Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Lomax to Thomas Jefferson, 30 October 1809

From Thomas Lomax

Pt Tobago Oct. 30th 1809.

Dear Sir

By the Carriage, which I now send up for my Daughter, you will receive some filbert Cions,1 and Nuts, as well as the Juboli, and Acacia, the latter I have been obliged to lay in a flat Box, as the weight of those, out of which they were taken, I was afraid would be too heavy, and dangerous to be put into the Carriage. They will I hope reach you in safety, to be placed in other Boxes. The Nuts, if you chuse to plant any of them, it ought to be done immediatly; but I am doubtful, whether they will vegitate; as I always after they are put into Bags, expose them very much to the heat of the Sun; but you can try them, and should they come up in the Spring, they should, as well as the young trees, be watered whenever the weather becomes dry. The trees I think you had better set at 20 feet asunder; as mine are only fifteen, which I discover to be too near each other. I have also sent some of the Star-Jasmine, and a beautiful flowering Shrub, which I took from the Woods, and not2 knowing its real name, have given it that, of modesty, from its handsome delicete appearance, a quality which will disgrace no Garden. If you have any of the Paccan nut, that you can conveniently spare, I will thank you for some by the return of the Carriage; as I expect they can now be moved with safety. It would have given me great pleasure to have visited the President, and met with3 you there; but being informed, he was, at the time I was in his neighbourhood,4 to set off in a few days to the City, was fearful that I might intrude upon that short time he had to remain at home. I beg you to present my affectionate Regard to Colo Randolph & his Lady, and to accept the same yourself from

Yor Sincere friend & Humbe Servt

Tho. Lomax

T.L requests some of Mr Jeffersons fine Lima-Beans, if he has any to spare. The Silk-Tree is very flourishing. There is an Orange and Lime Tree sent, the Orange has the broadest Leaf.

RC (CSmH: JF-BA); dateline adjacent to signature; postscript on address cover; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Montecello”; endorsed by TJ as received 5 Nov. 1809 and so recorded in SJL.

Thomas Lomax (1746–1811), an attorney and planter, served on the first Caroline County Committee during the American Revolution and represented Caroline and Hanover counties in the Senate of Virginia in 1776 and Caroline County in the House of Delegates, 1779 and 1781–82 (Edward L. Lomax, Genealogy of the Virginia Family of Lomax [1913], 19; Thomas E. Campbell, Colonial Caroline: A History of Caroline County, Virginia [1954], 234, 236, 343, 348, 467, 469; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends , 124, 133, 141).

On 6 Nov. 1809 TJ planted the items received from Lomax, including twenty-four Corylus avellana (filbert), five Zizyphus jujuba (juboli or jujubes), two Acacia farnesiana (acacia), twenty-one Jasminum officinale (star-jasmine), three modesty shrubs, a Citrus aurantium (orange), and a Citrus aurantifolia (lime). The acacia, orange, and lime were planted in boxes in the greenhouse (Betts, Garden Book description begins Edwin M. Betts, ed., Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, 1766–1824, 1944 description ends , 387, 398–9).

1Variant spelling of “Scions.”

2Word interlined.

3Word interlined.

4Manuscript: “neighourhood.”

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