Thomas Jefferson Papers

Joel Yancey to Thomas Jefferson, [before 26] January [1819]

From Joel Yancey

poplar Forest 18th Jany [before 26 Jan. 1819]

Dr Sir

I received your letter by Dick & Jerry, this morning, they arrived here late, last Evening, I am very sorry that Dick, has faild to deliver his loads, he has many excuses, and seems now to be much mortified, I hope another case will not occur, I now send by Jerry the balance of the pork intended for monticello, in a box containing1 95 ps, also all the poplars that are in the gardens, we know them by the name of the balsam poplars. I send also a few of the latter peas, but have been desappointed in getting as many as I wish to have sent you at present, but still expect to be able to send you more in time for seeding, and plenty for your use here (reserved) mr Radford and myself have had one or two meetings in Lynchburg on the subject of assurtaining the price of Brick work during the last year in Lynchburg—it seems to me that mr Brown has considerable influence among the undertakers, and that most of the contracts have been made, with a View, to have a bearing on the contract at the C. College during the last year, they made lumping bargains (as they term it) and we as yet have not been able to satisfy ourselves, on the Subject, we again have appointed a day next week to make further2 inquiry. but I fear that things have been so managed, that we shall not be able to make any award on the subject but more of this in a few days, when we shall send you our joint opinions—I am sorry to add another to the list of mortality, Ambrose who I mentioned in my last was Ill died last monday, Maria is better Dinah; much the Same, and several others complaining, but none in my opinion seriously3 ill It would seem indeed, the mortality among the children—last year was occasioned from want of nursing and care of the mothers, but if it was, it was their mothers own fault, to my Knowledge they never was prohibited from going to their children when ever it was necessary, and particulurly, when they were sick, you will recollect that Wills Salls was sick, while you were here during the harvest, that you always found her with her child when you visited it, which was frequently4 and as to Edy & Amy I think it will be a miracle if ever they raise a child, they appear to have no more care or concern at a Death of a child than a brute, Edy has had 5 and have lost them all and Amy 3 and lost 2. I have always enjoined it upon the overseers to suffer them to attend to their children, and Knowing it to be a particulur charge given me upon our first agreement I assure you paid particulurly attention to it myself also—expecting to write you again within few days I will conclude this hasty Scrawl, which I fear you will not be able to read, after expressing to you my graetfull acknowledgments for the confidence and friendship which you had the kindness to express for me and to assure you that my future conduct Shall be to endeavor to merit a continuance of it

Joel Yancey

RC (MHi); dateline at foot of text; partially and incorrectly dated, with evidence of misdating consisting of departure from Monticello of wagon carrying letter responded to here on morning of 18 Jan. 1819 (see TJ to Yancey, 17 Jan. 1819), and contradictory statement above that the wagon arrived at Poplar Forest the evening of 17 Jan. 1819; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 18 Jan. 1819 received eight days later and so recorded in SJL.

c. college: Central College. In lumping bargains building contractors or undertakers agree to complete projects for a single overall sum without specifying the tasks or wages of their workers or the costs of their materials.

1Yancey here canceled “pieces.”

2Word interlined.

3Manuscript: “seriouly.”

4Manuscript: “frequenty.”

Index Entries

  • Ambrose (TJ’s slave;1799–1819); death of search
  • Amy (TJ’s slave; b.1797); and child rearing search
  • Brown, Matthew; and brickwork for Central College search
  • Central College; brickmasons for search
  • children; slave search
  • Dick (Yellow Dick) (TJ’s slave; b.1767); as wagoner search
  • Dinah (TJ’s slave; b.1766); health of search
  • Edy (TJ’s slave; b.1792); and child rearing search
  • food; pork search
  • health; of slaves search
  • Jeremiah (Jerry) (TJ’s slave; b.1777); as wagoner search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; builders’ prices in search
  • Maria (TJ’s slave; b.1798); health of search
  • peas; grown at Poplar Forest search
  • poplar; balsam search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); peas grown at search
  • pork; transported to and from Poplar Forest search
  • Radford, William; and builders for Central College search
  • Sally (Sal) (TJ’s slave; b.1777); and child rearing search
  • seeds; pea search
  • slaves; and child rearing search
  • slaves; death of search
  • slaves; health of search
  • trees; poplar search
  • Will (William) (TJ’s slave; b.1753); family of search
  • women; and child rearing search
  • Yancey, Joel (d.1833); and builders for Central College search
  • Yancey, Joel (d.1833); as superintendent of Poplar Forest search
  • Yancey, Joel (d.1833); letters from search