Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Newton, 16 October 1801

From Thomas Newton

Norfolk Octr 16—1801—

Dr Sir

A Vessel from New Orleans—putting in here in distress having some Shrubs & curiosities on board for you, on application of the Capt. I have taken them & now forward them by Capt Willis’s Packet, they are, images dug up very high on the Missisipi & I hope will tend to some discoveries of the original settlement of this Country. the charges on them I have paid as below. it gives me pleasure to inform you that the decease which prevaild here among strangers has greatly abated, the settled inhabitants used to our climate are, generally very healthy. I have ingaged 4 barrels & more if it can be made by a Mr Caral of hughes crab cider for you, to be beat in Decr. it is to be very fine as I am promised. my best wishes attend you

yrs respectfully

Thos Newton

Be pleased give directions to have the above articles recd at Alexandria—

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 22 Oct. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) Invoice, Captain Moses Tibbetts to Newton, 15 Oct. 1801, for $8 freight on two boxes and $12 freight on a box of trees, all sent to TJ from New Orleans on the brig Sophia, plus 75 cents for storage in Norfolk (MS in same; in a clerk’s hand, with acknowledgment of receipt of payment from Newton signed by Tibbetts). (2) Receipt from Abel Willis, Norfolk, 16 Oct., for three boxes placed in his care by Newton to be delivered to TJ or his agent at Alexandria on payment of freight charges (MS in same, in Willis’s hand and signed by him).

Shrubs: young pecan and orange trees that Daniel Clark sent to TJ from New Orleans. The curiosities were two statues of Native American origin sent to TJ by Morgan Brown of Tennessee, plus castings of an Indian tobacco pipe Clark sent from Louisiana. Clark had dispatched the trees and antiquities in July on the Sophia with Philadelphia as the intended destination. Abel Willis regularly sailed between Norfolk and Alexandria in the sloop Eliza (Simmons’s Norfolk Directory [Norfolk, 1801], 69; Vol. 31:195–6, 593; Daniel Clark to TJ, 20 July 1801).

Mr. Caral may have been John Carrel, a Norfolk house joiner (Simmons’s Norfolk Directory, 12). For TJ’s interest in obtaining cider made from the Hughes crabapple, see his letter to Newton of 7 May and Newton’s replies of 13 and 16 May.

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