Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Jefferson, 31 May 1803

From George Jefferson

Richmond 31st. May 1803

Dear Sir

The last of your Tobacco, excepting the light hogshead, which I suppose will not come to us arrived to day. I am very apprehensive that the heavy rains we have lately had may have injured it. I have been making some little inquiry to day, and am doubtful whether the price of seven dollars can be now obtained without opening it, or at least a few Hhds.—the noise which was made by M. & F. respecting the crop they purchased for Jackson & Wharton, I suspect must have injured the credit of yr. crops. Richard, likewise, who purchased the last crop for the same persons, I am inclined to think has been of no service to them; he says it turned out but tolerably,—yet appears anxious to get the present crop.

Although I disapprove of the practice of opening Tobacco generally, yet under existing circumstances I think it will be advisable to open a few hhds. of yours.—I shall however wait your orders. The current price of transient Hhds is now 33/.—that of good known crops about 40/. yet a few particular Hhds of prime quality, and which it was supposed would suit particular markets, have sold even as high as 50/.!

I am Dear Sir Your Very humble servt.

Geo. Jefferson

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thos. Jefferson esqr.”; endorsed by TJ as received 3 June and so recorded in SJL.

In late 1800, the Richmond firm McMurdo & Fisher purchased TJ’s tobacco crop on behalf of the Philadelphia concern of jackson & wharton and subsequently forwarded the latter firm’s report on the crop’s poor quality. John Richard was Jackson & Wharton’s buyer for TJ’s last crop (Vol. 32:516, 545–7; Vol. 38:430). Richard, who was frequently identified as Richards, moved to Richmond from Philadelphia, where he had handled a number of transactions on behalf of John Barnes and TJ (Vol. 32:64; Vol. 33:289n; Vol. 35:11, 225).

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