Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Leiper, 9 October 1800

From Thomas Leiper

Philada. Octr. 9th 1800

Dear Sir

I received you very kind favor of the 26th Ult but too late to answer by last post—I am very much obliged for the offer of your Crop of Tobacco and more especially as you offer me a Credit till April—My letters from Richmond of the 18th Ult: Quote Tobacco of the first Quality at 26/ pr Ct. your Currency—and the common Run at 24/ pr Ct. Six months interest will make it 33/5 our Currency and the freight and Charges to Philadelphia 40/11. I will notwithstand give for your Crop of Tobacco delivered in good order in Philadelphia Six Dollars per Ct.—I will also take the Crops of Tobacco you mention for Four or Five years at One Guinea pr Ct. delivered in Richmond and if delivered in Philadelphia the freight, insurance & charges to Philadelphia. my reason for making my price at Richmond I expect the freight and insurance will be two thirds less—in a year or two than it is at present—I will engage to take your Tobacco at any time but as I cannot use them before the month of September I will not engage to pay for them before that period and should I not be able to pay then I will oblige myself to pay at the Rate of Six pr Ct. pr Annum untill the money is paid you obliging yourself to deliver me Albemarle Tobaccos equal in Quality to those I have heretofore received of you—Should Mrs. Keys or any of your neighbours whom you know of your own knowledge make good Tobacco and approve of the Terms I will take from One to Two Hundred Hhds pr Annum—I could wish also to have a promise that the Tobacco should be Cured without Smoke and when Packed into Hhds. the Plants should be selected the first Quality into One Hhd and those of an inferiour Quality into Another—Your opinion is perfectly correct as it respects Pennsylvania the people of 1776 think all alike and see as much necessity for being unanimous now as they were then—Our Ward Elections for inspectors of the election is Over and we have a majority of One some say [Two this] gives us an opportunity of appointing the Judges [which] is a point we have not gained since the Revolution. I informed Mr Dallas you had offered me you Crop of Tobo. and that I was going to write you respecting the price and that if he could give me any thing clever to inform you in the political line perhaps I might procure it One Dollar less pr Ct. Tell him from me we shall have a legal election in Pennsylvania for President & Vice President. Thomas Cooper was enlarged yesterday I had a Visit from him this morning and intend to Dine with him at 9 oclock he is in good health & spirits I am Dr Sir Your most Obedient St.

Thomas Leiper

RC (MHi); torn at seal, with words in brackets supplied from FC; franked and postmarked; addressed: “The Honble. Thomas Jefferson Vice Presedent of the U: States Monticello Virginia”; endorsed by TJ as received 16 Oct. and so recorded in SJL. FC (Lb in Leiper Papers, Friends of Thomas Leiper House, on deposit at PPL).

Thomas Leiper (1745–1825) was born in Scotland, educated in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and emigrated to America in 1763 after the death of his father. He served in the First Troop of Light-Horse in Philadelphia and the Jersey campaigns during the American Revolution and afterwards in the Whiskey Rebellion. Leiper became a wealthy tobacco merchant and landowner, first entering the tobacco business in Philadelphia through the employ of his cousin, Gavin Hamilton, but later venturing into business on his own. He advertised as a tobacconist in the 17 Oct. Philadelphia Aurora, in which he announced that his wares were newly available from No. 274 Market Street. An owner of two snuff mills on Crum Creek for more than twenty years, and a new tobacco manufactory, Leiper offered for sale a variety of tobaccos, cigars, and snuff (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; S. Gordon Smyth, Thomas Leiper: Lieutenant of Light Horse, Patriot and Financier in the Revolution; and Pioneer in the Development of Industries and Inland Commerce in Pennsylvania [Conshohocken, Pa., 1900], 7–8).

TJ’s favor of the 26th ult., recorded in SJL, has not been found.

In an act of 1 Mch., the Pennsylvania legislature increased the number of wards to fourteen and stipulated that two inspectors of the election be chosen for each ward. Republicans adroitly established ward committees to their political advantage as the way of nominating all candidates for city office (Tinkcom, Republicans and Federalists, description begins Harry Marlin Tinkcom, The Republicans and Federalists in Pennsylvania 1790–1801: A Study in National Stimulus and Local Response, Harrisburg, 1950 description ends 260).

Thomas Cooper had been imprisoned for six months for libel against John Adams (Vol. 31:492–3n).

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