Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Edmund Bacon, [15 November 1817]

To Edmund Bacon

[15 Nov. 1817]

Th:J. to mr Bacon.

I have made it a point thro’ life never to recieve or pay compound interest nor any thing more than what is legal. nor do I think compound interest just, because had the law intended to permit it, it would have been fixed at 3. per cent or 3½ which is as much as men in general make of their money in the ordinary & honest vocations of life. more may be made, by possibility, at the gaming table or by shaving but neither of us follow these pursuits. not to break in on our settlement, the interest stated in which is not due till Dec. 31. I inclose you an order for it, to wit 145.18 D payable on that day.

We have saved red Hughes enough from the North orchard to make a smart cask of cyder. they are now mellow & beginning to rot. I will pray you therefore to have them made into cyder immediately. let them be made clean one by one, and all the rotten ones thrown away or the rot cut out. nothing else can ensure fine cyder. I request particular attention to the Coopers that no hindrance may prevent their deliverance of their weekly complement of Barrels. Davy, Jame & Sancho should carry them in the boat.

RC (NNGL, on deposit NHi); undated. PoC (MHi); on verso of a reused address cover from James Leitch to TJ (see note to Leitch to TJ, 12 Nov. 1817); edge trimmed; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 15 Nov. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

Bacon reminisced decades later on making fine cyder for TJ: “every March we had to bottle all his cider. Dear me, this was a job. It took us two weeks. Mr. Jefferson was very particular about his cider. He gave me instructions to have every apple cleaned perfectly clean when it was made.” Bacon also recalled that the house servants, including Sally Hemings, assisted him in bottling the cider (Pierson, Jefferson at Monticello, 107).

Index Entries

  • alcohol; cider search
  • apples; for cider search
  • apples; Hewes Crab search
  • Bacon, Edmund; describes cider-making at Monticello search
  • Bacon, Edmund; letters to search
  • Bacon, Edmund; Monticello overseer search
  • Bacon, Edmund; TJ’s account with search
  • barrels search
  • cider; apple search
  • Davis, Sancho (TJ’s slave; b.1797); as boatman search
  • food; apples search
  • Hemings, Sally (TJ’s slave and mother of children probably fathered by him; b.1773–1835); and cider-making search
  • Hern, David (Davy) (TJ’s slave; b.1784); boatman search
  • interest; TJ on compound search
  • Jame (TJ’s slave); boatman search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; account with E. Bacon search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; interest, compound search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); coopers at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); fruit grown at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); slaves at search
  • slaves; at Monticello search
  • slaves; travels of search