Monticello Feb. 22. 26
Your favor of the 13th was recieved yesterday. your use of my letter with the alterations subsequently proposed, needs no apology. and it will be a gratification to me if it can be of any service to you. I learn with sincere affliction the difficulties with which you have still to struggle—mine are considerable—but the single permission given me by the legislature of such a mode of sale as ensures a fair value for what I must sell, will leave me still a competent provision. if sold under the hammer, it must have been for whatever the bidder would gratuitously offer. for such a piece of property, for example as my mills there could not have been two bonâ fide bidders in the state. a Virginia estate managed rigorously well, yields a comfortable subsistence to it’s owner living on it, but nothing more—but it runs him in debt annually, if at a distance from him, if he is absent, if he is unskilful as I am, if short crops reduce him to deal on credit, and, most assuredly if thunder struck from the hand of a friend as I was. altho’ all these causes conspired against me, and should have put me on my guard, I had no suspicions, until my grandson undertook the management of my estate, and developed to me the state of my affairs fortunately while yet retrievable in a comfortable degree. I hope you will still find yours so, and with sincere wishes that they may prove so to be, I salute you with constant friendship and respect.
DLC: Papers of James Monroe.