To Harmer Gilmer
Monticello Feb. 16. 12.
I have been for some time desirous of getting a few particular plants from mr McMahon, the gardener, of Philadelphia, which can only be removed at this season, & by the stage, as no other conveyance is quick enough. but without the care & patronage of some passenger they would never get to me. understanding that you will be returning to our neighborhood immediately, & by the stage, I cannot deny myself the appeal to your goodness to recieve them from mr McMahon & take charge of them in the stage. they are but few, & small, & will be packed in moss in a small close box, so as to give no other trouble but to see them removed with your baggage from stage to stage. as they may add to the charge of your own baggage, the cost shall be reimbursed on your arrival here. if you are so good as to take this charge for me, it would be necessary for you to call on mr McMahon and inform him of the day of your departure, that he may know when to take the plants out of the ground, as it would increase their risk to take them sooner than necessary. I hope the rarity of such an opportunity will excuse me for imposing this trouble on you. Accept the assurance of my esteem & respect
PoC (MHi); at foot of text: “Mr Harmer Gilmer”; endorsed by TJ.
Harmer Gilmer (1787–1812), the son of TJ’s friend George Gilmer, of Pen Park in Albemarle County, was a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 31 vols. description ends , 12:454; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901 description ends , 207; Archibald Alexander, A Discourse occasioned By the Burning of the Theatre in the City of Richmond, Virginia, on the twenty-sixth of December, 1811 [Philadelphia, 1812], iii; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 5:221–2).