Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Bernard McMahon, 4 May 1811

To Bernard McMahon

Monticello May1 4. 11.

Dear Sir

My old friend Thouin, Director of the National garden of France has just sent me a fresh parcel of seeds which he thus describes. ‘they consist of about 200. species, foreign to N. America, selected from among 1. the large trees, the wood of which is useful in the arts. 2. small trees & shrubs, ornamental for shrubberies. 3. plants vivacious & picturesque.2 4. flowers for parterres. 5. plants of use in medecine & all the branches of rural & domestic economy.’ they left France in March & I presume therefore are of the last year’s raising. they are arrived (in a small box) at N. York in the care of mr John Dortic. 121. William Street, who came passenger. I have requested him to address them to you by one of the Philadelphia stages, on the assurance that you will pay the stage transportation, which I have no means of doing. accept of them if you please with the assurance of my great esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr Bernard Mc Mahon”; endorsed by TJ.

1Word interlined in place of “Apr.”

2The French passage referred to plants that were “vivaces pittoresques,” more correctly translated as “colorful perennials” (André Thoüin to TJ, 2 Mar. 1811).

Index Entries

  • Dortic, John; forwards seeds to TJ search
  • McMahon, Bernard; forwards seeds from A. Thoüin search
  • McMahon, Bernard; letters to search
  • medicine; plants used as search
  • plants; medicinal properties of search
  • seeds; sent to TJ search
  • Thoüin, André; sends seeds to TJ search
  • trees; seeds of, sent to TJ search