Thomas Jefferson Papers

George Divers to Thomas Jefferson, 22 April 1809

From George Divers

Farmington 22. Apr 1809

Dr sir

I send you some parsnep seed which I think had better be sow’d pretty thick they do not look very well and can easily be thin’d if they come up better than I expect—I sow 200 feet each of parsnep and beet.320 feet each salsafy and carrots and 400 feet cellery, all running measure in the rows, which is a very ample provision for my table and indeed more than sufficient, The small seed should be sown in drills 18 inches wide, I put my cellery in rows 6 feet wide and 10 inchs apart in the row, I send you a few of the early black eyed pea which you brought from France, and can furnish you with some of the Cow pea and a large grey pea of the Crouder kind, which think a very good one for the table, but fear I shall not be able to supply you with seed potatoes they having been feed away to my sheep nearer than I intended—I thank you for your attention to my memo for the mill Irons. The amt of cost shall be sent by first oppy—

Yrs affectionately

George Divers

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 22 Apr. 1809 and so recorded in SJL.

George Divers (ca. 1748–1830), farmer, miller, and longtime friend of TJ’s, married Martha Walker, daughter of Dr. Thomas Walker. Their one child, Thomas Jefferson Divers, died young. In 1785 Divers purchased Farmington, a 3,421-acre Albemarle County plantation, where in 1802 TJ designed an addition to his house. Divers served on a committee to rebuild the Albemarle County courthouse in 1803 and was a director of the Rivanna Company in 1810. He and TJ often exchanged seeds and corresponded about gardening and farming (Albemarle Co. Deed Book, 9:82; TJ’s Plan and Elevation Drawing for Farmington [MHi]; Divers to TJ, 14 July 1803 [MHi]; McGehee and Trout, Jefferson’s River description begins Minnie Lee McGehee and William E. Trout III, Mr. Jefferson’s River: The Rivanna, 2001 description ends , 19; Charlottesville Virginia Advocate, 11 Apr. 1829, 14 May 1830).

mill irons: TJ paid in advance when he ordered iron castings for himself and Divers from Henry Foxall in February 1809 (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1240).

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