Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Daniel L. Hylton, 9 February 1791

To Daniel L. Hylton

Philadelphia Feb. 9. 1791

Dear Sir

Understanding that tobacco continues low in Virginia, whereas the price here for the best is about a guinea, I wish to make an experiment of bringing some of mine here. I have nobody at Richmond to act for me, and therefore on looking about for a friend to execute this commission, I feel a confidence in your being so good as to do it. I would wish to have 20 hogsheads sent to me by the first possible conveyance, because they are at present in want here, and as the river is now open they will soon get their supply. I would wish one half of it to be of the Albemarle and the other of the Bedford crops. In the last there are two qualities, to wit, some which was hurt by the fire, and the rest good. I should like a hhd. or two of the fired part merely as an experiment of this market. However if there be not of the three kinds enough already got down to allow choice, send 20. hhds. of such as is down. I am so little of a merchant as to know nothing of the expences necessary to be paid there. All that can be paid here, I would chuse should be drawn for on me: and for what must be paid of necessity there, I will return you a bank post note by the same post which brings me your information of what it should be. Be so good as to inform me by the first post whether this commission can be executed immediately, or when I may expect it. Present my respects to Mrs. Hylton and accept assurances of the esteem and attachment of Dr. Sir Your friend & servt,

Th: Jefferson

P.S. If this adventure succeeds I think of having the residue of my crop brought here, which renders dispatch in the first essay, important.

PrC (MHi).

The above, together with TJ to Nathaniel Colley, 9 Feb. 1791, was enclosed in another of the same date to James Brown (missing). Robert Coventry acknowledged the last on 17 Feb. 1791, the evening of its arrival: “I expect to see Mr. D. Hylton tomorrow when I shall deliver him your letter with the order for the 20 hhds. Tobacco, and he will inform you how soon he can send it round to Philadelphia; but I am afraid this severe weather may prevent any Vessell from getting to Philada. for some time. I expect to forward your letter tomorrow to Capt. Colley by a safe conveyance.—Mr. Brown is at Norfolk dispatching some ships for Europe, or he would have done himself the pleasure of answering your letter by this Post” (RC in MHi; endorsed by TJ as received 26 Feb. 1791 and so recorded in SJL).

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