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Thomas Jefferson to Patrick Gibson, 6 October 1813

To Patrick Gibson

Monticello Oct. 6. 13.

Dear Sir

In my letter of Aug. 10. I informed you I should draw on you from Bedford for 600.D. in favor of Brown & Robertson. this I accordingly did; and from the same place made three other draughts in favor of the sheriff of Bedford for 111.D. Nimrod Darnell 50.D. & Jeremiah A. Goodman 37.50 D it is questionable however whether this last will be called for. in the same letter I mentioned that I should have occasion to draw in Sep. for about 600.D. and in Octob. for about 300.D. to answer existing calls. accordingly on the 4th inst. I drew in favor of Craven Peyton for 483.34 & of D. Higginbotham for 50.D. and on the 5th for 138.43 in favor of William Garth Depy sheriff of Albemarle for taxes; and I have to ask the favor of you to send me by post 300.D. which may be in 2. bills of 100.D each & the rest 20s & 10s and also to remit for me 25.D. to Gales & Seaton editors of the National Intelligencer at Washington. some small draughts will still remain to be made which will carry me beyond the estimate of my letter of Aug. 10. and will render it necessary at the next renewal of my note in bank, to add to it 500.D. to cover these draughts.

The unfortunate loss on my flour of the last year by the blockade & consequent fall of price, is seriously felt, and is much aggravated by the calamitous drought of the present year; such an one as has never been seen since the year 1755. we were 5. months from the 14th of April without rain to lay the dust, except a small one in May. this has reduced our crops both of wheat & corn to about a third of an ordinary one, and the latter being insufficient for the subsistence of our families, we shall have to buy, & probably at a high price. in Bedford I have been less unfortunate. tho’ they had considerable droughts, they make bread for subsistence, a midling crop of wheat & some tobacco. I suppose I shall have to send you from both places about 400. barrels of flour. that from Bedford is ordered to be got down in all October & November. from this place it will not go so soon; but all will be down before Christmas. I think this the more essential, because, believing that the enemy cannot remain in the bay during the winter, I think all produce, which gets down in time, may be exported in the months of Dec. Jan. & Feb. subject only to the ordinary war-risks of capture, which will still admit it’s bearing a reasonable price. there is no fear of their being permitted to lie in Hampton roads, should they even attempt it. this loss of 2. years crops by the blockade & drought is very afflicting to me in it’s consequences, in still obliging me to trespass on the indulgence of the bank & of yourself. of the last crop half the price was lost, and in the present year, from 800. bushels of wheat sown, I had a right to expect as many barrels of flour, and am cut short one half by the drought. the remedy must be to make no new money engagements but for bread, and work out the existing ones as fast as the circumstances of the war will permit us. Accept the assurance of my great esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (ViU: TJP); at foot of first page: “Mr Gibson”; endorsed by TJ as a letter to Gibson & Jefferson and so recorded in SJL.

TJ issued draughts in favor of Brown & Robertson on 27 Aug., the sheriff of Bedford County (“for taxes now paiable”) and Jeremiah A. Goodman (“for cotton to be used only if he finds a favorable purchase”) on 9 Sept., and Nimrod Darnil on 12 Sept. 1813. On 4–5 octob. he settled his corn account with Craven Peyton, returned money he had borrowed from David Higginbotham, and paid his Albemarle County taxes (TJ to Archibald Robertson, 27 Aug. 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 , 2:1292–3).

Presumably about this same time, late in the summer or early in the autumn of 1813, TJ compiled a note summarizing the portions of the Virginia General Assembly’s 20 Feb. 1813 “Act imposing Taxes for the support of Government” pertaining to land, slaves, carriages, and mills (MS at MHi; entirely in TJ’s hand; undated; based on Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1812–13 sess.], 3–4).

A missing letter from Higginbotham to TJ of 12 Sept. 1813 is recorded in SJL as received 15 Sept. 1813 from Milton.

Index Entries

  • Bank of Virginia (Richmond); TJ’s loan from search
  • Brown & Robertson (Lynchburg firm); TJ’s account with search
  • Chesapeake Bay; British blockade of search
  • corn; at Monticello search
  • Darnil (Darnell; Darniel; Darnold), Nimrod; TJ pays search
  • flour; price of search
  • flour; transported to Richmond search
  • Gales & Seaton (Washington firm); and the National Intelligencer search
  • Garth, William; as deputy sheriff search
  • Gibson, Patrick; and currency for TJ search
  • Gibson, Patrick; and TJ’s bank note search
  • Gibson, Patrick; and TJ’s flour search
  • Gibson, Patrick; letters to search
  • Gibson, Patrick; payments made for TJ search
  • Goodman, Jeremiah Augustus; TJ pays search
  • Higginbotham, David; letters from accounted for search
  • Higginbotham, David; TJ pays search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; loan from Bank of Virginia search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; pays taxes search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); corn crop at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); wheat crop at search
  • National Intelligencer (Washington newspaper); TJ’s account with search
  • Peyton, Craven; account with TJ search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); tobacco grown at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); wheat grown at search
  • Richmond, Va.; Bank of Virginia search
  • Richmond, Va.; flour prices at search
  • Richmond, Va.; flour shipped to search
  • taxes; direct search
  • taxes; TJ pays search
  • tobacco; grown at Poplar Forest search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search
  • Virginia; wartime taxation in search
  • weather; drought search
  • weather; effect on crops search
  • weather; rain search
  • wheat; at Monticello search
  • wheat; at Poplar Forest search
  • wheat; effect of weather on search