To James Dinsmore
Washington June 22. 1801.
I have just learned by letters from mr Traquair & mr Jefferson that mr Stewart is gone on, having arrived at Richmond the 17th. inst. so that I presume he is with you by this time. I am rendered uneasy by the account I have of the condition in which he was there. if it be habitual, he could not be trusted with the superintendance of the nailery. Mr. Traquair had once before got alarmed on the same appearance, but hoped from the information he collected that it was accidental. I am glad that not having brought on his family we shall have some opportunity of trying him. in the mean time I wish you to keep in your own hands the transaction of all business with the customers, recieving their orders & seeing to the delivery, keeping the accounts, recieving money &c . as mr Stewart is alone, you will be able to provide for him till I come which will now be in little more than a month. when his family comes on they are to be fixed in the house built for Powel. I send this by the way of Richmond, in hopes you may get it sooner than if I wait the return of our post day from hence. accept my best wishes.
RC (DLC); addressed: “Mr. James Dinsmore Monticello near Milton”; franked. Enclosed in TJ to George Jefferson, 22 June 1801, acknowledging receipt of George Jefferson’s letter of 17 June, and noting that the information it contained on the conduct of William Stewart when he passed through Richmond alarmed TJ and caused him to write the letter above to Dinsmore and to leave it open for George Jefferson’s perusal, with the request that it be forwarded to Monticello as quickly as possible, where Dinsmore “who is worthy of all confidence will supply what is necessary”; Stewart was not expected to go to Virginia until July and therefore no previous orders were given “for his accomodation or conduct” (PrC in MHi; faint; at foot of text: “Mr. George Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso).