Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 23 October 1789

To William Short

Off the Needles. Oct. 23. 1789.

Dear Sir

We are now under way, with a hopeful breeze. The Montgomery for New York on board which is Trumbull, Days, and Mr. Hillhouse, an American goes close along side of us, so that we are in easy conversation with them. Our ships are such equal sailors that we hope to keep together half the voiage if no accident happens. We have agreed on signals of reconnoissance. We go just North of the Western islands and then steer Southwardly. We are a fleet at present of about 30. vessels all detained by contrary winds till yesterday. We are all well as yet and count on 8. or 9. weeks passage. The Pilot is going off so Adieu. Yours affectionately,

Th: Jefferson

P.S. Trumbull desires his compliments.

RC (ViW); endorsed as received 1 Nov. 1789. Entry in SJL shows that “no copy” was retained by TJ; no other entries were made until TJ wrote Short and Cutting in Lynhaven Bay on 21 Nov. 1789.

The Montgomery and the Clermont were close enough for easy conversation, but not close enough for TJ to avoid mistaking the name of Edward Dowse for days: Dowse was a shipmaster engaged in the East Indian and China carrying trade who later became a member of Congress from Massachusetts (see Dowse to TJ, 29 Nov. 1789).

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