Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to the Board of Trade, 10 December 1779

To the Board of Trade

In Council Dec. 10th. 1779.

The inclosed resolution for purchasing Slaves to carry on the West Ham Foundary is transmitted to your Board to be carried into execution, as the care of those works rests with you.

Th: Jefferson

P.S. Since writing the above another resolution of Assembly is come to hand for purchasing Iron of Mr. Ross. I inclose it to you with a Copy of his Letter proposing the supply, and Governour Henrys Answer.

Th. J.

Tr in Board of Trade Journal (Vi). Enclosures: Resolutions of Assembly of 3 Dec. 1779; these follow the text of the letter and are printed with the present letter in Official Letters description begins Official Letters of the Governors of the State of Virginia, ed. H. R. McIlwaine description ends , ii, 74. The copies of the letter of David Ross and Gov. Henry’s reply have not been further identified.

For the recommendations of the Board of War concerning the public foundry, see Board of War to TJ, 16 Nov. 1779, first letter from the Board of that date. As a result of these recommendations, the House resolved on 3 Dec. that the foundry should be continued and that the governor be empowered to purchase slaves for work there and carry into execution the contract with David Ross (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Oct. 1779, 1827 edn., p. 78). TJ’s reason for transmitting these resolutions to the Board of Trade instead of to the Board of War is not clear. The following minute appears in the Board of Trade Journals, immediately after this letter: “The Management of the Public Foundary at West Ham has ever been understood as under the direction of the board of War, but the Instructions above from the Executive being so pointed it becomes the Duty of the Board to carry them into execution in the best manner possible.”

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