Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Kemp Catlett, 7 April 1811

To Kemp Catlett

Monticello Apr. 7. 11.


When you mentioned that your supplies of butter might stand in discharge of my order for bran, & that tho’ it had hitherto been your resource for groceries, you would make some other shift, it did not strike me at the time: but after you were gone it occurred to me that the diverting the usual resource for your groceries might deprive the family of them. if this be the case, be so good as to say so, & I will continue to send the money when I send for butter as usual; and particularly let me know my present arrearage & it shall be sent by the boy the next time he goes without regard to the order for bran, which may be a separate account. indeed I have omitted to enquire at the mill what you got on the order. Accept my best wishes.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); at foot of text: “Mr Catlett”; endorsed by TJ.

Kemp Catlett (ca. 1765–1813) was a farmer in Albemarle County who supplied TJ with butter between 1799 and 1811. A native of Culpeper County, he owned land in the vicinity of Monticello and became a trustee of Milton when the town was laid out in 1789. Catlett purchased Colle from Philip Mazzei in 1796, with TJ acting as Mazzei’s agent. He also transacted land sales and purchases with James Monroe between 1802 and 1806. By 1804 Catlett had sold Colle, but he may have continued to live there as a tenant (William Carter Stubbs and Elizabeth Saunders Blair Stubbs, A History of Two Virginia Families transplanted from County Kent, England: Thomas Baytop, Tenterden 1638 and John Catlett, Sittingbourne 1622 [1918], 26–7; 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 , esp. 2:937; Hening, description begins William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia, Richmond, 1809–23, 13 vols. description ends Statutes, 16:212; Albemarle Co. Deed Book, 12:59–61, 14:191; Catlett’s estate inventory, 1 Nov. 1813, Albemarle Co. Will Book, 5:311–2).

Index Entries

  • bran search
  • butter; TJ orders search
  • Catlett, Kemp; identified search
  • Catlett, Kemp; letters to search
  • Catlett, Kemp; TJ orders butter from search
  • Colle (P. Mazzei’s Albemarle Co. estate) search
  • food; bran search
  • food; butter search
  • Mazzei, Philip; sale of Colle search