Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Jeremiah A. Goodman, 11 July 1814

To Jeremiah A. Goodman

Monticello, July 11, ’14

Dear Sir:

I duly received your letter by Mr. Chisholm. The difficulty of the saw mills in sawing longer stocks than their saw-frame has never been regarded here. We take out the head block which holds the slab end of the stock; let the stock shoot back beyond that as far as it will go, and leave the slab end to be sawed by hand, for a stock of 24 f in a mill of 21 f. there would remain 3 f. of every plank to be cut by hand.—There is some trouble in taking out the head-block: but this would be well paid in allowing for the whole stock as if sawed to the whole length. It requires too a double set of dogs, if this should be a difficulty let Will make the extra dogs for me to be lent to the mill, unless they should be willing to keep them in part payment for the plank. If the stocks would be too heavy after they were sawed for your teams to bring home, split them into halves, or otherwise to suit the strength of your team, leaving as many planks together as you can haul. We must get Mr. Adkinson to have the slab ends sawed out. This matter is so important to the preservation of the work we have done that I hope you will get over all difficulties and have it accomplished.1 We have a poor crop of wheat here, occasioned by the rust. I am sorry to learn yours are the same. Our oats are fine. Send Will’s wagon off so as to be here in a fortnight from this time. Accept my best wishes.

th: jefferson.

Printed in the Gordonsville Gazette, 18 Dec. 1873; at head of text, in part: “The following original letter from Mr Jefferson was handed us by Mr. Chas. G. Goodman of Louisa, who has some fifty of his letters in his possession, all pertaining to business matters.”

Goodman’s letter of 2 July 1814, not found, is recorded in SJL as received from Poplar Forest on 5 July 1814.

1Gordonsville Gazette: “accompllshed.”

Index Entries

  • Atkinson, Michael; and millwork for TJ search
  • building materials; plank search
  • Chisholm, Mr.; delivers letter search
  • crops; oats search
  • Goodman, Jeremiah Augustus; letters from accounted for search
  • Goodman, Jeremiah Augustus; letters to search
  • Goodman, Jeremiah Augustus; Poplar Forest overseer search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); oat crop at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); wheat crop at search
  • oats; as crop search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); wheat grown at search
  • sawmill; work done for TJ at search
  • wheat; at Monticello search
  • wheat; at Poplar Forest search
  • wheat; rust damages search
  • Will (William) (TJ’s slave; b.1753); tasks for search