Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Christopher Hudson, 9 August 1815

To Christopher Hudson

Monticello Aug. 9. 15.

Dear Sir

When I had the pleasure of being with you the day before yesterday, you mentioned your1 want of a pair of hedge-shears, and that you had to wait till they could be imported from Europe. I knew I had had a pair but it had been so long since I had seen them that I was not sure they could now be found, and therefore said nothing. on my return it was my first object to have them sought for, and I am happy that being found I am enabled to ask your acceptance of them. you will percieve by their having never been used that I have no employment for them. Accept the assurance of my friendly esteem and respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of a missing letter from Brockholst Livingston to TJ, 8 June 1815, which is addressed in Livingston’s hand “Thos Jefferson Esqr Monticello,” to be delivered by “Mr Bruen,” and recorded in SJL as received 1 Aug. 1815 from New York “(by mr Bruen)”; at foot of text: “Capt Hudson”; endorsed by TJ.

Christopher Hudson (1758–1825), planter, lived at Mount Air, his estate near Keene in Albemarle County. He was active in the Virginia militia during the Revolutionary War and warned TJ on 4 June 1781 that British forces were approaching Monticello, thus allowing TJ to escape capture. Hudson helped TJ combat rumors of cowardly behavior as governor with an 1805 deposition describing TJ’s composure on this occasion as well as during an earlier British incursion into Virginia in April 1781. Hudson and TJ both held shares in a 400-acre, limestone-bearing tract along the Hardware River in Albemarle County. In 1819 they joined in a lawsuit against two men who claimed ownership of a portion of this land. At his death Hudson left thousands of acres of land as well as personal property valued at about $7,000, including at least twenty-eight slaves (“Bible Record of Hudson, Gilmer, Etc.,” WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892–  description ends , 1st ser., 20 [1912]: 214–5; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901, repr. 1991 description ends , 86, 98, 231; CVSP description begins William P. Palmer and others, eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers … Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond, 1875–93, 11 vols. description ends , 2:533; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 37 vols. description ends , 1:664, 668, 4:261, 277–8, 28:570–1; TJ to Mary Stith, 7 Mar. 1811; TJ’s List of his Taxable Property in Albemarle County, 14 May 1815; TJ to Robert Anderson, 13 June 1819; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 8:101–3, 115–7, 9:243–4; gravestone inscription in family cemetery at Mount Air).

1TJ here canceled “wish for.”

Index Entries

  • Bruen, Mr.; delivers letter to TJ search
  • Hudson, Christopher; identified search
  • Hudson, Christopher; letter to search
  • Hudson, Christopher; TJ lends hedge shears to search
  • Livingston, Brockholst; letter from accounted for search
  • tools; hedge shears search