Thomas Jefferson Papers

Lemuel J. Alston to Thomas Jefferson, 13 February 1810

From Lemuel J. Alston

Washington City Feby 13th 1810—

Dear Sir,

Although I must acknowledge it is with some degree of reluctance, founded alone on a principle of fear that you may consider it rather assuming in me; still from a high sense of your well established benevolence of heart & beneficence of disposition, I take the liberty of requesting the favour of you, if convenient (but not otherwise) to furnish me with a Merino ram Lamb the latter part of next Summer or early in the fall, & in case it should meet your approbation, I will send a careful trusty Servant with a suitable vehicle for his safe conveyance from Montacelo to my residence in So Carolina

I presume one would be scarcely missed out of your Flock, & he would unquestionably [be] found a great acquisition in my part of the Country, which probably is as well adapted to the raising of Sheep as any other section of the southern States, being Situated both high & dry & fanned by the salubrious breezes from the blue Ridge & Saluda Mountains—however as an evidence of it, our Sheep of the common kind thrive well, grow large & afford abundant fleeces of long, but rather coarse wool.

In concluding those few lines, arrogating as they may1 appear, I cannot avoid observing that a donation of the kind would be appreciated in proportion to the consequence of the Donor & am with very high respect

Dear Sir Your Mt Obdt & Devotd Hble Servant

L. J. Alston

RC (DLC); corner torn; endorsed by TJ as received 18 Feb. 1810 and so recorded in SJL.

Lemuel James Alston (1760–1836), a native of North Carolina, settled after the Revolutionary War in Greenville, South Carolina, where he was admitted to the bar and set up a legal practice. He supported the United States Constitution at the South Carolina ratification convention in 1788. Alston sat in the state house of representatives, 1789–90, and in the state senate in 1795 and from 1812 to 1814. He also held the rank of lieutenant colonel in the South Carolina militia, 1794–95 and 1799–1801. Alston served in the United States House of Representatives as a Republican, 1807–11. He sold the roughly eleven thousand acres he had amassed near Greenville in 1815 and moved the following year to Clarke County in what soon became Alabama (N. Louise Bailey and others, eds., Biographical Directory of the South Carolina Senate, 1776–1985 [1986], 1:59–60; Thomas McAdory Owen, History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography [1921], 3:32).

1Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • Alston, Lemuel James; and merino sheep search
  • Alston, Lemuel James; identified search
  • Alston, Lemuel James; letters from search
  • Blue Ridge Mountains search
  • sheep; raised in S.C. search
  • South Carolina; sheep raising in search