Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to George Jefferson, 2 December 1797

To George Jefferson

Monticello Dec. 2. 97.

Dear Sir

I perceive, by an advertisement of yours in the public papers that you have commenced business in the Commission line. I have heretofore employed in the transaction of my business at Richmond, Mr. Charles Johnston, who has executed it with the greatest punctuality [and attention]. Rendering to him a just tribute on every occasion I feel myself bound on several grounds to transfer the mite of my employ to you, but most especially on that of your personal worth of which I have received honorable testimony from many. My business in Richmond consists chiefly in the lodging there my crops of tobacco to be shipped, sold, or delivered to my order as may happen: in receiving and forwarding to me by the Milton boats about 120. faggots of nail rod from Philadelphia every three months; in negotiating from time to time bills on Philadelphia, which tho drawn on John Barnes my agent there, are in fact bills on the Treasury; in receiving and forwarding to me packages which come addressed to me from Philadelphia, Europe, &c. [preferring] water transportation for heavy goods, and in being the […]1 for me in that quarter. […] have […]2 for me. I [wish] you may find the profits […].3 [I shall] set out for Philadelphia the moment the weather will permit, having been detained for some time by rains and high waters: and it is still raining. I am with great esteem Dear Sir Your friend & Servtp

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); with part of several lines torn away; at foot of text: “Mr. George Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

George Jefferson (1748–1812), grandson of TJ’s uncle Field Jefferson, started in the commission business as George Jefferson & Co. in Richmond in 1797, specializing in flour and other produce. By May 1800, the firm was known as Gibson & Jefferson, with partner Patrick Gibson carrying on the business after President James Madison appointed Jefferson to serve as consul at Lisbon in 1811 (Virginia Argus, 3 Nov. 1797; MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , ii, 975, 1019; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828 description ends , ii, 173; VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893- description ends , xxiii [1915], 79, 175; TQHGM description begins L. G. Tyler, ed., Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Richmond, 1920–52, 34 vols. in 33 description ends , vii [1926], 50–1; George Jefferson to TJ, 24 Oct. and 25 Nov. 1811). For a description of Jefferson’s illness and death as he returned from Lisbon on board the ship Diana, see Patrick Gibson to TJ, 3 Aug. 1812.

For George Jefferson’s advertisement on commencing business, see Richmond Virginia Argus, 3 Nov. 1797.

1Estimated six words torn away.

2Estimated five words torn away.

3Estimated six words torn away.

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