Thomas Jefferson Papers

David Isaacs to Thomas Jefferson, 26 April 1814

From David Isaacs

Apl 26th 1814

I recd the 5 $ Note by the Boy but my Boys nor Fish have not come yet and i do not expect them till to Night or tomorrow morning, when i will with Pleasure sent Mr Jefferson 6 of the best Shad the boys Brings and also the Change am Respectfully yours

David Isaacs

RC (MHi); dateline beneath signature; addressed: “Thos Jfferson Esquire Monticelloe”; endorsed by TJ.

David Isaacs (ca. 1761–1837), merchant, was a German native who initially settled in Richmond, where he and his brother Isaiah Isaacs joined Jacob Cohen in the mercantile firm of Cohen & Isaacs and helped found the Beth Shalome synagogue. Early in the 1790s both of the Isaacs brothers moved to Charlottesville, where David Isaacs worked for many years as a merchant. TJ called on him for a wide range of food, books, and supplies from about 1799 until his own death in 1826. Isaacs contributed $50 in 1825 to the nascent University of Virginia. During the last decade of his life he was involved in legal proceedings related to his common-law marriage to a free woman of color and to the settlement of his brother’s estate, and in 1832 his daughter Julia Ann Isaacs married Eston Hemings, TJ’s freed slave and probably his son by Sally Hemings (Joshua D. Rothman, Notorious in the Neighborhood: Sex and Families across the Color Line in Virginia, 1787–1861 [2003], 54–91; 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 , esp. 2:1007; Isaacs to TJ, 5 Sept. 1816, 1 Feb. 1818; ViU: Proctor’s Papers; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 12:366–70, 396–7; gravestone in Hebrew Cemetery, Richmond).

Index Entries

  • fish; shad search
  • fish; TJ purchases search
  • food; shad search
  • Hemings, Eston (TJ’s slave and probable son; b.1808); marries Julia Ann Isaacs search
  • Hemings, Julia Ann Isaacs; as wife of Eston Hemings search
  • Isaacs, David; identified search
  • Isaacs, David; letters from search
  • Isaacs, David; sells TJ fish search
  • shad; TJ purchases search