Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John Barnes, 5 May 1819

To John Barnes

Monticello May 5. 19.

Dear Sir

An absence in Bedford prevented my recieving your favor of Apr. 21. until the 3d inst. in answer to your kind enquiries as to our fire, the loss was confined to the little pavilion which, as you may remember, constituted the Northern extremity or wing of my buildings. our snow house enabled us so far to cover with snow the adjacent terras which connected it with the main building as to prevent it’s affecting that. the walls remain good. the injury I recieved by a fall during the conflagration was slight, and my general health I consider now as well established. much injury was done in this state during those two days [of] wind. many houses burnt, farms laid bare by the destruction of their inclosures, whole herds of hogs in the forest burnt up, and 3. or 4. lives within my own knolege, lost by suffocation, becoming surrounded by the fire. I hope you enjoy good health & your usual activity, so unusual at your age, and I salute you with constant affection & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of a reused address cover from Barnes to TJ; one word faint; at foot of text: “Mr Barnes”; endorsed by TJ.

An image of Monticello’s icehouse (snow house) is reproduced elsewhere in this volume. The many houses burnt at the same time as Monticello’s North Pavilion included the “dwelling house of Mr. Jesse Lewis, about two miles beyond Charlottesville, and Carr’s Brook, the seat of Dabney Minor, Esq.” in Albemarle County (Alexandria Gazette & Daily Advertiser, 16 Apr. 1819).

Index Entries

  • Barnes, John; and fire at Monticello search
  • Barnes, John; and TJ’s health search
  • Barnes, John; health of search
  • Barnes, John; letters to search
  • Carr’s-brook (Peter Carr’s Albemarle Co. estate) search
  • icehouses; at Monticello search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; good health of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; injured in fall search
  • Lewis, Jesse Pitman; house of, burns search
  • Minor, Dabney; house of, burns search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); fires at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); icehouse at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); main house at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); North Pavilion search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); terraces at search
  • pigs; killed by wildfires search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ returns from search
  • Virginia; fires in search
  • weather; wind search