Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Martha Jefferson Randolph, 31 August 1815

To Martha Jefferson Randolph

Poplar Forest Aug. 31. 15.

My dear Martha

We all arrived here without accident, myself the day after I left home, having performed the journey in two days, reaching Noah Flood’s the 1st day. the story of the neighborhood immediately was that I had brought a croud of workmen to get ready my house in a hurry for Bonaparte. were there such people only as the believers in this, patriotism would be a ridiculous passion. we are suffering from drought terribly at this place. half a crop of wheat, and tobacco, and two thirds a crop of corn are the most we can expect. Cate, with good aid, is busy drying peaches for you. we abound in the luxury of the peach, there being as fine here now as we used to have in Albemarle 30. years ago, and indeed as fine as I ever saw any where. I find the distance from hence to the Natural bridge, by Petit’s gap is only 29. miles. I shall therefore go there on horseback; but not until I return from Buckingham court, where I presume I shall meet Jefferson, and hear something from home. indeed it would be a great comfort to me if some one of the family would write to me once a week, were it only to say all is well.

I see no reason to believe we shall finish our work here sooner than the term I had fixed for my return. it is rather evident we must have such another expedition the next year. remember me affectionately to the family & be assured yourself of my warmest and tenderest love my dearest Marth

Th: Jefferson

RC (NNPM); at foot of text: “Mrs Randolph.” PoC (MHi); endorsed by TJ.

TJ left home on 20 Aug. 1815. That evening he reached Noah Flood’s ordinary, where he paid $2 for “lodging &c.” petit’s gap passes through the Blue Ridge Mountains between Natural Bridge Station, Rockbridge County, and Charlemont, Bedford County. TJ attended the Buckingham County court on 12 Sept. 1815 as a witness in a lawsuit between Randolph Jefferson’s children and his widow, Mitchie B. Pryor Jefferson (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 , 2:1313; TJ to Hardin Perkins, 11 Aug. 1815; TJ’s Deposition regarding Randolph Jefferson’s Estate, 15 Sept. 1815). TJ there expected to meet his grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph.

Index Entries

  • agriculture; and weather search
  • Albemarle County, Va.; peaches in search
  • Buckingham County Superior Court of Law, Va. search
  • Cate (TJ’s slave); dries peaches search
  • corn; at Poplar Forest search
  • Flood’s ordinary (Buckingham Co.; proprietor Noah Flood) search
  • food; peaches search
  • food; preservation of search
  • horses; TJ rides search
  • Jefferson, Mitchie Ballow Pryor (TJ’s sister-in-law; Randolph Jefferson’s second wife); and will of R. Jefferson search
  • Jefferson, Randolph (TJ’s brother); will of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and R. Jefferson’s will search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; requests letters from family members search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Family & Friends; relations with grandchildren search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Family & Friends; relations with M. J. Randolph search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Travels; to Natural Bridge search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; rumor of intended visit to Poplar Forest search
  • Natural Bridge, Va.; route to from Poplar Forest search
  • peaches; at Poplar Forest search
  • peaches; drying of search
  • Petit’s Gap, Va.; on route to Natural Bridge search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); builders at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); corn grown at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); Napoleon rumored to intend visit to search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); peaches at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); route from Natural Bridge to search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); slaves at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visit to search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); tobacco grown at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); wheat grown at search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); letters to search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); meets with TJ search
  • slaves; and food preparation search
  • tobacco; grown at Poplar Forest search
  • weather; drought search
  • weather; effect on crops search
  • wheat; at Poplar Forest search
  • women; letters to; M. J. Randolph search