Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Philip Thornton, [18] August 1817

To Philip Thornton

Poplar Forest Aug. 17. [18] 17.

Dear Sir

A visit to the Natl bridge, from which I am just returned, presents me an occasion of saying what indeed I have for some time been intending to say to you; for it is some time since I was informed that you had discontinued the business of shot-making there. I suppose that of course you would rather be rid of your lease; & certainly I do not wish to recieve a rent for the use of a thing of which you make no use. the object of the present letter therefore is to propose that on your returning to me the lease, & naming the day of your abandonment of the manufacture, it shall be considered as having ceased from that day. in that case you will of course instruct some one to dispose of all your moveable utensils there. I think to fit up the little shot-house on the bridge, and the one at the dam, as sheltering houses for the company visiting the place, & to break up the dam, which reflows the water up under the bridge, so as to render it impracticable to get there. this was it’s state, the other day, there being a small swell in the stream. I think also to have some other1 work done there which may give a good walk from the bridge up to the cave. I shall remain at this place till the middle of Sep. till which time therefore a letter will find me here, and afterwards at Monticello. I salute you with assurances of great esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); misdated; at foot of text: “Doctr Philip Thornton”; endorsed by TJ as a letter of <17> 18 Aug. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in TJ to Thornton, 8 Jan. 1818.

1Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business &amp; Financial Affairs; and lease of Natural Bridge search
  • Natural Bridge, Va.; and shot manufactory search
  • Natural Bridge, Va.; lease of search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search
  • shot manufacturing search
  • Thornton, Philip; and shot manufactory search
  • Thornton, Philip; leases Natural Bridge from TJ search
  • Thornton, Philip; letters to search