Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 6 March 1817

To John Wayles Eppes

Monticello Mar. 6. 17.

Dear Sir

I have detained Martin a little longer than you intended because my waggons were to set off this day for Bedford1 and I concluded to send him with the work he had done by one of them. it was but one day’s journey of their way, and saves your waggon a trip of 5. days to come for them. by Martin’s count there are 129. knobs. their tops will require to be kept well painted, as they present the end of the grain to the weather.

I send you also the dial I promised to make you. I calculated the hourlines, and adapted the gnomon to the latitude of Willis’s mountain, as I found it by the last observation & with the best instrument, which latitude is marked on the dial. I inclose directions for setting it.

Mrs Eppes will recieve herewith a box containing some calycanthuses, prickly locusts (Robinia hispida) a Snowberry bush and the sweet-scented curran. the two last were brought from the Pacific ocean by Lewis & Clarke. the snowberry is beautiful in autumn & winter by it’s bunches of snow white berries. I send in a paper some sprout kale to be sowed and transplanted as cabbage. it is to remain in it’s place during winter, and will give 2. or 3. successive crops of sprouts from the beginning of December to April, and is a fine, tender, sweet winter vegetable.   a letter from mr Burton informs me he has been so kind as to take measures to procure me a cask of Scupernong. Francis has gone on diligently with his Spanish, and in a month more will be sufficiently master of it not to lose it. he will then return to you. mr Wood wishes very much to have him, having been greatly pleased with him at Poplar forest. he is undoubtedly our best Grecian,2 and will pay particular attention to Francis. on account of health I much wish he had opened his school at Lynchburg. however his vacation is during the sickly months. present me respectfully to mrs Eppes and be assured of my constant & affectionate attachment & respect

Th: Jefferson3

P. S. I have just recollected that mrs Eppes asked for some figs. I have therefore had put into the box some of a purple fig deemed very fine, but some also of a white fig which I brought from Marseilles superior to any thing of the kind I have ever seen. we have also found a single Halesia plant, the only one I have except the mother bush. it is the most magnificent flowering shrub I have ever seen. mine is 15. or 20.f. high and 30.f. diameter

RC (PPAmP: Thomas Jefferson Papers); edge torn, with missing text supplied from PoC; postscript on verso; addressed: “John W. Eppes esquire Mill-brook.” PoC (CSmH: JF); on verso of reused address cover of Robert Patterson to TJ, 13 Dec. 1816; mutilated at seal; endorsed by TJ. Enclosure: TJ’s Instructions for Setting a Sundial, [ca. 6 Mar. 1817].

1Preceding two words interlined.

2RC: “Graecian.” PoC: “Grecian.”

3In place of full postscript, verso of PoC reads “P. S. a Halesia sent. also purple & white figs.”

Index Entries

  • Burton, Hutchins Gordon; and wine for TJ search
  • Carolina allspice search
  • currants; sweet-scented search
  • education; Spanish language search
  • Eppes, Francis Wayles (TJ’s grandson); education of, in Richmond search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); and wine for TJ search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); letters to search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); relationship with son search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); slaves of search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); sundial for search
  • Eppes, Martha Burke Jones (John Wayles Eppes’s second wife); TJ sends greetings to search
  • Eppes, Martha Burke Jones (John Wayles Eppes’s second wife); TJ sends plants to search
  • figs; Marseille search
  • figs; TJ sends to M. B. J. Eppes search
  • food; kale, sprout search
  • Greek language; study of search
  • kale; sprout search
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition; plants from search
  • locust (tree); bristly search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; schools in search
  • Martin (J. W. Eppes’s slave); training of search
  • plants; sent by TJ search
  • plants; specimens from Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Richmond, Va.; schools in search
  • schools and colleges; in Lynchburg search
  • schools and colleges; in Richmond search
  • scientific instruments; sundials search
  • scuppernong (wine) search
  • seeds; kale, sprout search
  • silver bells search
  • slaves; of J. W. Eppes search
  • snowberry search
  • Spanish language; TJ on study of search
  • sundials; sent to J. W. Eppes search
  • trees; locust, bristly search
  • Willis’s Mountain; TJ takes latitude of search
  • wine; scuppernong search
  • wine; TJ orders from H. G. Burton search
  • Wood, John (ca.1775–1822); and education of F. W. Eppes search