Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Martha Jefferson Randolph, 4 November 1815

To Martha Jefferson Randolph

Poplar Forest Nov. 4. 15.

My dearest Martha

We arrived here on the third day of our journey, without any accident; but I suffered very much both mornings by cold. I must therefore pray you to send my wolf-skin pelisse and fur-boots by Moses’s Billy, when he comes to bring the two mules to move the Carpenters back. he is to be here on the 27th by my directions to mr Bacon. In the closet over my bed you will find a bag tied up, and labelled ‘Wolf-skin pelisse,’ and another labelled ‘fur-boots,’ wherein those articles will be found. the pelisse had better be sowed up in a striped1 blanket to keep it clean and uninjured; the boots in any coarse wrapper.

mr Baker called on me yesterday, and tells me Francis is gone to Monticello. I am in hopes Ellen will give him close employment. mr Baker is come to look for land in this quarter, and will return here this evening and start with me tomorrow morning to mr Clark’s to examine his land which is for sale. it will place his family exactly under the sharp peak of Otter, 20. miles only from hence, and along a good road. lands of 2d quality are selling here now for 25. Dollars.—I am this moment interrupted by a croud of curious people come to see the house. Adieu my Dear Martha, kiss all the young ones for me; present me affectionately to mr Randolph, and be assured of my tenderest love.

Th: Jefferson

P.S. I was most agreeably surprised to find that the party whom I thought to be merely curious visitants were General Jackson and his suite, who passing on to Lynchburg did me the favor to call.

RC (NNPM); endorsed by Randolph. PoC (MHi); on verso of PoC of TJ to Christopher Clark, 2 Nov. 1815; endorsed by TJ.

TJ’s wolf-skin pelisse was most likely the “fur” given to him by Tadeusz Kosciuszko in 1798 (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 38 vols. description ends , 30:331; Gaye Wilson, “Recording History: The Thomas Sully Portrait of Thomas Jefferson,” in Robert M. S. McDonald, ed., Light and Liberty: Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Knowledge [2012], 194–8). moses’s billy was William Hern, son of Moses Hern. The Monticello carpenters had been at Poplar Forest working on the balustrade (Chambers, Poplar Forest description begins S. Allen Chambers, Poplar Forest & Thomas Jefferson, 1993 description ends , 91–5).

1Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • Bacon, Edmund; Monticello overseer search
  • Baker, Jerman (1776–1828); considers land purchase search
  • Baker, Jerman (1776–1828); visits Poplar Forest search
  • Bedford County, Va.; land prices in search
  • blankets; striped search
  • boots search
  • Clark, Christopher Henderson; sells land search
  • clothing; boots search
  • clothing; TJ’s wolf skin pelisse search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); as teacher search
  • Eppes, Francis Wayles (TJ’s grandson); at Monticello search
  • Eppes, Francis Wayles (TJ’s grandson); education of, at Monticello search
  • Hern, Moses (TJ’s slave; b.1779); family of search
  • Hern, William (TJ’s slave; b.1801); transports goods search
  • household articles; blankets search
  • Jackson, Andrew; at Poplar Forest search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; gives animal fur to TJ search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); builders at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); closet at search
  • mules; as draft animals search
  • overseers; TJ’s instructions to search
  • Peaks of Otter, Va.; property near search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); balustrade at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); builders at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); visitors to search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); instructions to, from TJ search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); letters to search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); greetings sent to search
  • weather; cold search
  • women; letters to; M. J. Randolph search