Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John H. Cocke, 27 March 1817

To John H. Cocke

Monticello Mar. 27. 17

Th: Jefferson is very thankful to Genl Cocke for the sample of Scuppernong wine which he has been so kind as to send him, and which he considers to be as fine, as it is a singular wine. he sends him plants of the Marseilles fig & of the Paper or Otaheite mulberry, & cuttings of the Lombardy1 poplar which he brought from France, very different from the common one, being a tree of some shade. he adds a couple of plants of the prickly locust (Robinia hispida) a rich blossoming shrub, rarely to be met with; and some cuttings of the Snow-berry bush, brought from the Pacific by Capt Lewis. it’s beauty is the snow white bunches of berries which it retains after the leaf has fallen; it is of the size of a goose-berry bush. he does not know certainly that it will grow from a cutting but believes it will & is sorry he has not a bush to spare with roots. he will expect the pleasure of seeing Genl Cocke on the court day, & salutes him with friendship & respect.

RC (ViU: TJP); dateline at foot of text; addressed: “General Cocke Bremo”; endorsed by Cocke; with additional notation on verso in Nathaniel Francis Cabell’s hand in two different inks: “Mr Jefferson to Gen. Cocke March 27th 1817. (Presented by Gen C. to N.F.C. [Nathaniel Francis Cabell] Nov 1855” and “& now given to my daughter S.F.C. [Sallie Faulcon Cabell] as an Autograph. June 1879.).” Tr (Vi: Nathaniel Francis Cabell Papers); in Nathaniel Francis Cabell’s hand; misdated 22 Mar. 1817; at head of text: “(Copy)”; notation on verso reading, in part: “(I only sent a Copy, as the original has been given away as an Autograph. N.F.C.).” Not recorded in SJL.

In his diary entry for 28 Mar. 1817 (MS in ViU: JHC), Cocke recorded that “Jesse returned from Monticello” with the marseilles fig and the other plants and cuttings listed above.

1Tr: “Lombard.”

Index Entries

  • Albemarle County Court, Va. search
  • Central College, Board of Visitors; meetings of search
  • Cocke, John Hartwell; and wine search
  • Cocke, John Hartwell; letters to search
  • Cocke, John Hartwell; TJ sends plants to search
  • figs; Marseille search
  • France; trees from search
  • Jesse (J. H. Cocke’s slave); travels of search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition; plants from search
  • locust (tree); bristly search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); fig trees at search
  • mulberry; paper search
  • plants; sent by TJ search
  • poplar; Lombardy search
  • scuppernong (wine) search
  • snowberry search
  • trees; fig search
  • trees; locust, bristly search
  • trees; Lombardy poplar search
  • trees; mulberry search
  • wine; scuppernong search