Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Martha Jefferson Carr, 19 October 1793

To Martha Jefferson Carr

Monticello Oct. 19. 1793.

Dear Sister

I recieved your letter in which you were so kind as to inform me what kinds of supplies might be useful to our sister Marks, and I meant when I should make a purchase of stores for myself in Philadelphia to bring here, to have got some for her also. But the infectious fever which took place there, drove us all away very suddenly, and made it too dangerous to go into the city to purchase: so that I came away without having got any thing for myself. I have therefore thought it would be best to give her a credit with some merchant near her to furnish whatever she may call for. But knowing no merchant in her neighborhood, or whether there may be any, I inclose you a letter of credit for her, in hopes you will direct it to some merchant most likely to carry my wishes into a friendly execution. Knowing nothing of the influence of her husband over her, or of his dispositions, I leave to you to take any precautions, for her or myself, which your better knowlege of circumstances may dictate.

I satisfied Mr. Myers on the subject of your order. Mr. Eppes who has the management of a very large execution for Mr. Wayles’s executors, has given me hopes that I shall be able soon to furnish what the present state of your family might find convenient. I rejoice to hear you are likely to become our neighbor. I hope in January to be fixed here myself. My love to your family and am Dear Sister Your affectionate brother

Th: Jefferson

PrC (CSmH); at foot of text: “Mrs. Carr.” Tr (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); 19th-century copy. Enclosure: Letter of Credit to Anna Scott Jefferson Marks, 19 Oct. 1793: “I promise to pay to the bearer hereof, on or before the 15th. day of April next, the price of any goods he may have delivered in consequence hereof to Mrs. Anna Scott Marks, on her own order or on that of Mrs. Martha Carr; the account of the same being certified to be just by either of them” (PrC in DLC, signed by TJ; Tr in ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers, 19th-century copy; not recorded in SJL).

Mrs. Carr’s letter was dated 8 May 1793 (see note to TJ to Mrs. Carr, 14 Apr. 1793). Her brief Order of 10 Oct. 1793 asked TJ “to pay to Mr. Myers the Sum of fifty five Pounds Eightteen shillings and two pence” (RC in Vi: Carr-Cary Papers; at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Sec. of State”; with subjoined note in TJ’s hand: “Oct. 14. 1793. Accepted to be paid in Richmd. the last day of November next Th: Jefferson”; recorded in SJL as received 14 Oct. 1793, with the notation “by Myers. Order”).

Earlier this year TJ had honored Mrs. Carr’s 2 Feb. 1793 bill of exchange on William Austin for £10.5 Virginia currency or $34.16 (MS in same; consisting of second set of exchange, in Austin’s hand, signed by Mrs. Carr; at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr. Philadelphia”; with subjoined note by TJ: “Mar. 9. 1793. Accepted to be paid the 4th. of April. Th: Jefferson”; with note on verso by Austin assigning the payment to the Philadelphia mercantile firm of Lott & Higbee; endorsed by TJ: “Carr Martha”). See also 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 in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends 9 Mch., 5 Apr. 1793; and TJ to Mrs. Carr, 14 Apr. 1793.

A letter from Mrs. Carr of 9 May 1794, recorded in SJL as received from “Bear castle” on 17 May 1794, has not been found.

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