Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Samuel Clarke, 10 July 1798

From Samuel Clarke

Staunton July 10th. 1798

Dear Sir.

I herewith enclose a Statement of our acct. by which you will find the balance in your favr. to be £90.18.8.½ I am truly sorry I have it not in my power to remit you the whole, or any part thereof at this time. at least one half of it is yet to collect & although it is in good hands, the Scarcity of money renders it extremely dificult to be come at, you may however rest assured, that I will use every industry, to raise & forward it as soon as possible, In mean time I will write my brother who has the Management of my Store in Amherst to raise what money he can for you by the first of Augt. he has but Just return’d from Market consequently will require a little time, to collect

I am with Esteem & Respect Your Obdt. Hble. Servt.

Saml. Clarke

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr.”; endorsed by TJ as received 12 July 1798 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found, but see below.

When TJ determined in 1796 to sell nails through merchants at Milton, Charlottesville, and Staunton, Samuel Clarke undertook the sales at Staunton. TJ prepared his own statement of the account between them, recording casks of a variety of sizes of nails sold to Clarke between 29 Feb. 1796 and 13 Sep. of the following year, offset by cash, by Clarke’s assumption of payments to others, by his paying for transportation of some of the nails, and by his five percent commission on sales. On 19 Mch. 1798 TJ credited Clarke for more than £124 for the value of nails delivered to John McDowell, who took over the sales in Staunton. TJ’s final entry in his statement of account notes the balance in his favor acknowledged above by Clarke. It was nine years before Clarke could remit the last of the funds due to TJ (statement of account in MHi, entirely in TJ’s hand, final entry and total added in pencil; 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 , 2:939, 942, 944, 947, 949, 950, 953, 958, 969, 970, 988, 1211; TJ to Archibald Stuart, 3 Jan. 1796).

None of TJ’s previous correspondence with this Samuel Clarke, which according to SJL consisted of 34 letters exchanged between 11 Mch. 1796 and 1 June 1798, has been found.

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