To William Caruthers
Monticello Aug. 29. 
Your favor of the 17th is duly recieved. there was a short time, about that of my leaving Washington, when to square my accounts there, I would have been willing to have parted with the Natural bridge and some other unproductive property; and that merely for the value of the soil as land, without attention to it’s value either as a site for machinery, or as a curiosity, certainly the greatest in America elements of value which might fairly have entered into the consideration of price. but the difficulty of that moment having been surmounted, and the object of selling it otherwise answered, all thought of parting with it was abandoned, and so continues, and I should not think I fulfilled a duty to the public in permitting such an object to be obstructed by any constructions upon it. Accept the assurance of my great respect & esteem.
PoC (DLC: TJ Papers, 202:35924); partially dated, but endorsed by TJ with full date of composition and similarly recorded in SJL; on verso of reused address cover to TJ; at foot of text: “Mr Caruthers.”