Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Richard Fitzhugh, 25 April 1813

To Richard Fitzhugh

Monticello Apr. 25. 13.

Dear Sir

I have unluckily got out of the Ravensworth pea, which I value so highly as to wish to recover it. I am in hopes you are able to supply me with a little. a few peas quilted into a peice of cloth, so as to lie flat, of the size and form of a letter, and inclosed in a paper cover and directed to me as a letter by mail will be sufficient to put me in seed by another year.

I inclose you the seeds of a very valuable garden vegetable which I recieved from France 2. or 3. years ago, it is called the Sprout Kale. it is sowed and transplanted as other Kale or Cabbages, and about the beginning of December it begins to furnish sprouts, and will furnish 3. crops of them thro the winter; so abundantly that a few plants will give a dish every day. it stands our winter perfectly without cover.

I am happy in this opportunity of recalling myself to your recollection and to that of mrs Fitzhugh to whom I pray you to present my affectionate respects, and accept for yourself the assurances of my friendship & best wishes.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); at foot of text: “Richard Fitzhugh esquire”; endorsed by TJ.

Richard Fitzhugh (1766–1821) lived on a portion of the Ravensworth tract in northern Virginia. TJ occasionally lodged with him or his brother Nicholas Fitzhugh during his trips to and from Washington. At his death Richard Fitzhugh’s personal estate was valued in excess of $10,000 and included forty-eight slaves (Stella Pickett Hardy, Colonial Families of the Southern States of America, 2d ed. [1958; repr. 1981], 227; Nan Netherton and others, Fairfax County, Virginia: A History [1978], 161–3; 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 , esp. 2:1071–2n; TJ to Fitzhugh, 10 May 1805 [MHi]; Fairfax Co. Will Book, M1:240–1, 246–7).

TJ first recorded planting the ravensworth pea in May 1809 (Betts, Garden Book description begins Edwin M. Betts, ed., Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, 1766–1824, 1944 description ends , 390).

Index Entries

  • cabbage; cultivated by TJ search
  • Fitzhugh, Richard; and Ravensworth peas search
  • Fitzhugh, Richard; identified search
  • Fitzhugh, Richard; letters to search
  • Fitzhugh, Richard; TJ sends seeds to search
  • Fitzhugh, Susannah Meade (Richard Fitzhugh’s wife); TJ sends greetings to search
  • food; kale, sprout search
  • kale; seed search
  • kale; sprout search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); peas grown at search
  • peas; Ravensworth search
  • seeds; cabbage search
  • seeds; kale search
  • seeds; kale, sprout search