Thomas Jefferson Papers

Henry Herring to Thomas Jefferson, 17 July 1819

From Henry Herring

Balto July 17th 1819

Dr Sir

I have taken the liberty of presenting You with one of my Cards representing a Patent Self feeding1 Wheat fan manufactured by myself (Sole proprietor of the patent) for the Atlantic2 States—Which I presume upon examination will be found to Surpass any Other Wheat fan in the United States—as to Simplicity durabillity and utillity—I warrant it to chaff one hundred & twenty bushels Wheat pr hour and that too without the disagreeable necessity of feeding with the hand as in the Common way for a more particular description I refer you to the within plate. also to Skinner’s American Farmer—the price is 45$ and any person purchasing one has the previledge of returning it, upon trial if it should not be found as represented—Respectfully yours Obt Servt

H. Herring

N-B price 45$

RC (DLC); on a sheet folded to form four pages, with letter on p. 1, enclosure on pp. 2–3, and address on p. 4; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqe late President of the United States Virginia”; franked; postmarked Baltimore, 19 July; endorsed by TJ as a letter from “Hening H.” received 4 Aug. 1819 and so recorded in SJL; with TJ’s additional notation above endorsement: “Agriculture. Wheat fan.”

Henry Herring (ca. 1791–1868), manufacturer and lumber merchant, was a native of Maryland who served in the militia during the War of 1812. In 1816 he partnered with George Herring in Baltimore in a “Lumber, Coal and Plaster Business,” but by the following year he conducted business on his own. From 1819 until 1824 Herring was licensee and manufacturer of Jacob Bromwell’s Patent Self-Feeding Wheat Fan. Afterwards he continued as a commercial lumber merchant, and he was a lumber inspector for Baltimore, 1824–26. He was also the proprietor of a planing mill in the 1850s. An uncle by marriage of Edgar Allan Poe, Herring was one of only four attendees at the author’s funeral in 1849. In 1860 he owned personal property worth $6,000. Herring died in Baltimore (F. Edward Wright, Maryland Militia, War of 1812 [1979], 2:53, 56; Baltimore Patriot & Evening Advertiser, 26 July 1816, 17 Apr. 1817; Baltimore Patriot & Mercantile Advertiser, 8 Apr. 1819, 2 Feb., 11 May 1824, 13 Mar. 1826; Matchett’s Baltimore Directory, for 1824 [Baltimore, 1824], 146; Matchett’s Baltimore Director [1851]: 125; [1855]: 154; Arthur Hobson Quinn, Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography [1942], 17, 642–3; DNA: RG 29, CS, Md., Baltimore, 1850, 1860; Baltimore Sun, 9 Mar. 1868).

1Preceding two words interlined.

2Reworked from “United.”

Index Entries

  • agriculture; implements of search
  • American Farmer; and wheat fans search
  • Herring, Henry; as wheat-fan manufacturer search
  • Herring, Henry; identified search
  • Herring, Henry; letter from search
  • Skinner, John Stuart; andAmerican Farmer search
  • tools; wheat fans search
  • wheat; wheat fans search