Thomas Jefferson Papers

Jeremiah Platt to Thomas Jefferson, 1 February 1816

From Jeremiah Platt

Albany 1st Feb 1816

Dear Sir

with out the privilege of a personal acquantance with you and being at the same time sory, to trouble you in your retirement on a subject that is not interesting to you, I hope you will pardon my digression when I inform you that I have not been able to inform myself through any other Channel as Geography does not give any particulaur account or description of the timber in the state of Virginia, I have consulted your Notes on that State but as they were written in Seventeen hundred & Eighty One if there1 had been at that time, large quantities2 it might have been Destroyed before this time I therefore beg you to have the Goodness to inform me by letter as soon as opportunity may permit concerning the timber of the state according to your acquaintance with it but more particulaurly on the James River if there should be any particulaur lots or parcels of Land of White or yellow pine timber if you should be accquainted with the price or quality of timbered land you would do me a very great favour3 by Stateing that in your letter I should4 be pleased to have it above Richmond if timber is plenty in that quarter or if there Should be any other place in Virginia that you would recommend in prefference to Richmond for the establishing of Saw mills as that Country has been very highly recommended to me for business of that kind and I am inform that there is but few saw mills in that Part of the State of Virginia likewise that the inhabitance do not under[stand] making lumber as well as they do in this state & the Destrict of Main finally Sir if you should think any place Calculated to Carry on Lumbering on a large or an advantageous Scale for industrious men pleas to recommend it as soon as convenient and if you Should not think of a place proper for Such an undertaking please to state the same to your most Obedient &c Humble Servant

Yours with much respect

Jeremiah5 Platt

N B if you Should think it probable that I could sucseed in lumbering in that State I should be Glad to come on in the spring with a company of men that understand it and endeovour to carry it on to advantag if you should Recommend any place for that purpose

RC (MHi); edge trimmed; endorsed by TJ as received 9 Feb. 1816 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Wilson Cary Nicholas, 29 Feb. 1816, on verso; addressed: “Mr Thomas Jefferson Late president of the US Monticello Albemarl County State of Virginia”; stamp canceled; franked.

Jeremiah Platt joined Albany’s First Presbyterian Church in 1813. In 1814 he was the proprietor of a grocery store. Platt entered into a partnership with lumber merchant Aaron Hand in 1816, but the firm was dissolved the same year (J. McClusky Blayney, History of the First Presbyterian Church of Albany, N.Y. [1877], 95; Joseph Fry, The Albany Directory, for the Year 1814 [Albany, 1814], 31, 47; Fry, The Annual Register, and Albany Directory, for the year 1816 [Albany, 1816], 37; Albany Daily Advertiser, 29 Nov. 1816).

1Manuscript: “therere.”

2Manuscript: “quantiies.”

3Manuscript: “favovour.”

4Manuscript: “shoul.”

5Manuscript: “Jereremiah.”

Index Entries

  • building materials; lumber search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Notes on the State of Virginia search
  • lumber; in Va. search
  • Notes on the State of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson); TJ as author of search
  • Platt, Jeremiah; identified search
  • Platt, Jeremiah; letter from search
  • Platt, Jeremiah; seeks information on lumber in Va. search