Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Brown, 7 October 1790

From James Brown

Richmond, 7 Oct. 1790. Enclosing account of items shipped. “No Fish as yet to be had, however the New England Vessells will be here in a short time when I will procure you some and send them by first Waggons.”

RC (MHi); endorsed as received 12 Oct. 1790 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure (MHi): “List of Sundries sent to Thomas Jefferson Esqr. by Waggon”—1 cask of Lisbon wine, 33½ gallons @ 6s.; 1 case of porter containing 6½ dozen bottles @ 14s. per dozen and another case @ 8s.; and a box containing six table cloths four by ten feet @ 24 s. each, 1 hand vise @ 4s., 1 cheese weighing 14¼ lb. @ ls. 6d. per pound; 1 “Bick Iron” weighing 33℔. @ 7s., 1 pair “Best Bed Blankets”, £2 6s. Od., 1 “White Iron Tea Vessel” @ 6s., “3 Loaves Single Refined English Sugar (no Double to be had),” weighing 33 ℔. @ 15s. per pound, 1 “Screw Plate” @ 13s., 12℔. chocolate @ 15s. per pound, 6 yards of “Diaper (No Huckabuck to be had)” @ 2s. 6d. per yard, the whole totalling £31 11s. 5 d. To this Brown added 10s. 6d. for the cask and the box containing the wine and porter, plus ls. for cooperage and nails.

From Fredericksburg on 17 Sep. 1790 TJ had written Brown and adding one item omitted from his former order—“that is, half a gross of good porter. Should you not be able to get it good, I would then be glad of good ale. I am so far on my way to Monticello where I shall be glad to recieve it as soon as possible, that is to say by the first waggon which shall be passing Charlottesville” (RC in NN). At Monticello on 20 Sep. 1790 TJ met still other needs and ordered “by the first waggon passing thro’ Charlottesville” six table-cloths “damask or diaper, 8 quarters wide and of any length above that. 1 pr. best and largest bed-blankets. A teakettle, rather large. White iron would be preferred. 3 loaves of double refined sugar, if any now: if not, then 3 loaves single. Cheese if any now. 12. lb. chocolate” (PrC in MHi). Brown acknowledged these orders on 24 Sep. 1790: “I shall be able to procure the Porter, Cheese and Sugar of this falls importation’s in a few days. No Fish yet in Town. I will be glad to hear that the different articles sent pleases. I have just received a few Butts Lisbon of a Good quality … Tobacco 22 / Wheat 4/6d. 60 lb. If you have any late accounts of the Crops in Europe, I will esteem it a favor, your communicating them by next opportunity” (RC in MHi, endorsed by TJ as received 26 Sep. 1790 and so recorded in SJL). On 8 Oct. 1790 Brown wrote TJ: “I sent off the Sundry articles for you by a Waggon yesterday to the care of Col. Bell at Charlottesville or Mr. Lewis, where you will please apply” (RC in MHi, endorsed by TJ as received 14 Oct. 1790 and so recorded in SJL). From this it is evident that Brown’s letter of the preceding day was in the nature of a manifest as well as an invoice and was carried by the wagoner. Bick: A cask (English Dialect Dictionary). Huckabuck: A stout linen fabric used for toweling (OED description begins Sir James Murray and others, eds., A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles, Oxford, 1888–1933 description ends ).—A letter from James Brown dated at Danville, 1 Oct. 1790, and recorded in SJL as received 20 Dec. 1790 has not been found.

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