To James Lyle
Philadelphia June 15. 1798.
Having been three times called to this place the last year, and now kept here on a session of 6. months, the expences attending this have so far exceeded what were to have been expected in the ordinary course of things, that they put it out of my power to make the first payment promised in my letter of the last year, in time. I had calculated on one trip only to this place, and a short session as has been usual. I have lately sold my tobacco to mr Hooper in Richmond and now give you an order on him for one thousand dollars payable the 12th. of November, being the term of credit allowed him on the sale. as you will be on the spot & I shall probably be here at that time I thought it best to put the matter into your hands at once. the prospect is that tobacco will continue to rise, and keep high till the supply can once more equal the demand, which it does not now by probably 40,000 hhds a year, and never will again till the new countries get into the business. the efforts I am making to avail myself of that interval, by aiming entirely at tobacco, will I hope enable me to fetch up the paiment to you which is in arrear, so as to compleat my matter within the period proposed. with wishes for your health & life I am with constant & sincere esteem Dear Sir
Your friend & servt
PrC (MHi); at foot of text: “James Lyle esq”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso. Enclosure: order by TJ to Thomas Hooper of Richmond, 15 June 1798, for payment to Lyle as specified above; recorded in TJ’s financial memoranda as “to credit of my bonds to Henderson & McCaul” (PrC in MHi, endorsed by TJ on verso; 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, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends 2:985).