Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Hoomes, 5 January 1801

From John Hoomes

Richmond Jany 5th 1801

Dear Sir

I saw Mr. Eppes a few days ago who informed me you were in want of an elegant saddle horse, I have one to dispose of, that I purchased for a friend in Philadelphia; my anziety to get that gentleman a very fine horse prevented my making a purchase for him so soon as he wished, & he has supplyed himself there, for which reason this horse is for sale. I think him the finest horse I Know in the state, he is 7 years old, near 16 hands high, a very fine presence, gay, but perfectly gentle, & his colour bay. If I rightly recollect the roan horse you formerly rode, this is his equal if not his superior. I gave 81£ this currency for him, have been at some expence, in sending for, & keeping him, & suppose he stands me about $300 for which sum you may have him; before I was authorized to sell him a gentleman from S. Carolina who called at my house offered me $400 for him I have rode him but a very small distance never more (perhaps) than half a mile on a good road, that I can only say he trotted & galloped that distance, extreamly well, all who see him are delighted with the horse, & suppose he would answer well your purpose, any derections that you think proper to give shall be attended to by

Dear Sir Yr Hble Sevt

John Hoomes

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 9 Jan. and so recorded in SJL.

TJ authorized John Wayles Eppes to purchase a horse for him with bills on Gibson & Jefferson at ninety days (TJ to George Jefferson, 7 June 1800). TJ replied to Hoomes on 12 Jan. that he relied completely on Hoomes’s judgment that the horse proposed was “equal in form to old Tarquin (the roan)” and that he acceded to the proposition of taking him at $300 if the terms suited. TJ’s need was “not at all pressing.” TJ also added: “Our political horizon here is like a March day, changing from dry to cloudy, stormy & clear again from hour to hour. nobody knows today what will be the measure of tomorrow, much less of the 11th. of Febr[uary]” (PrC in DLC; at foot of text: “Colo. John Hoomes”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso). Hoomes responded on 16 Jan. 1801 agreeing to the terms of payment for the horse that TJ proposed and remarking, “from appearance he is a very fine horse indeed & I think will suit you well, his size, shape & figure is equal (if not superior) to any horse I ever saw.” Because of the poor condition of the roads, Hoomes promised to have a servant rather than a stage deliver the animal. He also expressed concern about the election, exclaiming in exasperation: “have I lived to see the day that there are a party in this Infant Country who wish to usurp the Government, can they be so lost to shame, can they be so base & wicked & so regardless of their own real interest & safety as not to fear the vengeance of an enraged & neglected people” (RC in MHi; endorsed by TJ as received 21 Jan. and so recorded in SJL).

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