Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Love to Thomas Jefferson, 16 July 1817

From John Love

Buckland July 16th 1817.

Dear Sir

At an early period of the summer, the President passed on this road, when I had the pleasure of seeing him: He was then satisfyed from the different appearances of the common wheats, and the kind here called the Lawler that the latter was uninjured by the Hessian fly, and engaged from me 200 bushls for himself, and 200 for you, to Whom He mentioned his intention to write on the subject—I have still a considerable portion of my crop to dispose of, but orders for it have been received to a considerable amount from different parts of the U. States, & will probably soon be equal to the quantity to be disposed of in this neighbourhood—It may therefore be proper that I should more certainly at this time be informed of your wishes on the subject, as I have not had the honor of hearing from you—If more should be wished I can supply it, or if less it will be a matter of no importance. I see small parcels of it have been raised this year on James river you have therefore probably seen the growth of it, or I would inclose a stalk, it is I think much hardier than that of any other kind—But as the cause of the exemption of this wheat from the ravages of the fly could not be satisfactorily agreed on by the members of the committees of this neighbourhood, it was not in our power to make any public statement on this part of the subject—

The crops in this neighbourhood of the Lawler wheat are of good quality, not quite so heavy as the last year; The growth has been very great as might be expected, my crop is entirely clear of disease, altho I am told in the neighbourhood of Fauquir C.h. the smut has appeared in considerable quantity—My farm has not yet been visited with this dreadfull disease, & I believe it has not found its way to James river, I think from what I have seen in this neighbourhood it is attributable to bad seed, as it is very much the custom here to cut wheat in a green state, & the seed does not mature so perfectly as when left to the process of nature—

By middle or 20th of August, I could be prepared to deliver wheat for seed—

Be pleased Sir to accept the assurance of my most respectfull recollections, & perfect esteem—and best wishes for your happiness—I am Sir your Obt Srvt

Jno Love

RC (CSmH: JF-BA); endorsed by TJ as received 2 Aug. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 12 Oct. 1817, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire Monticello near Charlottsville va”; franked; postmarked Buckland, 16 July.

John Love (d. 1822), attorney, planter, and public official, qualified for the bar in Alexandria in 1801. He was a states’ rights Republican who represented Fauquier County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1805–07, was a member of the United States House of Representatives, 1807–11, and sat for Fairfax and Prince William counties in the Senate of Virginia, 1816–19. Love owned Buckland, an estate of some 1,200 acres located on the border of Fauquier and Prince William counties, where he farmed and had a milling complex known as Kinsley Mills. In 1797 he successfully petitioned the General Assembly to establish the town of Buckland on his land in Prince William County (Alexandria Advertiser, 23 Aug. 1797; Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1797–98 sess.], 33–4 [19 Jan. 1798]; Alexandria Advertiser and Commercial Intelligencer, 14 Apr. 1801; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends ; Love to the Freeholders of Culpeper and Fauquier Counties, 28 Mar. 1807 [printed circular in PHi]; Love to TJ, 20 Apr. 1808 [DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–09]; Noble E. Cunningham Jr., ed., Circular Letters of Congressmen to Their Constituents, 1789–1829 [1978], 2:776–84; Alexandria Herald, 22 Jan. 1817, 8 Dec. 1820, 8 June 1822; Alexandria Gazette & Daily Advertiser, 9 Apr. 1819; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 16 Aug. 1822).

lawler wheat had been introduced into Fauquier County by James Lawler in 1810 from Chester County, Pennsylvania, where it was known as “Jones’ white wheat.” In the summer of 1817 Love and several of his neighbors made a concerted effort to promote the variety by virtue of its apparent resistance to the Hessian fly (Baltimore Niles’ Weekly Register, 28 June 1817; Love to Roberts Vaux, 17 June 1817, printed in Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, Memoirs 4 [1818]: 208–10).

On 15 July 1817 Love wrote a similar letter to James Madison (Madison, Papers, Retirement Ser., 1:88–9).

Index Entries

  • Hessian fly search
  • Lawler, James; wheat of search
  • Love, John; and wheat search
  • Love, John; identified search
  • Love, John; letter from search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); mentioned search
  • Monroe, James; and wheat for TJ search
  • wheat; Lawler search
  • wheat; smut damages search