Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Roberts & Jones, 13 June 1802

To Roberts & Jones

Washington June 13. 1802.


Having occasion to have a piece of work executed at Monticello which requires the very toughest iron it is possible to find, and some of the best German steel, I will pray you to send me a quarter ton of iron of the toughest quality you can procure, among which let there be 2. bars from 1½ I. to 1⅝ I. square, the rest of smaller bars, some flat, some square; & also 100. ℔. best German steel.—the last supply of nailrod & hoop iron got safely to hand, and mr Barnes will remit for it at maturity. let the above articles be immediately shipped to Gibson & Jefferson to be forwarded to Monticello. accept my friendly respects & best wishes.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); at foot of text: “Messrs. Roberts & Jones”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

Joseph Roberts (ca. 1766–1802), a Philadelphia ironmonger, had been supplying TJ with nailrod since at least 1797. In 1800 he formed a partnership with Benjamin Jones to sell a variety of metal goods. After Roberts died in October 1802, Jones organized a new firm that subsequently filled TJ’s iron orders. From 21 Apr. 1797 to 24 June 1802, TJ recorded in SJL almost 40 letters to or from Roberts or the firm of Roberts & Jones, but this is the only one that has been found (Philadelphia Gazette & Daily Advertiser, 14 Jan. 1800; Gazette of the United States, 2 Nov. 1802; 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 , 2:964; TJ to Benjamin Jones, 6 Dec. 1802; TJ to Jones & Howell, 15 Dec. 1802).

For the LAST SUPPLY of iron for the Monticello nailery, see TJ to George Jefferson, 10 April 1802, and George Jefferson to TJ, 3 May 1802.

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