Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 6 June 1812

To James Madison

Monticello June 6. 12.

Dear Sir

I have taken the liberty of drawing the attention of the Secretary at War to a small depot of military stores at N. London, and leave the letter open for your perusal. be so good as to seal it before delivery. I really thought that Genl Dearborne had removed them to Lynchburg, undoubtedly a safer and more convenient deposit.

Our county is the only one I have heard of which has required a draught. this proceeded from a mistake of the Colo who thought he could not recieve individual offers, but that the whole quota of 241. must present themselves at once. every one however manifests the utmost alacrity; of the 241. there having been but 10. absentees at the first muster called. a further proof is that capt Carr’s company of volunteer cavalry being specifically called for by the Governor, tho’ consisting of but 28. when called on, has got up to 50 by new engagements since their call was known. the only enquiry they make is whether they are to go to Canada or Florida? not a man, as far as I have learnt, entertains any of those doubts which puzzle the lawyers of Congress, & astonish common sense, whether it is lawful for them to pursue a retreating enemy across the boundary line of the Union?

I hope Barlow’s correspondence has satisfied all our Quixots who thought we should undertake nothing less than to fight all Europe at once. I inclose you a letter from Dr Bruff, a mighty good, and very ingenious man. his method of manufacturing bullets and shot, has the merit of increasing their specific gravity greatly (being made by compression) and rendering them as much heavier & better than the common leaden bullet, as that is than an iron one. it is a pity he should not have the benefit of furnishing the public when it would be equally to their benefit also. God bless you.

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC: Madison Papers, Rives Collection); at foot of text: “The Presidt of the US.” PoC (DLC). Enclosure: TJ to William Eustis, 6 June 1812.

TJ also enclosed a letter from Thomas Bruff of 30 May 1812, not found, but recorded in SJL as received from Washington on 3 June 1812. He retained in his own papers Bruff’s Pressed Shot Factory. Proposals … to form a Company by Subscription, for the purpose of Opening a factory for making Solid Shot by Machinery, calling for the establishment of a company to manufacture pressed shot in Washington; asserting that the proposed business will be lucrative but that capital will be needed to construct machinery, including a “tower near 200 feet high”; extolling the superiority of solid shot; explaining that the proposed company will offer 200 shares, at $100 each, payable in ten monthly installments, with 200 additional shares reserved for Bruff; specifying that shares not fully paid for will be forfeited to Bruff; promising to commence operations once the first payment on 100 shares is received; and describing tentative plans for the shareholders to elect the company’s president and board of directors (undated broadside with one clause lined through in DLC: TJ Papers, 196:34847; with list of twenty-six subscribers in Bruff’s hand [a “Copy from the book”] on verso, which also has TJ’s endorsement, probably intended for Bruff’s 30 May covering letter).

Index Entries

  • Albemarle County, Va.; requires military draft search
  • Army, U.S.; arsenal at New London search
  • Barlow, Joel; and treaty negotiations in Paris search
  • Bruff, Thomas; letters from accounted for search
  • Bruff, Thomas; Pressed Shot Factory search
  • Bruff, Thomas; proposal for shot factory search
  • Carr, Samuel (TJ’s nephew); and Albemarle cavalry search
  • Dearborn, Henry; and New London military stores search
  • Eustis, William; and New London military stores search
  • Madison, James; and T. Bruff’s shot factory search
  • Madison, James; and volunteer troops search
  • Madison, James; letters to search
  • manufacturing, household; shot towers search
  • New London, Va.; military arsenal at search
  • Pressed Shot Factory (Bruff) search
  • shot manufacture search
  • subscriptions, non-publication; to support business ventures search
  • Virginia; volunteer troops from search
  • War Department, U.S.; military stores search