Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Gordon, Trokes & Company, 25 July 1809

To Gordon, Trokes & Company

Monticello July 25. 09

Messrs Gordon Trokes & co.

Having desired my relation mr George Jefferson to establish a correspondence for me at Richmond for the supply of my groceries & the terms of paiment to be observed, he informs me he has arranged with you for my supplies, and that paiment shall be made semi-annually. with this I shall accordingly take care to comply. I now, in consequence subjoin a list of articles which I must pray you to send by some trusty boat; mr Jefferson’s knolege of them will enable him to advise you as to their selection—in general I wish mr Randolph’s boat to be preferred when there. this list amounts to about an ordinary quarter’s consumption of 3. months.1 every thing should be packed in the strongest & securest manner to guard against depredation, the expence of which is small in comparison of the ordinary plunder. be so good as to forward an account of the articles sent & their prices. I have to acknolege a preceding reciept of 50.℔ of coffee from you.

I am gentlemen Your most obedt servt

Th: Jefferson

8.℔. best tea. young Hyson usually preferred.

50.℔ coffee (not green) E. India is preferred.

single refined sugar. 12. loaves.

best brown sugar 200.℔.

raisins 10.℔

rice 20.℔

pearl barley 10.℔ crackers. a keg of 20. or 25.℔

spices. 1. oz. cinnamon. 1. oz. mace. 2. oz. nutmeg. 2.℔ black pepper

Syrop of punch. 3. doz. bottles.

best French brandy. a keg of 10. or 15 gallons.

1. best cheese for the table.

1. poorer do for cookery. the rich cheeses do not answer for this

Cod’s tongues & sounds. 1. keg

herrings. 5. barrels of best quality.

salted white shads. 1. barrel of best quality

PoC (MHi); endorsed by TJ.

Gordon, Trokes & Company, a mercantile firm in Richmond, may have been a partnership between Richmond merchant Robert Gordon (ca. 1773–1847) and New York-based merchant Maxwell Trokes, who married Sarah H. Goode of Manchester, Virginia, in August 1809. TJ ended his relationship with the firm in 1811, concerned about his inability to make timely payments. By 1819 Gordon was listed without a partner in a Richmond city directory, and that same year saw the bankruptcy of Trokes, then identified as a Liverpool merchant in partnership with James Frisney Leitch of London and Robert Graham of Manchester, Virginia, in the firm of Maxwell Trokes & Co. (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1264; TJ to Gordon, Trokes & Co., 4 Apr. 1811; Richmond Directory, Register and Almanac, for the Year 1819 [Richmond, 1819], 48; Liverpool Mercury, 13 Sept. 1819; Richmond Enquirer, 20 Aug. 1809, 24 Aug. 1847).

Missing letters of 31 July and 29 Aug. 1809 from Gordon, Trokes & Co. are recorded in SJL as received from Richmond on 8 Aug. and 5 Sept. 1809.

1Sentence interlined.

Index Entries

  • alcohol; French brandy search
  • barley; TJ orders search
  • boats; transfer goods to and from Richmond search
  • brandy; French search
  • cheese; fine search
  • cheese; ordinary search
  • cinnamon search
  • cod; tongues and sounds search
  • coffee; East India search
  • coffee; green search
  • crackers search
  • fish; herring search
  • fish; shad, white search
  • fish; tongues and sounds search
  • food; barley search
  • food; cheese search
  • food; cod tongues and sounds search
  • food; crackers search
  • food; raisins search
  • French brandy search
  • Gordon, Robert; identified search
  • Gordon, Trokes & Company (Richmond firm); and groceries for TJ search
  • Gordon, Trokes & Company (Richmond firm); identified search
  • Gordon, Trokes & Company (Richmond firm); letters from accounted for search
  • Gordon, Trokes & Company (Richmond firm); letters to search
  • herring; TJ orders search
  • Jefferson, George (TJ’s cousin); and goods for TJ search
  • Jefferson, George (TJ’s cousin); payments made for TJ search
  • mace (spice) search
  • nutmeg search
  • pepper; black search
  • punch; syrup of search
  • raisins; TJ orders search
  • rice; TJ orders search
  • Richmond, Va.; boats transfer goods to and from search
  • shad; white search
  • spices; black pepper search
  • spices; cinnamon search
  • spices; mace search
  • spices; nutmeg search
  • sugar; brown search
  • sugar; refined search
  • syrup; of punch search
  • tea; Hyson search
  • Trokes, Maxwell; and Gordon, Trokes & Co. search
  • Trokes, Maxwell; identified search