan, George; letters from search
  • Logan, George; sends works to TJ search
  • mangel-wurzel search
  • Mangel Wurzel. Account of a Crop of this most valuable Root grown in the Year 1815 (G. Turnbull) search
  • plows; J. Sinclair’s search
  • Sinclair, Sir John; and flax specimen search
  • Sinclair, Sir John; and peace with Great Britain search
  • Sinclair, Sir John; friendship with G. Logan search
  • Sinclair, Sir John; plow of search
  • Turnbull, George; as agriculturist search
  • Turnbull, George; Mangel Wurzel. Account of a Crop of this most valuable Root grown in the Year 1815 search