Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Sir John Sinclair, 22 June 1801

From Sir John Sinclair

Charlotte Square Edinbg 22d June 1801

Dr Sir

I have the pleasure to congratulate you, on Your attaining the first situation to which any private individual can aspire, and which I have no doubt of Your filling, with credit to yourself, and advantage to your Country.—

You will now have it in your power, to promote that Agricultural system to which you are so partial, and I hope to see, under your auspices, a Board of Agriculture established in America. For some thoughts on that subject, I beg to refer, to the Advertisement perfixed to General Washingtons letters published by me.

I hope you have received the copies of that work which were directed to you, and that you have given directions for circulating the proposals which accompanied them. A Century or two hence, a copy of it, must be a singular and valuable curiosity, more especially should the art of making facsimile copies be lost.

I now beg leave to inclose, the plan of a New Town I am erecting in the North of Scotland, where you will see the place destined for the monument of General Washington—

I have the honour to be, with much truth and regard, Dr Sir Your faithful & obdt Servant

John Sinclair

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 13 Oct. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: “Plan of the New Town of Thurso, in the County of Caithness, North Britain now Building on the Property of Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster, Bart.,” previously enclosed by Sinclair in 1799 (see Vol. 31:91).

The eight-page advertisement at the beginning of the volume of Washington’s letters that Sinclair published praised Washington’s interest in agricultural improvements, quoted from his endorsement of the British Board of Agriculture, and applauded his efforts to establish a similar institution in the United States (Letters from His Excellency George Washington, President of the United States of America, to Sir John Sinclair, Bart. M.P. on Agricultural, and Other Interesting Topics [London, 1800], 9–16). Sinclair enclosed a copy of the publication, which included eight letters written by Washington to Sinclair between October 1792 and November 1797, in his letter to TJ of 6 June 1800. Facsimile copies: in the edition, Washington’s letters were “engraved, in order to represent the hand writing of their celebrated author” (same, 15).

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