Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Joel Yancey, 14 March 1818

To Joel Yancey

Monticello Mar. 14. 18.

Dear Sir

Your’s of the 5th has been recieved. I prefer sending the flour to Richmond. it is more convenient to concentrate all my funds in one hand; and it also increases confidence in my correspondent, so that if at any time I have occasion to overdraw, he knows himself sure of recieving the funds. Lynchburg too is no wheat market. while they were offering 9/ there it was & is 13/6 and 14/ at Richmond. Billy will set off this day or tomorrow. but I prefer sending this letter by mail.   with respect to the spinning house, a previous general question must be settled. are we to make our own clothing or to go to the stores for it? I have never seen the latter unattended by ruin in the end. [m]y mind is therefore decided against it. and if we are to make for ourselves it will never do to break up the establishment on every temporary variation of the material. the wool we have. the hemp we may make, and may in a great measure make it take the place of cotton in the shirting. by doing this, little cotton will be wanting, and I believe we might easily make this. you once suggested it, and I liked the proposition, and think it would be an excellent supplementory employment for the spinners. when slack of work, some of the subordinate hands of the spinning house might go to the plough.1 but the principal ones should be kept in practice. I shall be with you the 2d week in April. the beef may come when it best suits you. tobacco is th[ought]2 to be rising. we may take time till next month for selling ours, and the whole may be sold, stemmed & unstemmed. accept the assurance of my friendship & respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of William Lee to TJ, 12 Jan. 1818; mutilated at seal; at foot of text: “Mr Yancey”; endorsed by TJ.

Missing letters from Yancey to TJ of the 5th and 12 Mar. 1818 are recorded in SJL as received on 9 Mar. from Lynchburg and 16 Mar. 1818 from “Bedford,” respectively. TJ reused the verso of a portion of the address cover of the former (addressed [trimmed]: “Mr Thom[. . .]” by “Mail”; postmarked Lynchburg, 5 Mar.) for the PoC of his letter to James Rawlings of 10 May 1818.

TJ’s Richmond correspondent was Patrick Gibson.

1Preceding two words interlined in place of “work.”

2Word faint.

Index Entries

  • beef; sent to TJ search
  • Billy (TJ’s slave; b.1799); return of, to Poplar Forest search
  • clothing; manufacture of search
  • cotton; for clothing search
  • flour; at Richmond search
  • flour; from Poplar Forest search
  • flour; in Lynchburg market search
  • flour; price of search
  • food; beef search
  • Gibson, Patrick; and TJ’s flour search
  • hemp; spinning of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; sells flour search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; sells tobacco search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; manufacturing, domestic search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; flour market at search
  • manufacturing; of clothing search
  • manufacturing; TJ on search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); flour from search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); slaves at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); spinning at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visits to search
  • Richmond, Va.; flour prices at search
  • Richmond, Va.; flour shipped to search
  • shirting (textile) search
  • slaves; spinning by search
  • slaves; travels of search
  • textiles; cotton search
  • textiles; hemp search
  • textiles; home manufacture of search
  • textiles; shirting search
  • textiles; wool search
  • tobacco; price of search
  • tobacco; sale of search
  • wool; for clothing 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