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By yesterday’s mail I learn that it would be the desire of many of the good citizens of our county to meet me on the road on my return home, as a manifestation of their good will. but it is quite impossible for me to ascertain the day on which I shall leave this. the accumulated business at the close of a session will prevent my making any preparation for my departure till after the 4th. of...
I thought Congress had taken their ground firmly for continuing their embargo till June, & then war. but a sudden & unaccountable revolution of opinion took place the last week, chiefly among the N. England & N. York members, & in a kind of panic they voted the 4th. of March for removing the embargo, & by such a majority as gave all reason to believe they would not agree either to war or...
I recieved in due time your kind letter of the 20th. certainly I shall be much pleased to recieve your aid & counsel in the management of my farms, which will become so essential. my whole life has been past in occupations which kept me from any minute attention to them, and finds me now with only very general ideas of the theory of agriculture, without actual experience: at a time of life too...
Immediately on the reciept of your letter I communicated to mr Nicholas so much of it as related to Varina. he & mr Patterson dined with me two days ago. mr Patterson, it seems, never meant to purchase more land than a mere seat, and small farm for it’s support. with this mr Nicholas has supplied him near Warren, & he begins to build in the spring. in the choice of a situation, his first...
The general mind of Congress seems now to be rallying to a certain course of proceeding. a bill will be brought in tomorrow for convening Congress about the middle of May. it will be of course that in the debate members will declare the intention to be then to take off the embargo & if the belligerent edicts be not repealed, to issue letters of marque & reprisal. this will let Europe see that...
Jefferson wrote to me a few days ago to know whether he had ever had the small pox, & added that till he could learn that fact he kept himself from the Anatomical dissections by advice of Dr. Wistar. I wrote him that I thought I recollected that he & Anne were inoculated in Richmond under your eye, but that I was not quite certain. will you be so good as to give the answer by return of post...
I inclose a letter from Jefferson to Ellen which I presume will inform the family of his health. I sent for your perusal last week a letter from Dr. Wistar strongly urging his attendance on the chemical lectures. we had supposed, you know, that it would be best for him to confine himself, while at Philadelphia, to those branches of science for which that place has peculiar advantages, that is...
Yours of the 7th. has been recieved, & the papers it covered, but I must trouble you again to send me, by return of post , the whole of the papers which were in that cartoon, all of which were of the same character ‘to be answered or acted on’ immediately on my arrival here. I specified the particular parcels you sent me merely to ascertain the right bundle.   I think your idea of shifting the...
I have left a bundle of papers at home the want of which distresses me infinitely, and the more so as the forgetfulness which produced the omission, leaves me unable certainly to say where it will be found. but I think it must be in one of the cartoons in the Cabinet window near which I usually sit to write, that is to say near the red turning chair. the cartoon has a label with these words...
I inclose you a Mercantile Advertiser for the sake of the extraordinary fabrication in it’s Postscript by an arrival from Cork with London dates to the 9th. of May. the arrival of the Osage in England (which had been detained in France by Armstrong himself) furnishes the occasion of amusing that nation with the forgeries of fact which I have included in an inked line in the margin, within...
My letter to Ellen will explain why I must be brief. a negociation between France & England is I believe certainly begun under the mediation of Austria. the Moniteur (a government paper) says France will not require from England to renounce her maritime principles. nothing need be said about them in the treaty, and each will retain their own. this stumbling block being removed, I suspect they...
You will see in the public papers an account of proceedings of the legislature at Lancaster, which you will not understand without explanation. the members in Caucus have named electors of President & V. President without saying whom they are to vote for. the fact is this. the Democrats had more at heart the election of Snyder for Governor than any thing else. the Feds named Ross. the Quids...
Mr. Hening informs me that 6. cases in the court of Appeals depend on an Act of 1691. c. 9. entitled ‘an act for a free trade with Indians’ and that the judges, not liking to decide on a single M.S. copy which he possessed, had given till their next term (commencing Mar. 1) to procure another copy from my collection. I cannot procure this for him but by throwing it on you. if I possess the...
I inclosed a packet to you for Tarlton Webb yesterday by the mail stage, because no printed papers can go by the horse mail which leaves this a day later with letters only. I recieved a letter from mr Bacon last night which obliges me to ask you to take a ride to Monticello to advise him in his operations on the garden. he has done 250. feet. should he go on in the same level we assumed at...
I inclose you a midshipman’s warrant for young Webb, but I wish there may not be a misnomer in it. Patsy named him to me as Tarlton Webb, but through another channel an application came to the Navy office for a Thomas T. Webb. is it the same person? if not, be so good as to return the inclosed to me because it is intended for Tarlton Webb. if right, you can forward it to him. The papers give...
I inclose you a letter from the Secretary of the Navy on the subject of Tarleton Webb. at the next appointment of midshipmen he can probably come in; but mr Smith cannot say when that may take place. Martha informs me that your own affairs are so arranged as to permit you to direct the repairs of my mill dam. this will indeed be rendering me a great service. Bacon is so little acquainted with...
A caucus was held on Saturday by the members of Congress at which 89. attended. Mr. Madison had 83. votes, Clinton 3. Monroe 3. as president, & Clinton had 79. as V. President. but one member from N. York attended, and but 1. federalist, J. Q. Adams who voted for mr Madison. of the Virginia members in town J. Randolph, Garnett, Gray, Trigg & Bassett declined attending, the last because...
I have this moment signed the bill for a general embargo on all American vessels. it passed by 82. against 44. the latter were one half Federalists, ¼ of the little band, the other fourth of republicans happening to take up mistaken views of the subject. my love to all our dear family & affectionate salutations to yourself. DLC : Papers of Thomas Jefferson.
Lest you should fail in getting Smith’s paper I inclose you a paragraph prepared for that, & which is authentic. mr Erskine has recieved Canning’s letter & Monroe’s reply & shewed them to us in confidence. the letter is in it’s aspect & style, unfriendly, proud & harsh, and looks little like proposing much more as to the Chesapeake than the disavowal of having ordered the act. it manifests...
I inclose a watchkey of Martha’s and an ear-ring of Anne’s returned by mrs Madison. we are now in a remarkable cold-spell of weather for the season. the thermometer the last three mornings has been at 22. 19. 22½, and very dry. the destruction of wheat by the Hessian fly is general through the states.    the news detailed by Capt. Doane & the Star, which you will find in the papers now...
Every thing from Europe for some time past being interesting, I have sent you some of the Public Advertisers, which at times seems to be the best paper we have for foreign intelligence as well as sound domestic discussions. at present we have nothing from Europe. the two houses have assembled earlier than usual. there was a quorum of the H. of R. here on Saturday. Macon is sick and absent....
I arrived here yesterday morning according to expectation. when at Songster’s the overnight, I learnt that Skinner, who lives at the cross roads near Fairfax C.H. had found your dirk. I called on him and asked to see it. both John & myself recognised it. but as he did not express a desire to give it up, I told him I would write to you & if you had lost yours thereabouts (a fact I had not heard...
Our advices from Lynhaven (where we keep a person as a Look-out to inform us daily what passes) down to the 16th. are that two of the vessels of war were out of the capes on a cruise, and two others (two deckers) at anchor in Lynhaven bay. they had been in the habit of landing freely, and of getting water, &, as is believed, fresh provisions from secret customers. some negroes had gone off to...
I had been in expectation of leaving this for Monticello this day sennight: but the present posture of things at Norfolk seems to forbid our separation until that is changed. should the British squadron leave their station in Hampton road, we might then retire from this place, which will soon begin to experience the diseases of the season. the retirement of the squadron from James river would...
You have long ago heard of the insult on the Chesapeake, and been overwhelmed with reports & fables, some printed & some oral, as we have been, till we find that nothing can be believed that comes through any body belonging to any kind of vessel. yesterday the lie of the day was that the Vice President had had 35. shot fired at him by the Men of war’s boats as he passed out of the Capes, &...
I arrived here this day sennight without any accident other than travelling on the second day through light drizzle & occasionally small showers, not sufficient to wet me. I found the road good enough till I got into the froggy country near Ewell’s mill where it was very bad. mr Coles joined me from Philadelphia last night. he says Governor Lewis will be on about the first of July. he is...
Th:J. incloses to mr Randolph a check on the bank of the US. which however is dated tomorrow & cannot be drawn till then, because it is only on the 4th. that a deposit is made in the bank for him by the Treasury. he prays him not to consider it as a loan at all, being always desirous to do any thing for him which his own circumstances place in his power. DLC : Papers of Thomas Jefferson.
Joseph informs me your fever still continues. I certainly would not urge any thing that would be strongly repugnent to your feelings, but I wish, my dear Sir, you could consent to return to your former room here. you would be so much more comfortable there, and could be so much better furnished with what would be proper & agreeable to you, that it would aid in shaking off your fever; &...
Your letter of yesterday convinces me I have been guilty of an error, for which I take just blame to myself. really loving you as I would a son (for I protest I know no difference) I took it too much for granted you were as sensible of it as myself. conscious of my feelings towards you, I supposed you had the same consciousness, & therefore have been less attentive to the expressions of it....
Your letter recieved this morning has given me a pang under which I am overwhelmed. I take up my pen to express some of my thoughts, but thousands will remain which are inexpressible. I had for some days percieved in you a gloom which gave me uneasiness. I knew there was a difference between mr Eppes & yourself, but had no idea it was as deep seated as your letter shews it to be. I never knew...
Believing a letter will still find you at home, I drop you a line to give you the Western news. a letter from Wilkerson of Nov. 30. from N. Orleans informs us he is there & his troops coming down the red river to him; & that he is preparing to cover that place from Burr. this letter comes by water & is therefore here before those we are to infer are on the road informing us of his having...
Yesterday was sennight I wrote to Reuben Lewis, informing him he might hourly expect his brother there. I meant the next day which was the post day, to have written it to you also, but was in the intervening evening taken with the Autumnal fever so as to be unable to write. the attack was slight, & I am now perfectly recovered, and engaged in taking the repeating doses of bark. We have no...
This will be handed you by mr Brodie, an English gentleman, looking out for a settlement in this country to which he may bring his family, & live in quiet & retirement. he proposes to purchase a farm which he will employ as a grazing farm, merely to give him something to do, depending on other resources for his principal support. he has a preference for our part of the country, & I have...
I inclose a letter for Colo. C. L. Lewis of Buckisland, which, from it’s contents, will justify my asking you to send it by express & without delay. it is left open for your perusal, and you will be so good as to stick a wafer in it. immediately on recieving mr Speer’s directions, I remitted 50. D. to mr Moore of Baltimore for him. I percieve that to make up the 43½ D. you must have put in 12....
I inclose you some newspapers which I will ask the favor of you to keep & return to me when I come home. they will shew you that the best founded hopes of an advantageous accomodation with England may possibly be blasted by our own indiscretions. letters from Monroe to the 20th. of May shewed mr Fox still well disposed in himself, but embarrassed & betraying unexpected hesitations. these were...
Your letter of the 5th. came to hand on the 7th. & at the same time the Enquirer of the 4th. from the two together I derived inexpressible consolation: because while the Enquirer contained a piece which shewed that the other party did not propose, for any thing which had yet past to remove the question from before the tribunal of the public, your letter gave me confidence that if that piece...
It is with an aching heart I take up my pen, & this circumstance must apologise for my interference in the present case. but where every thing which I hold dear in this world is at stake, where the future happiness of our whole family, or their future misery unmixed & unabating, are hanging in even suspence, [it] must be justifiable to urge our rights to a due share of w[eight] in your...
Yours of the 22d. is at hand. there has been not only no new appointment of Consul at Bordeaux, but no idea that there will be a vacancy there. we know that mr Lee has given mortal offence to several of our merchants by refusing to cover foreign vessels under our flag, which he and all the other Consuls are instructed to be particularly vigilant in. he has been very meritoriously so, and his...
I recieved a letter yesterday from Lilly which gives me great disquietude. he has hitherto been on wages of £ 50. and £ 10. additional for the nailery. he writes me that he cannot stay after the present year for less than £ 100. certainly I can never get a man who fulfills my purposes better than he does: and if a moderate advance, as from 60. to £ 75. would have sufficed, I would have given...
Mr. John D. Burke who is writing the history of Virginia, sollicits very strongly the opportunity of examining so much of the collection of laws and newspapers at Monticello as relates to the period between Bacon’s rebellion & 1752. I must therefore get the favor of you to take from the library at Monticello the vols of newspapers from the beginning (1744) to 1752. also that volume of the...
I have learnt with extreme concern the rupture between Craven & Lilly, and percieve that it will become extremely embarassing & prejudicial to my affairs unless it can be made up. this can only be done by an oblivion of the past without going into any enquiry which was most in the wrong. I have pressed this in a conversation with Craven, & I think he may be brought to. I have written with...
I have but a single moment to announce to you the death of Trist at N. Orleans. one letter brought us news of his extreme illness, and another, by the same post, of his death. the situation of his family is to be deplored indeed; and I am afraid they will expect what the public mind will not admit. God bless you all. DLC : Papers of Thomas Jefferson.
I believe I mentioned to you at Monticello that seeing that the case between Peyton & Henderson would branch out into endless different lawsuits if left to take it’s course from every occurrence which might arise I had determined to bring the whole case, with every circumstance belonging to it & every party interested, into one bill and a single suit in Chancery; and I drew a bill accordingly...
The post of last night brings us agreeable information from New Orleans & Natchez. Genl. Wilkinson arrived at N. Orleans from Mobille Nov. 25. settled immediately with Laussat all the circumstances of the delivery, & proceeded next day to Fort Adams, where he would arrive on the 30th. & expect to meet Claiborne there ready for embarcation. on the 29th. Laussat demanded possession of the...
I have been so closely engaged since I came here that I have not had time to write any letter which could be postponed. this place is unusually healthy. some persons from Alexandria have been taken with the fever here & died, without communicating it: so that we consider our rural situation as perfectly exempt from the danger. it seems to get worse in Alexandria, Philadelphia & New York, & so...
The arrival of the treaty of cession of Louisiana last night, and the short day given for ratification (Oct. 30.) will oblige me to call Congress about the middle of that month; & consequently to return here earlier than I had calculated; I shall therefore go home earlier. I think I shall be with you on Friday or Saturday next. my affectionate love to all of you.—the price of Louisiana...
On the evening of the 3d inst. we recieved a letter from mr King (arrived at N. York) covering one from Livingston & Monroe to him in which they informed him that on the 30th. of April they signed a treaty with France, ceding to us the island of N. Orleans and all Louisiana as it had been held by Spain. the price is not mentioned. we are in hourly expectation of the treaty by a special...
As possibly an authentic copy of the decree against Henderson may be wanted at the hearing of his & Peyton’s applications for an order of court for a mill, I have procured one from Richmond & inclose it to you. you will observe the level to which it restores & confirms my right is that at which the water stood at the confines between Henderson & myself , before the erection of his dam. that is...
In a letter of May 2. to mr Peyton I had said to him that if Henderson, counting on the indulgence I have used in leaving his dam hitherto, should propose to sell his 4. acres as a mill seat, I would immediately direct mr Lilly to take down the dam, and I desired mr Peyton to employ counsel & obtain an order for a mill on my part of the lands, but still to act in his own name & keep me out of...
Your’s of May 30. has been recieved. should Brown recover so that the law shall inflict no punishment on Cary, it will be necessary for me to make an example of him in terrorem to others, in order to maintain the police so rigorously necessary among the nailboys. there are generally negro purchasers from Georgia passing about the state, to one of whom I would rather he should be sold than to...