Thomas Jefferson Papers

Enclosure: John Wood’s Circular Call for Statistics on Virginia, [before 27 July 1819]


John Wood’s Circular Call for Statistics on Virginia

[before 27 July 1819]

John Wood, being at present engaged in making a survey of the counties in the State of Virginia; respectfully solicits information from the gentlemen of the county of      in regard to the following particulars.

1. The Tribe of Indians to which the Aborigines of the county belonged.

2. The names of the first settlers and year of settlement.1

3. The origin of the names of mountains, rivers, and creeks—If Indian names, an explanation of the terms.

4. Indian Antiquities and Natural Phenomena.

5. Indian and popular tradition in relation to local events.

6. Local incidents of a remarkable nature, tending to illustrate the Indian, French, revolutionary and last Wars.

7. The animals; birds; shellfish; insects and reptiles.

8. The minerals and vegetables.

9. The quality of soil, and the progress and present state of agriculture, with the value of land.

10 Wells and Springs.

11. Climate; state of longevity and prevailing diseases of the county.

12. Population.

13. Peculiar manners and habits.

14. Literature and Education.

15. The Arts, Commerce and Manufactures.

16. Religion; the various sects at present in the county, with the probable numbers attached to each.

17. Law and Medicine.

Printed in Richmond Enquirer, 13 Aug. 1819; undated; at head of text: “STATISTICS OF VIRGINIA.  Mr. Wood, having contracted with the state, to survey, and draw a map of the whole, and a chart of each county, wishes at the same time to prepare a sort of memoir upon the condition of each county. The plan is of course of greater breadth of detail, than the elegant and profound ‘Notes on Virginia.’ It seems rather to correspond in design with Sir John Sinclair’s Statistics of Scotland; varied, however, so as to suit the particular features of the American society, the past history of the Aborigines, &c. &c.—It is impossible, while on this subject, to refrain the expression of a wish which we have long indulged: viz. to see a new Edition of the ‘Notes on Virginia’ from the hands of their illustrious author. So many changes have taken place since the date of the work, so many fields have been opened for pushing former discoveries, that a new Edition is really a great desideratum to the Literature of Virginia.—Mr. Wood, without following the plan of this work will occasionally strike into the paths which it opens. But his plan is yet only in embryo. It will depend on others whether it will ever come to any thing. In the following circular he appeals to gentlemen of information and zeal, in each county, to assist him in collecting materials for it. It was thus, we believe, that Sir J. Sinclair got along; and thus finally brought forth a useful work, which, alone and unaided, he never would have been able to have produced.—The following are the heads to which Mr. W. invites attention.” Reprinted, including note at head of text, in Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 17 Aug. 1819, and elsewhere.

The circulars Wood enclosed to TJ were presumably part of a broadside printing, not found, that he began distributing before its insertion in the Richmond Enquirer.

1Richmond Enquirer: “setlement.” Daily National Intelligencer: “settlement.”

Index Entries

  • agriculture; in Va. search
  • birds; in Va. search
  • education; in Va. search
  • food; vegetables search
  • French and Indian War search
  • health; weather’s effect on search
  • Indians, American; in Va. search
  • insects; in Va. search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Notes on the State of Virginia search
  • maps; of Virginia search
  • medicine; in Va. search
  • mineralogy; of Va. search
  • Notes on the State of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson); revised edition proposed search
  • religion; in Va. search
  • reptiles; in Va. search
  • Revolutionary War; and Va. search
  • shellfish; in Va. search
  • Sinclair, Sir John; The Statistical Account of Scotland search
  • springs; in Va. search
  • surveying; and new map of Va. search
  • The Statistical Account of Scotland (J. Sinclair) search
  • Virginia; agriculture in search
  • Virginia; and education search
  • Virginia; climate of search
  • Virginia; disease in search
  • Virginia; early settlement of search
  • Virginia; fauna of search
  • Virginia; Indians in search
  • Virginia; J. Wood’s circular on statistics of search
  • Virginia; law in search
  • Virginia; literature of search
  • Virginia; maps of search
  • Virginia; minerals of search
  • Virginia; religion in search
  • Virginia; springs in search
  • Virginia; surveys of search
  • War of1812; and Va. search
  • weather; effect on health search
  • weather; in Va. search
  • Wood, John (ca.1775–1822); as Va. state surveyor search
  • Wood, John (ca.1775–1822); circular on Va. statistics search