Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Edward Dowse, 4 March 1793

From Edward Dowse

Ostend 4th. March 1793


Herewith will be deliver’d to you a Table Sett of China contain’d in Two Boxes, which I had made for you at Canton, agreeably to your Excellency’s desire, when I had the pleasure to see you at the Isle of Wight in the year 89.

It is so long ago, that possibly you may have supplied yourself already, or the China may not be executed to your liking, in either case, I beg you would not think it necessary to retain it; but send it back to me at Boston, where I expect to be in about two months from this; and I shall not draw upon you for the amount, untill you inform me that China is entirely to your liking. I am, with great respect, Sir, Your Most Obedient Servant

Edward Dowse

PS As I shall sell my Ship at Ostend, I am obliged to send you the China by the way of Charleston So. C.

RC (DLC); at foot of first page: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire Secretary &c. &c”; endorsed by TJ as received 15 July 1793 and so recorded in SJL. Filed with the RC is an undated list by Dowse of 512 pieces of china headed “Governour Jefferson’s Sett,” at the bottom of which, evidently at a different time, Dowse wrote: “Paid Synchong for this service of Porcelane £79. 19. 4 Lawful Money. Received of Govr. Jefferson the above sum in full. Edward Dowse.”

TJ’s memorandum books record no payments to or from Dowse either before or after he received this letter, and Dowse’s puzzling notation on the above list is probably a later acknowledgment that TJ had returned the set (MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, forthcoming as part of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 18 July 1793; TJ to Dowse, 26 July 1793, and Dowse to TJ, 29 Aug. 1793).

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