Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Isaac A. Coles, 10 June 1811

To Isaac A. Coles

Monticello1 June 10.2 11.

Dear Sir

Mr Rives gives me reason to hope you meditate a visit to us in a few days, and he thought it might have happened yesterday. as I shall set out for Bedford about the last of the week, and am unwilling to lose the pleasure of your visit, I mention my meditated journey, in the hope it will bring you the sooner. I am the more interested in it as you were so kind as to say you would come over in the inoculating season and give us a lesson in that art. I wish to have some May dukes & Carnations inoculated, as mine are on the decline, and your example and instruction may enable my grandson to perform that operation hereafter. ever affectionately yours

Th: Jefferson

P.S. we were told by some one that mrs Coles would be so kind as to spare us some bulbs of the Mourning bride. altho the season is not naturally that of removing roots, yet they are so hardy a plant, that I have supposed it possible they might bear it. mrs Coles is a better judge; and if she thinks the removal would now be safe I would ask a few: but if not safe, I would rather wait a more favorable season.

PoC (MHi); between signature and postscript: “Isaac A. Coles esq.”; endorsed by TJ.

TJ planted cherries known as may dukes in 1778 and 1782, and carnations, his favorite cherry variety, were thriving at Monticello by 1783 (Hatch, Fruit Trees description begins Peter Hatch, The Fruits and Fruit Trees of Monticello, 1998 description ends , 95–9). mourning bride might be a form of pincushion flower, a flowering herbaceous plant and member of the genus Scabiosa (Hortus Third description begins Liberty Hyde Bailey, Ethel Zoe Bailey, and the staff of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium, Cornell University, Hortus Third: A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada, 1976 description ends , 1013–5).

1Manuscript: “Monticllo.”

2Number interlined in place of “9.”

Index Entries

  • Carnation cherry search
  • cherries; Carnation search
  • cherries; May dukes search
  • Coles, Isaac A.; inoculates plants search
  • Coles, Isaac A.; letters to search
  • Coles, Isaac A.; visits Monticello search
  • Coles, Rebecca Elizabeth Tucker search
  • food; cherries search
  • May dukes cherry search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Coles, Isaac A. search
  • mourning bride search
  • plants; inoculation search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visit to search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); and plant inoculation search
  • Rives, William Cabell; mentioned search