Thomas Jefferson Papers

Hugh Holmes to Thomas Jefferson, 17 November 1813

From Hugh Holmes

Winchr Nov 17th 1813

Dear Sir

Shortly after my return the 5th inst from the judicial labours of the fall circuit I addressed a note to the manufacturer of yr merino wool urging the completion of the fabric and desiring to know when I might expect it—he returned the answer enclosed—which is not satisfactory as to the time of finishing it but I hope we shall be able to send it to you by your nephew Judge Carr who intends going to Albemarle about the middle of December—it was with a reluctance almost bordering on refusal that this manufacturer engaged to work the wool on terms of charging for carding, spinning, weaving, fulling dying & dressing because he prefers to buy the wool & sell the Cloth at his own price—I know from experience that including the high price of Merino wool a yd of broad cloth 6 qr wide can be made for $5. this cloth the manufacturer can readily sell at $10 by which he makes a clear proffit of $5 per yd. hence it is that they refuse to the Citizens at large access to their machinery—this monopoly growing out of the war non importation, &c must find reasonable limits on the return of peace or the multiplication of similar establishments—

I merely write you now to shew you that I have not forgotten the Trust & to renew the assurance of my disposition to serve you but more especially of the high respect & esteem of

yr friend

Hh Holmes

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Mr Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 13 Dec. 1813 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Cyrus B. Baldwin to Holmes, Front Royal, 12 Nov. 1813, stating that the wool for TJ and James Barbour is “in work, but I cannot name any time when it will be finish,d”; that he has been disappointed in finishers he expected from the northward; that if some of them arrive next month as expected, the work will be done immediately; that he has the best spinners and weavers and would hate to put their good cloth into the hands of bad finishers, whose inferior efforts would reduce its value by two or three dollars a yard; that he is anxious to supply cloth equal to that of northern manufacturers; and that if Holmes’s friends will show “a little or rather good deal of patience & some charity,” his industriousness will match it (RC in MHi; torn at seal, with mutilated words recopied by Holmes; notation by Holmes keyed to Barbour’s name: “Govr Barbour has also a small quantity of wool there”; addressed: “Hon Hugh Holmes Winchester”).

qr: a quarter of a yard, or nine inches.

Index Entries

  • Baldwin, Cyrus B.; cloth manufacturer search
  • Barbour, James; wool cloth manufactured for search
  • Carr, Dabney (1773–1837) (TJ’s nephew); mentioned search
  • Holmes, Hugh; and TJ’s merino wool search
  • Holmes, Hugh; as judge search
  • Holmes, Hugh; letters from search
  • manufacturing, household; cloth search
  • textiles; wool search
  • wool; cloth search
  • wool; merino search