Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Eleuthère I. du Pont de Nemours, 24 April 1811

To Eleuthère I. du Pont de Nemours

Monticello Apr. 24. 11.1

Dear Sir

We are, four of us, sportsmen, in my family, amusing ourselves much with our guns. but the powder sold here is wretched, carrying the index of the French eprouvette (such as you furnished Genl Dearborne) to 9. 10. or 11. only, while the cannister of your powder, recieved from you 2. or 3. years ago, carried it to considerably upwards of 20. I have persuaded a merchant in this neighborhood to get his supply from you which he has promised to do, and I am in hopes the difference which will be found between that & what has been usually bought will induce our other merchants to do the same. I promised mr Lietch, the merchant alluded to, a letter to you when he should go on. this will serve instead of it. but he does not go on till autumn. in the mean time I am engaged in works which require a good deal of rock to be removed with gunpowder, in doing which with the miserable stuff we have here, we make little way. will you be so good as to send me a quarter of a hundred of yours, addressed to Messrs Gibson & Jefferson of Richmond, who will forward it to me. the cost shall be remitted you as soon as made known. vessels pass from Philadelphia to Richmond almost daily, & the sooner I recieve it, the sooner I shall make effectual progress in my works. Accept the assurances of my great esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (DeGH: P. S. du Pont Office Collection); addressed: “Mr E. Dupont de Nemours at the Eleutherian powder mills near Wilmington Del.”; franked and postmarked. PoC (MHi); endorsed by TJ.

An eprouvette is an instrument that tests the strength of gunpowder (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

1Year omitted in PoC.

Index Entries

  • Dearborn, Henry; and gunpowder search
  • du Pont de Nemours, Eleuthère Irénée; letters to search
  • du Pont de Nemours, Eleuthère Irénée; sells TJ gunpowder search
  • Gibson & Jefferson (Richmond firm); and gunpowder acquired by TJ search
  • gunpowder; quality of search
  • gunpowder; TJ orders search
  • Leitch, James; and gunpowder sales search