Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to David Gelston, 19 August 1803

To David Gelston

Monticello Aug. 19. 03.


I have duly recieved your favor of the 12th. and thank you for your attention to the wine & nuts, as well as your purpose of forwarding them on to Washington which is exactly what I wish. being a stranger to the ceremonies requisite from the owner on an importation, I shall be ready to comply with all requisite formalities on your being so good as to inform me what they are, as also to have paiment made of duties & all charges on like information of their amount. it is a French wine called Hermitage, cost at Marseilles 4. francs a bottle (50. bottles). no invoice has come to hand. these circumstances may perhaps enable you to ascertain the duties. Accept my friendly and respectful salutations.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); at foot of text: “David Gelston esq.”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

In his list of wines purchased during his presidency, TJ recorded paying $4.37½ for customs duties on the Hermitage and $4.75 for freight (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 , 2:1116).

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