Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Voigt, 30 July 1813

To Thomas Voigt

Monticello July 30. 13.

Sir

Your favor of the 1st inst. is recieved, and I will now ask the favor of you to procure for me such a gold watch as I described in my letter of May 20. that is to say, excellent in it’s quality, but only moderately ornamented, just enough to make it fit for a lady. on a similar occasion of such a watch from your father in 1808.1 mr Short procured for me a chain of Paris gold (in2 several strands of very minute links), price 18.D. and a chrystal seal, not set, but in a solid peice of the form in the margin price 2.D. I should be glad to recieve such now with the watch. mr Short, if in Philadelphia, will more particularly advise you as to the chain and seal. Next as to the mode of sending it, opportunities by a person coming are too rare to be waited for: but I think it may come safely by the mail if properly packed, first in a tin box well lined with cotton, and something within3 the top to guard the chrystal particularly, and keep it from ever jarring against the top of the box: the tin box to be put between 2. pieces of paste board of the size of an ordinary letter, well stuffed also with cotton, and put under an ordinary paper cover addressed to me. if you could besides this get a trusty passenger to take it on to Fredericksbg, and there put it into the post office with directions to send it by the mail stage, not the horse mail it would be more safe: tho’ I believe it might be safely committed at once to the mail at Philadelphia. I desire, by this post, Gibson and Jefferson of Richmond to pay your draught on them to the amount of 130.D. or on your application to remit you the money. let me hear from you, if you please when you forward the watch. Accept my respects.

Th: Jefferson

RC (PPAmP: Thomas Jefferson Papers); addressed: “Mr Thomas Voigt Watchmaker 44. N. 7th street Philadelphia”; frank and part of postmark clipped; postmarked Milton, […] Aug. PoC (MHi); endorsed by TJ.

Late in 1807 TJ asked Henry Voigt (your father) to help him procure a gold watch for his granddaughter. The timepiece was likely a gift for Ann C. Randolph (Bankhead), who would celebrate her seventeenth birthday in January 1808. The elder Voigt procured the watch at a cost of $85 from Chaudron & Company, the firm from which William Short also purchased the chain of paris gold and chrystal seal (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1218; TJ to Henry Voigt, 3 Dec. 1807, receipt from Chaudron & Company, 18 Dec. 1807, and Voigt to TJ, 19 Dec. 1807 [all MHi]; Short to TJ, 28 Apr. 1808, and TJ to Short, 5 May 1808 [both DLC]). The watch now being ordered was for TJ’s granddaughter Ellen W. Randolph (Coolidge), who would turn seventeen years old in October 1813 (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1291).

1TJ here canceled “I had procured.”

2Word interlined in place of “to wit.”

3Word interlined in place of “on.”

Index Entries

  • Bankhead, Ann (Anne) Cary Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter; Charles Lewis Bankhead’s wife); gold watch for search
  • Chaudron & Company (Philadelphia firm) search
  • clocks; watch chain and seal search
  • clocks; watches for TJ’s grandchildren search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); gold watch for search
  • Gibson & Jefferson (Richmond firm); payments made for TJ search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Family & Friends; relations with grandchildren search
  • Short, William; and watch chain and seal search
  • Voigt, Henry; and watch for A. C. Randolph (Bankhead) search
  • Voigt, Thomas; and watch for E. W. Randolph (Coolidge) search
  • Voigt, Thomas; letters to search