Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Joel Yancey, 25 June 1819

To Joel Yancey

Monticello June 25. 19.

Dear Sir

I recieved on the 21st your letters of the 10th and 13th and learn with much concern the deaths and sickness among our people. at one plantation here we are in worse condition, 16. being now laid up with the nervous fever of whom two have died, Milly Sall’s daughter wife of Barnaby, and a child of Rachael’s. they have not well enough to attend to1 the sick. this puts it out of my power to send you any help; for without all the aid I can give my grandson he would lose his harvest. which is a very great one, estimated at 7. or 8000. bushels of wheat. I shall be able to leave this for Poplar Forest about the 7th of July; and shall bring with me glass of one kind2 to repair the damages to the house, while two boxes of another kind3 will go up from Richmond by the first boat for Lynchburg. Johnny Hemings and his assistants will go when I do: the other carpenters something later. I hope Capt Martin will consider what a loss & disappointment it will be to me if these people have to return for want of the stuff desired, & that he will exert himself to compleat the bill. I had promised mr White to pay him his money by the 1st of this month, counting on recieving what is due to me here. but such is the general distress that nobody seems able to pay; and one disappointment produces twenty. I am endeavoring to collect what is owing to me, and hope I shall be able when I arrive in Bedford, or soon after, to pay him his money. the sale of the tobo in Lynchburg may perhaps have enabled you to pay him a part. accept the assurance of my friendly esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of Benjamin Vaughan to TJ, 21 Apr. 1819; at foot of text: “Mr Yancey”; endorsed by TJ.

Elizabeth Trist described the illnesses at TJ’s Lego plantation in a letter to Nicholas P. Trist dated Monticello, 19 June 1819: “it begins to be sickly in this Neighbourhood particularly among the Blacks Mr Jefferson has 16. down at Lego and buried one yesterday Six were getting better but eating cherries occasion’d one to relapse and I understand little hope is entertain’d of his recovery” (DLC: NPT).

TJ’s grandson was Thomas Jefferson Randolph.

1Manuscript: “attended.”

2Preceding three words interlined.

3Preceding three words added in margins.

Index Entries

  • Barnaby (slave) search
  • boats; carriage to and from Richmond search
  • building materials; window glass search
  • cherries; and illness search
  • children; death of search
  • children; slave search
  • food; cherries search
  • glass, window; for Poplar Forest search
  • health; of slaves search
  • health; typhus search
  • Hemmings, John (TJ’s slave; b. ca.1776); travels to and from Poplar Forest search
  • Lego (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); slaves at search
  • lumber; cutting of search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; boats traveling to and from search
  • Martin, James; and TJ’s timber search
  • Milly (TJ’s slave;1797–1819); death of search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); slaves at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); damaged by hail search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); glass for search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); slaves at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visits to search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); tobacco grown at search
  • Rachael (TJ’s slave; b.1773); death of child of search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); crops of search
  • Sally (Sal) (TJ’s slave; b.1777); family of search
  • slaves; death of search
  • slaves; health of search
  • slaves; travels of search
  • tobacco; grown at Poplar Forest search
  • tobacco; in Lynchburg market search
  • tobacco; sale of search
  • Tomahawk plantation (part of TJ’s Poplar Forest estate); overseer at search
  • Trist, Elizabeth House; describes illness among TJ’s slaves search
  • typhus search
  • wheat; as crop search
  • White, Jacob W.; as overseer at Tomahawk plantation search
  • Yancey, Joel (d.1833); as superintendent of Poplar Forest search
  • Yancey, Joel (d.1833); letters to search