Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from William Bartram, 29 October 1808

Kingsess, near Philadelphia
Octobr. 29th. 1808.

Illustrious President,

Permit me sir, to introduce to your notice the bearer hereof, my worthy friend Doctor Benjamin Say; lately chosen Senator in Congress of the U. States, for the City and County of Philadelphia in place of Mr. Clay resigned.

The Doctor is a man of talents, eminent in his profession as a Physician, of a fair moral character, and a warm and steady republican, ever since our glorious revolution.

Doctor Say will hand your excillency a small packet containing a few seeds of a beautiful flowering tree together with a Catalogue of our collection: The tree is the Mimosa julibrescens (Silk tree) a native of Persia and Armenia; lately brought to us by the celebrated Michaux the elder. Its delicate sweet flowers grow in fasciles, composed of a number of slender silky thread’s tipped with crimson antheræ. The packet is tyed with a silky bark of a species of Asclyrias, native of Pensylvania, which should it prove a useful substitute for flax or cotton, in linnen manufactures, it can be cultivated in any quantities and with less expence, as it is a perenniel plant, and thrives in almost any soil.

I send you these articles, Sir, as a mark of my homage & respect, not knowing whether they are new to you or of any value.

With every sentiment of Esteem, I pray you may enjoy many days of health and tranquility.

William Bartram

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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