Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Fitzgerald, 3 October 1780

From John Fitzgerald

Alexandria 3d. Octr. 1780.


I yesterday afternoon received your Excellency’s Letter and immediately waited upon Mr. Adam and delivered him the Letters inclosed. We have this Morning laid off the Goods consisting of 45 ps. [pieces] Oznabriggs 5 ps. Drillings 2 ps. coarse white Linen (there being no white Sheeting but what we judged too fine, as it would come at about £30 ⅌ yard) 2 ps. blue and 2 ps. red Duffells, 6 ps. Strip’d Blanketting, and 1 piece Sup fine white Cloth. Also 30 pair Shoes. There are 18 or 20 ps. of Ravens Duck which I judged would be a very necessary Article, especially as there is no brown Sheeting. Mr. Adam and I intended forwarding it with the rest, but upon second thoughts have declined it, untill your further Orders, As it is not Specified either in your Letters or Captain Conway’s. Mr. Adam desires me to inform you that there are about 2 doz. Coarse Hose, and some Castile Soap which he thinks may be wanted for the Troops. The Goods will be packed up and sent over to Mr. Roger’s this Afternoon. I will with pleasure attend to any further orders sent by the Waggons and have the honor to be Your Excellys. Mo Obed Hble Servt.,

John Fitzgerald

NB There are three ps. of Grey Bath Coating if wanted, and 8 or 9 ⅌ Check.

RC (NN). Without indication of addressee, but RC is mounted in an extra-illustrated volume whose provenance (Emmet 13801) supports the evidence given below that the attribution is correct.

Lt. Col. John Fitzgerald, of Alexandria, Va., had served as Gen. Washington’s aide, 1776–1778 (see Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, passim; also Heitman). TJ’s letter here acknowledged and the letters enclosed therein have not been found. It is very likely that the present letter was addressed to TJ (rather than to Washington or another), for in 1781 Fitzgerald performed other missions for TJ in Alexandria. The supplies listed by Fitzgerald may have been for the Virginia troops captured at Charleston and held at Hadrell’s Point, S.C.; a capt. Joseph Conway of the 10th Va. Line was a prisoner there (Gwathmey, Hist. Reg. of Virginians in the Revolution).

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