Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Mann Randolph, 9 August 1819

To Thomas Mann Randolph

Poplar Forest Aug. 9. 19.

Dear Sir

Mr Wood has sent me the inclosed queries with a request to put them into the hands of some one for answers. I will not suppose him so unreasonable as to have meant them for myself, the collection of materials for others to write books with being out of the question at my age, when nothing but absolute necessity can urge me to write even a common letter. you know the characters of our county who may be able & willing to give answers, so much better than I do, that I must ask the favor of you to put them into the best hands you can for answers.

This neighborhood had been 7. weeks without rain, when on Tuesday the 3d inst. (the thermom. here at 99°) a tolerable one fell but very partially. we had it here, & a refreshing shower on the 7th and if well followed up by others we may yet make ¾ of a common crop of corn. one half of my wheat was destroyed by the hail at this place, but the other plantation escaped. nothing can exceed the desolation which the Lynchburg banks have produced in this county. besides endorsements by the country farmers & planters, they had been tempted by usurious interest to leave all their earnings for years past in their merchants hands, of whom scarcely 2. or three will ride out the storm. there seems to be so general a sickening at the effects of the banks that I hope the country is ripe for suppressing them by degrees, but entirely in the end.   your’s respectfully & affectionately

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC); addressed: “Colo Thomas M. Randolph Monticello near Charlottesville”; franked; postmarked Lynchburg, 13 Aug.; endorsed by Randolph. Enclosures: enclosures to John Wood to TJ, 27 July 1819.

TJ’s granddaughter also described the high temperatures in the neighborhood of Poplar Forest: “Saturday (the 31st of July) Sunday, Monday, the thermometer stood at 97° 96° 97°. Yesterday (the 3d of August) it reached 99°. Grandpapa thinks that such a degree of heat has never before been known in this State” (Ellen W. Randolph [Coolidge] to Virginia J. Randolph [Trist], 4 Aug. 1819 [ViU: Coolidge Correspondence]).

Index Entries

  • aging; TJ on his own search
  • banks; and Panic of1819 search
  • banks; TJ on search
  • Bedford County, Va.; temperature readings at search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); visits Poplar Forest search
  • corn; at Poplar Forest search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; fatiguing or painful to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; aging search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; banks search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; banks in search
  • merchants; TJ on search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); corn grown at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); damaged by hail search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ’s grandchildren visit search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); weather at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); wheat grown at search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); and J. Wood’s circular on Va. statistics search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); letters to search
  • scientific instruments; thermometers search
  • thermometers; TJ uses search
  • United States; Panic of1819 search
  • Virginia; J. Wood’s circular on statistics of search
  • weather; effect on crops search
  • weather; hail search
  • weather; heat search
  • weather; rain search
  • weather; temperature readings search
  • wheat; at Poplar Forest search
  • Wood, John (ca.1775–1822); circular on Va. statistics search