Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Wood to Thomas Jefferson, 2 February 1817

From John Wood

Richmond 2d February 1817

Dear Sir

From there being little prospect of the survey of the state of Virginia, being prosecuted farther than those contracts, which the Executive had entered into previous to the meeting of the Legislature; I have opened a seminary in this place, with the intention of completing the remainder of the rivers for which I had engaged during my vacation in summer. I would have resumed my establishment in Lynchburg, if I had not been informed that another teacher had settled in that town. I have thought proper to inform you of this circumstance; in case you might be inclined to send some of your young friends to my care, which would afford me much pleasure. Mr Baker of Cumberland told me he intended to write you on the subject of Mr Eppes son; whom he understood you had not engaged at any school for this year.

Although I was much pleased with my excursion along James River; yet in a pecuniary point of view it would have been more to my benefit to have remained at Lynchburg. The expenses incurred by Boats, hands, Chain carriers &c nearly amounted to the compensation of two dollars per mile. I derived much advantage from your small sextant. It was the only instrument which I used for taking angles. The only defect of this instrument; is the want of a telescope, to observe distinctly those objects which are at a distance. I shall esteem it a favour of you to indulge me with the use of it; until I finish my survey in next August. If you thought Richmond not an improper situation for your Grandson Mr Eppes; it would give me real satisfaction to be his preceptor; as I have seen few boys of a more pleasing countenance than he possesses. Requesting my respects to Mr Jefferson Randolph1I have the honour to be

your obedient and obliged Servant

John Wood

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 6 Feb. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to John Barnes, 17 Feb. 1817, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello by Milton”; stamp canceled; franked; postmarked Richmond, 4 Feb.

1Manuscript: “Randolp.”

Index Entries

  • Baker, Jerman (1776–1828); and J. W. Baker’s education search
  • Eppes, Francis Wayles (TJ’s grandson); education of, in Richmond search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); relationship with son search
  • James River; survey of search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; schools in search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); greetings sent to search
  • Richmond, Va.; schools in search
  • schools and colleges; in Lynchburg search
  • schools and colleges; in Richmond search
  • scientific instruments; sextants search
  • scientific instruments; telescopes search
  • sextant; for surveying search
  • surveying; and new map of Va. search
  • telescopes; for surveying search
  • Virginia; surveys of search
  • Wood, John (ca.1775–1822); and education of F. W. Eppes search
  • Wood, John (ca.1775–1822); and surveying instruments search
  • Wood, John (ca.1775–1822); letters from search
  • Wood, John (ca.1775–1822); Richmond school of search