Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Eleuthère I. du Pont de Nemours, 16 June 1812

To Eleuthère I. du Pont de Nemours

Monticello June 16. 12.

Dear Sir

On the 4th of Nov. last I wrote to you requesting another quarter cask of powder to be forwarded to me with a note of the cost that I might remit for that & the preceding one together. not having heard from you, I repeated my request in a letter of Apr. 30. and at the same time desired mr John Barnes of Geo. town to remit you 50. Dollars, which he informed me he had done. this was a mere guess at the cost of the two quarter casks, as I did not know it exactly. being still without information on the subject I have to request the favor of a line by post. I should not be so importunate but that the season for blowing rock in a canal I am engaged in has now commenced. I would wish to have half a dozen pounds of shooting powder, & the rest for blowing as before.

In the same letter of Apr. 30. I mentioned that I should shear a few fleeces of genuine Merino wool & of the finest character, with about 15. of half blood; that I had understood you were connected with a manufactory of cloth at which they would recieve wool to be spun, woven, & dyed for an equivalent either in the wool or cash, and I asked your information particularly on that subject, for which I will still thank you. a late letter from your father informs me of his health; but you doubtless heard from him at the same date. Accept the assurance of my great esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (DeGH: Eleuthère I. du Pont Papers, Winterthur Manuscripts); addressed: “Mr E. I. Dupont Eleutherian mills near Wilmington Del.”; franked; postmarked Milton, 17 June 1812. PoC (MHi); endorsed by TJ.

In his Farm Book, TJ recorded his progress on the canal i am engaged in, noting on 8 Jan. 1811 that “by an accurate trial with the spirit level, I found the surface of the water above the dam 6f I. higher than that at the mouth of the tail race of the sawmill.” On 25 Mar. 1813 he measured “the bottom of the sawmill canal at 12 I. below the breast of the dam by the spirit level,” and later he calculated his use of gunpowder for blowing from June through September 1813, when in blasting “on the road at the foot of the mountain on the river side, each borer uses ¼ ℔ powder a day and bores 3. holes of 12 I. each, which is 12. blasts to the ℔” (Betts, Farm Book description begins Edwin M. Betts, ed., Thomas Jefferson’s Farm Book, 1953 (in two separately paginated sections; unless otherwise specified, references are to the second section) description ends , pt. 1, pp. 106, 123). The late letter was Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours to TJ, 14 Apr. 1812.

Index Entries

  • Barnes, John; as TJ’s agent search
  • canals; on Rivanna River search
  • du Pont de Nemours, Eleuthère Irénée; and cloth manufacture search
  • du Pont de Nemours, Eleuthère Irénée; gunpowder of search
  • du Pont de Nemours, Eleuthère Irénée; letters to search
  • Du Pont de Nemours, Pierre Samuel; TJ receives letters from search
  • gunpowder; TJ orders search
  • merino sheep; TJ on search
  • merino sheep; wool of search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); sawmill at search
  • Rivanna River; TJ excavates canals on search
  • sawmill; at Monticello search
  • textiles; wool search