Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Joseph Dougherty to Thomas Jefferson, 31 August 1809

From Joseph Dougherty

Washington Augt. 31st 1809

Dear Sir.

I recd yours of the 24th the 28th Inst. Davy arived here on the evening of the 29th  In my conversation with Doctr Thornton, I mentioned to him the improbability of your broad tailed ewes breeding. he in his usual way, and, always ready to oblige you, readily mentioned that it would be proper to send you a broad tail ewe to be certain which you will receive (I hope safe) together with one of his best rams; he was so good as to give me the choice of his flock for a ram and ewe for you; this for my part I esteem as a great favour for the reason as follows; Mr R: Brent has a young ram which appears to be as full bread as Doctr T s imported ram which he received as a present1 from Doctr T: in Augt 1808. he weighed on the hoof 168 lbs. when one year old.2—When shoren his fleece weighed 8¾ lbs.

four of his lambs of this year after the best were taken out3 was sold to the butcher for 16 Dollars, soon in the summer. The butcher (who is an englishman) that bought them, says he never saw as fine mutton, either in england or this country I am convinced that the broad tail breed may be much Impruved by proper attention being paid to them This never has been the case with Doctr T’s. flock

they are always poor

I have increased my flock of ewes to fifty and those of the best kind.

Doctr Thornton sends you some slips of the fig tree, also some of the tarragon plant, which I put up as well as I knew how;

I have been for some time back engaged in painting and will probably continue at it, if I do not succeed in procureing a berth in the new bank which is about to be established in this city

Davy will set out from here to morrow [morn?]

Sir, your humble Servant

Jos Dougherty

N.B. If you should want me to do any thing for you here: I am as willing as usual If not more so.

And I beg you not to think that It gives me any trouble to serve you now, more than it ever did.

RC (DLC); one word damaged; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr late President of the U. States Monticello by Davy”; endorsed by TJ as received 4 Sept. 1809 and so recorded in SJL.

The bank of Washington was organized between June and September 1809 and chartered by Congress in February 1811 (Washington National Intelligencer, 30 June, 8, 15 Sept. 1809; Annals description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States . . . Compiled from Authentic Materials, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1834–56, 42 vols. All editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. Citations given below are to the edition mounted on the American Memory website of the Library of Congress and give the date of the debate as well as page numbers. description ends , 11th Cong., 3d sess., 959–60 [11 Feb. 1811]; Charles E. Howe, “The Financial Institutions of Washington City in its Early Days,” RCHS description begins Records of the Columbia Historical Society, 1895– description ends 8 [1905]: 17–22).

1Preceding three words interlined.

2Preceding four words interlined.

3Preceding six words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Bank of Washington (D.C.) search
  • Brent, Robert; and merino sheep search
  • Dougherty, Joseph; acquires sheep from W. Thornton search
  • Dougherty, Joseph; letters from search
  • figs; roots from W. Thornton search
  • food; figs search
  • food; mutton search
  • food; tarragon search
  • Hern, David (Davy) (TJ’s slave; b.1784); wagoner search
  • merino sheep; and R. Brent search
  • mutton search
  • tarragon; from W. Thornton search
  • Thornton, William; and merino sheep search
  • trees; fig search
  • Washington (D.C.); bank of search