To Robert Bailey
Mar. 21. 1802.
Th: Jefferson asks the favor of mr Bailey to accept of some small articles of cloathing for his family, on the score of antient acquaintance. Would it be within the scope of mr Bailey’s plan of gardening for the common market, to make a provision of endive for the ensuing winter, so as to be able to furnish Th:J. with a sallad of endive every day through the winter till the spring sallading should commence, for which Th:J. would send once a week, and preserve the week’s provision here by setting them in earth, to be drawn from day to day fresh, in which way he presumes they would continue good: for which mr Bailey’s market price would be weekly sent to him? he makes the enquiry now because it might possibly be requisite for him to plan his gardening accordingly for some time beforehand. he offers mr Bailey his best wishes for himself, mrs Bailey & family.
PrC (MHi); endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.
ANTIENT ACQUAINTANCE: Bailey, a market gardener in Washington, had lived at Monticello with his family for three years in the 1790s as TJ’s gardener (MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:913; Vol. 28:257n).
According to his financial memoranda, TJ on 19 Mch. 1802 directed John Barnes “to furnish certain clothing for Bailey in charity” to the value of $11.80 (MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1069).