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From Thomas Jefferson to George Jefferson, 20 May 1798

To George Jefferson

Philadelphia May 20. 98.

Dear Sir

I recieved yesterday your favor of the 14th. and am well pleased with the sale of my tobacco: for tho’ if no check were to happen I think it would continue to rise, yet considering the critical affairs of this country, & still more of England, I think a check very possible, & that it must take place this summer, if at all. the price obtained secures my making two paiments of 1200. D. each in autumn, about which I was anxious. I inclose you the manifest for the Bedford tobacco, 16446 ℔ I have directed that from Monticello, whatever it is, to be forwarded immediately. I must ask you for information of the highest price which has been given for wheat and flour at Richmond or Manchester from Dec. 1. to Apr. 30. as I sold in Albemarle with a reference to that, & shall have to settle immediately on my return. I think I wrote to you before to attend to the price for me, and stated the times, & perhaps more exactly than I do now, as I write from memory at present, & may have forgotten.—a workman (Richardson) to whom I owed 11. D. 72 c wishing to recieve it in Richmond I have given him an order on you. I am afraid I am near the bottom of my funds in your hands for tho’ one of the bonds for which they were destined will not be called for, yet the wheat & other small expences of which I have no account must have been of some amount. I will thank you for a statement. I inclosed you on the 10th. a bill of lading for between 20. & 30. packages by the sloop Sally, desiring them to be forwarded by the first Milton boats. I will thank you, as soon as they are forwarded to drop a line of information to mr J. W. Eppes, at his father’s in Chesterfield, because as soon as he knows they are forwarded up the river, I have proposed to him & my daughter to proceed to Monticello. There is a weekly rider from the post office to mr Eppes’s neighborhood in Chesterfield. I am with great esteem Dr. Sir

Your friend & servt

Th: Jefferson

P.S. I have opened my letter to ask whether it will be practicable and will not be prudent to have some guarantee of mr Hooper. I know nothing of him, having never before heard of him: but the credit is so long & the times so perilous, that it would be desireable. it is the usage here to require two guarantors with every transaction of any length. one I should think proper, but I leave it to yourself altogether.

PrC (MHi); postscript written in left margin; at foot of text: “Mr. George Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso. Enclosure not found, but see note below.

Secures my making two paiments: see TJ to James Lyle and TJ to John Wickham, 15 June 1798. TJ took the following notes on the manifest for the Bedford tobacco from Poplar Forest before enclosing it:

“weights of tobo. from P.F. of which the manifests were sent to G. Jefferson, May 20.98.

P.F 32. 137.   1568. } 26th. Feb. 98
T.I. 44. 137.   1641.
52. 137.   1603
53. 137.   1573 } 25th. Feb.
54. 137.   1626
63. 137.   1641.
95. 137.   1725.
96. 137.   1787.
109. 137.   1613 } 24th. Mar.
110. 137.   1669.

Spring Warehouse.


Martin & Douglas.

sold by G. Jefferson to mr Hooper @ 13. D. paiable 1st. Oct. & 12th. Nov.

16446 ℔ @ 13. D = 2137.98
suppose 1400. Monticello  182.

(MS in MHi; on small scrap of paper; entirely in TJ’s hand, with last two lines, including total, written in pencil).

On 18 May 1798 TJ had John Barnes pay Richard Richardson $60. The next day TJ gave Richardson an order on George Jefferson for the balance of $11.72 (MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:983). TJ also wrote drafts on Barnes on 9, 18 Apr., and 1 May, each one for $10 in favor of Richardson (MSS in MHi, written and signed by TJ, endorsed by Barnes and canceled).

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