Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 6 November 1812

To William Short

Monticello Nov. 6. 12.

Dear Sir

Your favor of Oct. 29. finds me still here. tho’ the effects of my fall have not been quite removed, I shall set out for Bedford in 2. or 3. days. the doubt as to the security proposed for that portion of the debt for which mr Higginbotham & another were to give joint bonds, was not unexpected because it was reasonable. I had suggested it to him as possible & even probable, & he was therefore not unapprised. he is now in Richmond seeing about his cargoes, both of which are safely arrived. I have written to inform him that the bargain for the sale of the land is finally concluded except that for his portion of the debt his single bonds will be expected and a mortgage on the lands. I am sure he will not refuse it, because it is reasonable, & because he has attached himself to the purchase by plans proposed for it’s improvement. as soon as I return from Bedford the writings on both sides shall be executed in due form & communicated to you, with a deed for your execution. I am inclined to believe he will quit commerce now. it is evident to him & every one that were peace now to be restored there would never be a call again on Britain for any thing but fine manufactures. the establishment of coarse manufactures in every family is now permanent. I have hitherto paid 2000.D. a year for clothing my laborers. two spinning Jennies (simpler & better than all the improved machines) carrying 35 spindles, worked by a woman & a girl, spin me from 5. to 8. yds a day & a loom with a flying shuttle worked by another woman, weaves it. this ensures the 2000. yds inner & outer cloathing a year, which I need, & will call for not a cent of cash but 80.D. for 800.℔ of cotton which we can buy cheaper than raise. this is a specimen of what ensures the exclusion of British coarse goods, for I have been one of the latest in adopting houshold manufacture. ever & affectionately Your’s

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViW: TJP); at foot of text: “Mr Short”; endorsed by Short as received in Philadelphia on 16 Nov. 1812.

Short’s favor of 29 Oct. 1812, not found, is recorded in SJL as received from “Bergerie—Neuville” on 4 Nov. 1812 and also described as a 29 Oct. letter that “ansd his [TJ’s] of 17th” in Short’s epistolary record containing entries from May through November 1812, written on a sheet folded to form narrow pages (DLC: Short Papers).

Index Entries

  • children; slave search
  • clothing; for slaves search
  • Higginbotham, David; and W. Short’s land search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; injured in fall from horse search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; domestic manufacturing search
  • machines; spinning jenny search
  • manufacturing, household; spinning jennies search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); domestic manufacturing at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visit to search
  • Short, William; and Indian Camp search
  • Short, William; letters from accounted for search
  • Short, William; letters to search
  • slaves; and child labor search
  • slaves; clothing for search
  • spinning jennies search
  • textiles; and weaving search