Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Patrick Gibson, 26 November 1819

To Patrick Gibson

Monticello Nov. 26. 19.

Dear Sir

Your’s of the 11th came to hand yesterday only. how it could have slumbered 15. days on the road is inexplicable but by great default. it happens in this case to produce no ill because on the day of the date of yours I had forwarded to you the notes desired, which you probably recieved a day or two after.

I am really miserable at the state of our river, and the continuance of the most obdurate drought ever known. since June there has not been water enough to float an empty boat, except by a rain which fell on the 9th of October, and the next day 100. barrels of flour were sent off1 for me. the boats were detained at Wood’s locks until the water left them, one excepted which got down (Gilmer’s) and I thought he had had a part of my flour, but your letter induces2 me to suppose he had not. I learnt a day or two ago that the master of the boats had gone to them with a view of getting on by half loads, and employing additional boats. I hope therefore it is gone on. I believe that I have between 3. and 4. hundred3 barrels of flour now ready in the mill and waiting only for a good rain, after which it shall be forwarded as fast as boats can be procured. there will be some difficulty in this as the accumulation of flour is general. I am sorely uneasy at the continuance of so large a balance against me, but such an accident of drought & low water never before happened. Accept assurances of my great esteem & respec[t]

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of a reused address cover from John Wayles Eppes to TJ; edge trimmed; at foot of text: “Mr Gibson”; endorsed by TJ.

Gibson’s response of 9 Dec. 1819, not found, is recorded in SJL as received 13 Dec. 1819 from Richmond.

1Manuscript: “of.”

2Manuscript: “induce.”

3Manuscript: “400. hundred.”

Index Entries

  • Bank of the United States, Second, Richmond branch of; TJ’s loan from search
  • boats; carriage to and from Richmond search
  • Gibson, Patrick; and TJ’s flour search
  • Gibson, Patrick; and TJ’s loan from Second Bank of U.S. search
  • Gibson, Patrick; letters from accounted for search
  • Gibson, Patrick; letters to search
  • Gilmore, Joseph; Milton boatman search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); flour from search
  • Richmond, Va.; flour shipped to search
  • Rivanna River; locks on search
  • Rivanna River; water level of search
  • Shadwell mills; flour from search
  • weather; drought search
  • Wood, William (d. ca.1822); Fluvanna Co. mill of search