Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Joshua Fry, 8 March 1795

To Joshua Fry

Monticello Mar. 8. 95

Dear Sir

Your favor of Feb. 25. came to hand ten days ago. I mentioned, if you recollect, that Hopkins would come here if [three] persons would take each of them a patent licence (at £50.) [each?] or if one would undertake the business on partnership account. The former was what I should have undertaken, as I meditated to have the whole benefit proceeding from my own timber. Since you were here, Mr. [Stewart] was with me, and being in a similar situation with yourself, is about determining to engage in the same business, if a third can be found. I will then immediately write to Hopkins to come at the time they shall chuse. I have had some conversation with Mr. Wilson Nicholas on the subject, who is in your situation also, having much land to clear. The idea was new to him but he seemed to like it. Should a third offer here, I will let you know it. Should you find a third, let me know it, and I will write immediately. I am with great esteem Dr. Sir Your friend & servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); badly blurred and faded; at foot of text: “Joshua Fry esq.”

Joshua Fry (b. ca. 1760), the grandson and namesake of the surveyor and College of William and Mary professor who collaborated with TJ’s father in preparing the 1751 Fry-Jefferson map of Virginia, was a teacher and Revolutionary War veteran who represented Albemarle County for one term in the House of Delegates, 1785–86, and moved shortly thereafter to Kentucky (Slaughter, Fry description begins Philip Slaughter, Memoir of Col. Joshua Fry …, Richmond, 1880 description ends , 42; WMQ, description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892- description ends 1st ser., x [1902], 259; Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia 1776–1918 …, Richmond, 1918 description ends , 21; Charles Kerr, William E. Connelley, and E. M. Coulter, History of Kentucky, 5 vols. [Chicago, 1922], i, 306).

Fry’s favor of Feb. 25., recorded in SJL as received two days later, has not been found.

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