Thomas Jefferson Papers

James Monroe to Thomas Jefferson, 7 March 1810

From James Monroe

Albemarle March 7. 1810.

Dear Sir

A Mr Easterley who reminds me of a conversation with him in London some years past, has requested me to make known to you a project of his for converting our tobo & corn stalks, to a purpose of great publick utility, as well as private emolument, and likewise to introduce to you Mr Burroughs his agent. I have thought that I could not better promote his object than by enclosing his letter to me, to you, by Mr Burroughs. I have made an experiment under his auspices to day on a small scale, tho’, as the weather was unfavorable, I could not attend the process to a conclusion, I cannot as yet pronounce1 on the profit to be expected from it. The process however is so simple, and so easily managed, that I am induc’d to believe that it will be found to be, a discovery of real advantage to our country. Mr Easterley, was I think made known to me,2 by some person of credit, as one deserving of attention for his information & moral character; tho my recollection is too indistinct on this point, to allow me to be very explicit on it.

I am dear Sir with great respect & esteem yr friend & servt

Jas Monroe

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 7 Mar. 1810 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

On 5 Feb. 1810 George Easterly, of Richmond, received a patent for his procedure for converting tobo & corn stalks into barilla, an impure alkali used in the manufacture of glass, soap, and soda (List of Patents description begins A List of Patents granted by the United States from April 10, 1792, to December 31, 1836, 1872 description ends , 78; OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

1Monroe here canceled “either.”

2Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • barilla search
  • Burroughs, Mr. search
  • corn; stalks search
  • Easterly, George; J. Monroe recommends search
  • Easterly, George; patent received by search
  • inventions; manufacturing alkali search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • Monroe, James; and G. Easterly search
  • Monroe, James; letters from search
  • patents; of G. Easterly search
  • tobacco; stalks of converted into barilla search