Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Charles Clay, 18 November 1815

To Charles Clay

Pop. For. Nov. 18. 15.

Th:J. to mr Clay

I was five days absent in my trip to the peaks of Otter, and have been five days engaged1 in calculating the observations made. this brings me down to yesterday evening when I finished them. I am going to-day to see mr Clarke at his new habitation, and tomorrow, weather permitting, will pay you a morning visit. in the mean time I send you a note of the result of my ten days labor and some Otaheite or Paper mulberries, valuable for the regularity of their form, velvet leaf & for being fruitless. they are charming near a porch for densely shading it.

RC (ViRoHM); dateline at foot of text; addressed: “Mr Clay”; endorsed by Clay as a letter from “Tho. Jefferson About the Peaks &c Nov. 10—15.” Tr (ViU: TJP; posthumous copy). Not recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

Christopher Clark (clarke) had recently purchased a Campbell County estate called the Grove, which was adjacent to TJ’s Bedford County lands (DVB). TJ had planted sixty-four otaheite or paper mulberries in the nursery at Poplar Forest on 2 Nov. He planted nineteen of these apiece on each side of the house, between the privies and the fence, on 25 Nov. 1815 (TJ’s Notes on Poplar Forest Plantings and Geography, 1 Feb. 1811–6 Oct. 1821, printed above at the earlier date).

1Word not in Tr.

Index Entries

  • altitude; calculations for Peaks of Otter search
  • Clark, Christopher Henderson; TJ visits search
  • Clay, Charles; and mulberry trees search
  • Clay, Charles; letters to search
  • Clay, Charles; TJ visits search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Travels; to Peaks of Otter search
  • mulberry; paper search
  • Peaks of Otter, Va.; altitude of search
  • Peaks of Otter, Va.; TJ visits search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); trees at search
  • The Grove (Christopher Henderson Clark’s Campbell Co. estate); purchase of search
  • trees; mulberry search