Thomas Jefferson Papers

William McGehee to Thomas Jefferson, 24 June 1811

From William McGehee

June 24th 11


your boy came down today while I was in the woods geting timber for the Sithes with a line concening Bens absence from the [. . .]1 my family informed me that he wanted an answer which I now prseed to give I stoped Ben for the purpose of assisting about planting the Tobacco tryd to find Fill also but could not this was done in conciquence of finding that the seasson would be gone before I could get done unless I raised all the hands I could & then to hurrey them another reason why I did so is notwithstanding I am doing your bisness for a certain sum feel it much more my intrest to make you a good crop than a sorry one & that I feel a greater regard for my Character than I do for only this one years wages & I hope it will be no offence if I further observe that if you cant see it I plainly can that the way your matters are at present planed you are to loose wheet considerably after you have read this I am perfectly willing that you Should do as you see cause I can but do as well as I can

am Sir Sincerely your well wisher

Wm MCGehee

RC (MHi); dateline at foot of text; addressed: “Conl Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as an undated letter received 24 June 1811; with notes by TJ on verso:

“wages for 1811 £65 –0 –0
12. geese } 2 2 –0
  2. turkies
  3½ doz. eggs   1 –9
67 3 –9
By 70.℔ beef 1 –0 –5
66 3 –4”
and his calculations of the dollar equivalent of this sum. On 6 Apr. 1812 TJ settled his account with McGehee by giving him an order on Gibson & Jefferson for $220.56, the dollar equivalent of £66.3.4 (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 , 2:1275).

McGehee was gathering wood to construct cradle scythes (sithes), a tool larger than the common scythe that was used to harvest heavier crops such as wheat and barley. TJ’s line to McGehee is not recorded in SJL and has not been found. fill: Phill Hubbard.

A missing letter from McGehee to TJ of 13 Mar. 1812 is recorded in SJL as received from Columbia on 19 Mar. 1812.

1Illegible word, possibly “Connell” (for “Canal”) or, less plausibly, “Conmll” (for “Corn mill”).

Index Entries

  • beef; TJ purchases search
  • Ben (TJ’s slave; b.1785); and corn mill search
  • eggs search
  • food; beef search
  • food; eggs search
  • food; geese search
  • food; turkey search
  • geese; TJ purchases search
  • Hubbard, Phill (TJ’s slave); delivers message search
  • McGehee, William; letters from search
  • McGehee, William; letters from accounted for search
  • McGehee, William; letters to accounted for search
  • McGehee, William; Tufton overseer search
  • overseers; TJ’s accounts with search
  • tobacco; grown at Tufton search
  • Tufton (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); overseers at search
  • Tufton (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); tobacco grown at search
  • turkeys; purchased by TJ search