Thomas Jefferson Papers

Horatio G. Spafford to Thomas Jefferson, 29 May 1818

From Horatio G. Spafford

Spa[fford’s] Settlement, Venango Co., W. Pa., 5 Mo. 29, 1818.

Respected Friend—

I take the liberty to enquire for thy health, & am anxious to learn if any of the seeds, with which I am stocking my Farms, would be acceptable on thine? I have lately obtained some very superior oats, from Russia, & some summer wheat & Summer rye; four or 5. varieties of wheat, from Europe & Africa, & some seed of the Lupinella, from Italy. I presume it is probable the most or all of these seeds may be in thy possession already, & many others, as valuable & rare: but if not, I should be glad to send small specimens, from any or all such as I have. I should also esteem it a favor to receive from thee any seeds that thou may have to spare, of kinds adapted to this climate. I hear much of the ruta baga, or Swedish turnip, as it is called in England, but am unable to procure any of the seeds. I am now wholly employed on my farms, & in opening roads, erecting mills, &c., forming a new Settlement in these vast forests. The land is handsome, well wooded & watered, & the soil good—the climate, delightful. Our situation is so wild, that we have to bring all our provisions 15 miles, & our task is [Severe] accordingly. I came here in December last, & have nearly got cleared for a crop, 12 acres, all the opening then is in sight.

With anxious wishes for the prolongation of thy valuable life, with health & happiness, I remain, very respectfully, thy friend,

Horatio Gates Spafford.

RC (MHi); dateline torn; one word illegible; endorsed by TJ as received 26 June 1818 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of third page of TJ to William H. Crawford, 10 Nov. 1818, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson, LL.D. late President of the United States, Monticello, Va.”; franked; postmarked Franklin, Pa., 6 June.

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