Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Joel Yancey, 19 March 1817

To Joel Yancey

Monticell[o] Mar. 19. 17.

Dear Sir

The waggons arrived yesterday forenoon with every thing safe except that Jerry left one of his mules dying1 on the road. this I dare say was the effect of poverty, which is the stamp of all our animals here. they have no forage short or long but what I buy, and people are now talking of 8. and 10.D. a barrel for corn. I hope, if there is to be such another year, I shall not live to see it. I shall be anxious to learn that your flour is gone off, as I have heavy payments for corn2 to make at our next court (April 7.) for which I must draw on that fund. I think it would be well to send off your tobacco one or two hogsheads at a time as you can get it ready. I see no reason to expect any rise of price by keeping that back. the bill of scantling I sent you will not be above a day’s work for mr Martin’s mill, so I hope he will do it for me. if you have had the rain with you which we have had, Dick has lost as yet no ploughing days. the earth may be dry enough tomorrow, but is not as yet, which will reduce the loss of ploughing to three days. 2. years of embargo, 3. of war, and 2. of drought have made me anxious for one good crop, to be well sold, which would set me quite afloat. I have entire confidence in your efforts and in your friendship and that every thing will be done under your care which the seasons permit. I shall be able to set out for Poplar Forest about the 15th or 16th of April. Dick will leave this about noon to-day, and will carry some packages, chiefly of liquors, which should be put into the cellar immediately. I am in hopes you will mention in the letter which you promise by mail, how much wheat went to the mill, or how much flour it yields, clear, that I may know the extent of that fund. I salute you with sincere friendship & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of John H. Peyton to TJ, 14 Feb. 1817; dateline faint; mutilated at seal, with missing text rewritten by TJ; at foot of text: “Mr Yancey”; endorsed by TJ.

Yancey’s previous letter to TJ of 12 Mar., recorded in SJL as received 18 Mar. 1817 from Poplar Forest, as well as the letter which you promise by mail, dated 27 Mar. and recorded in SJL as received 1 Apr. 1817 from Lynchburg, have not been found.

1Manuscript: “deying.”

2Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • alcohol; sent to Poplar Forest search
  • building materials; lumber search
  • corn; price of search
  • corn; TJ buys search
  • Dick (Yellow Dick) (TJ’s slave; b.1767); as laborer search
  • Dick (Yellow Dick) (TJ’s slave; b.1767); as wagoner search
  • flour; from Poplar Forest search
  • Jeremiah (Jerry) (TJ’s slave; b.1777); as wagoner search
  • livestock; feed for search
  • lumber; used at Poplar Forest search
  • Martin, James; and TJ’s timber search
  • mules; at Monticello search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); flour from search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); lumber for search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visits to search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); tobacco grown at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); weather at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); wheat grown at search
  • slaves; travels of search
  • tobacco; grown at Poplar Forest search
  • weather; drought search
  • weather; rain search
  • wheat; at Poplar Forest search
  • Yancey, Joel (d.1833); as superintendent of Poplar Forest search
  • Yancey, Joel (d.1833); letters from accounted for search
  • Yancey, Joel (d.1833); letters to search