Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Peter Cardelli, 7 November 1819

To Peter Cardelli

Monticello Nov. 7. 19

Dear Sir

Your letter of Oct: 24. was not recieved until the 4t[h] instant. I think you left us in June, and within 2. or 3. days afte[r] I lodged your box in Milton under a strict charge to send it to Capt Peyton in Richmond by the first boat; for as this neighborhoo[d] depends for it’s carriage to Richmond on the navigation of the rive[r] there is not a single waggon here which works in that line; and thos[e] from above which pass us, bringing heavy loads have uniformly refused to take your box. we were obliged therefore to depend on the riv[er] and since you left us there has fallen but one rain to affect that. the[re] has never been water enough in the river since June to float an emp[ty] boat until the 23d of Oct. when a sufficient one fell, and your box was sent off by the first boat the next day, and is now I trust with Capt Peyton, or on the way from Richmond to Washington, as I am su[re] he would send it by the first vessel. the river is now so low again th[at] the boats which went down on the 24th of Oct. cannot now get back empt[y.] so long a suspension of our navigation has never before been known, and th[e] drought occasioning it has reduced our corn crop to one third of the usu[al.] it is the elements therefore which have so long delayed your box & no[t] any want of attention or effort on our part.   I have recieved a speci[men] of marble from Augusta (60 miles above this) equal in whiteness & grain t[o] the finest statuary marble of Carrara, and it is very extensive & abund[ant.] I got a friend to go and examine it; his report is that it is 18. miles from Staunton, covered by about 2. feet of earth, can be had in large blocks [&?] is of the purest white. I have no doubt it is the finest marble which h[as] ever been found in America. I salute you with esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; edge trimmed; at foot of text: “Mr Cardelli”; endorsed by TJ.

TJ’s friend was Thomas J. Stuart.

Index Entries

  • Augusta County, Va.; marble quarry in search
  • boats; carriage to and from Richmond search
  • Cardelli, Peter (Pietro); box forwarded to search
  • Cardelli, Peter (Pietro); letters to search
  • Cardelli, Peter (Pietro); visits Monticello search
  • Carrara marble search
  • corn; effect of weather on search
  • marble; Carrara search
  • marble; in Va. search
  • Milton, Va.; boats traveling to and from search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Cardelli, Peter search
  • Peyton, Bernard; forwards goods for TJ search
  • Richmond, Va.; boat carriage to and from search
  • Rivanna River; water level of search
  • weather; drought search
  • weather; rain search