Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lange, 25 December 1818

To Abraham Lange

Monticello Dec. 25. 18.

On my return to this place in September I addressed a [let]ter to you, which having probably miscarried, I trouble you with a second repeating the request which I took the liberty of then making. it was to ask some of the beans which I saw and ate of at your house, a large bean eaten as a snap is with the hull on. you pointed out to me in your garden a red flowering bean which you said was the same, and you gave me about a dozen of them; but I wish as many as might plant a small patch in the spring, and would be glad to be informed at what time to plant them.   if quilte[d] [. . .] in linen bag, and wrapped in strong paper i[n] [for]m of a letter, and committed as a letter to mail, & directed to me at Monticello near Charlottesville they will come safe. a few of the beautiful white French bean or Haricot which you shewed me would be also accepted with thanks. I salute you with esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of Thomas Cooper to TJ, 18 Sept. 1818; edge trimmed and mutilated at seal; at foot of text: “Monsr Lange”; endorsed by TJ.

Abraham Lange (d. ca. 1840), innkeeper, was a captain in the Augusta County militia during the War of 1812. His farm and mill in that county were situated on the road between Staunton and Warm Springs. TJ stopped at Lange’s establishment en route to the springs in the summer of 1818 and approved of his accommodations. At the time of his death Lange owned personal property valued at $2,696, including three slaves (DNA: RG 29, CS, Augusta Co., 1810–40; Butler, Virginia Militia description begins Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812, 1988 description ends , 49, 252, 279; TJ’s Notes on Inns Between Staunton and Warm Springs and his Notes on Distances Between Warm Springs and Charlottesville, both printed above in a group of documents on Jefferson’s Trip to Warm Springs, 6 Aug. 1818; Betts, Garden Book description begins Edwin M. Betts, ed., Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, 1766–1824, 1944 description ends , 583; petition of citizens of Bath Co. and Augusta Co., [presented 28 Dec. 1829], Vi: RG 78, Legislative Petitions, Bath Co.; Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1832–33 sess.], 96 [7 Mar. 1833]; “Peregrine Prolix” [Philip H. Nicklin], Letters descriptive of the Virginia Springs; the roads leading thereto, and the doings thereat [1835], 74–5; Augusta Co. Will Book, 23:290–1, 317–9).

The letter TJ addressed to Lange shortly after his 1 Sept. 1818 return to Monticello is not recorded in SJL and has not been found.

Index Entries

  • beans; haricot search
  • beans; snap search
  • food; snap beans search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Travels; to Warm Springs search
  • Lange, Abraham; and seeds for TJ search
  • Lange, Abraham; Augusta Co. innkeeper search
  • Lange, Abraham; identified search
  • Lange, Abraham; letters to search
  • Lange, Abraham; letter to accounted for search
  • seeds; bean search
  • Warm Springs (Bath Co.); TJ visits search