Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Robert Gilmor & Company, 1 May 1791

To Robert Gilmor & Company

Philadelphia May 1. 1791.


I am just informed that there is arrived at Baltimore addressed to you by Mr. Cathalan of Marseilles 6. barrrels containing Olive trees, and a chest containing olives to sow, for me. I must beg the favor of you to send them by the first vessel to Charleston (S. C.) addressed ‘to Messieurs Brailsford & Morris for Mr. Drayton.’ As the success of this endeavour to introduce the culture of the olive tree into the U. S. depends on the plants arriving at their destination in due season, and that is now passing fast away, I must beg your attention to send them by the very first vessel bound from your port to that. Any expences which may not be payable at the port of delivery according to usage, I will answer on your notifying them to me. I have the honour to be Gentlemen Your most obedt. humble servt,

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Messrs. Robert Gilmor & co.” Enclosure: TJ to Guide, 1 May 1791.

Robert Gilmor & Co. responded to the above on 3 May 1791, saying that the letter enclosed for Guide would be given him the next day; that, as directed by Cathalan, they immediately shipped the olives and olive trees to Brailsford & Morris by the Fanny, Capt. Vickery, with instructions to deliver them to Drayton; that she would sail with the first wind; that they had given particular directions to Capt. Vickery “to take care of them and to give them the air” when weather permitted; and that no expenses had been incurred there (RC in MHi; endorsed by TJ as received 6 May 1791 and so recorded in SJL).

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