Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Bernard Peyton, 11 April 1820

To Bernard Peyton

Monticello Apr. 11. 20.

Dear Sir

I recieved in due time your favor of Mar. 30. and on reconsideration of the subject, have changed my mind. while I lived in Washington I recieved sample of wheat from Chili, which I gave to mr Divers to take care of. it proves not so productive as our own but whiter than the whitest of the May wheat. at the next harvest I will get mr Divers to prepare half a dozen barrels of that1 which sent as a rarity can be more delicately offered in that character as well as for it’s superior excellency. ever & affectionately yours

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of John Adams to TJ, 21 Feb. 1820; with faint salutation rewritten by TJ; at foot of text: “Capt Peyton”; endorsed by TJ.

Peyton’s letter of mar. 30, not found, is recorded in SJL as received 2 Apr. 1820 from Richmond (address cover only in DLC; with PoC of TJ to John H. Cocke, 5 Sept. 1820, on verso; addressed: “Mr Thomas Jefferson Monticello Milton”; franked; postmarked Richmond, 30 Mar.).

In September 1805 James Madison forwarded TJ a sample of wheat from Chile along with wheat from Buenos Aires and barley from Galicia in Spain, all of which was a gift from Carlos Martínez de Yrujo, the Spanish minister to the United States (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser., 10:322). TJ’s friend John H. Cocke later described the early white may wheat of Virginia as unequaled for its “beautiful whiteness, and large proportion of superfine flour to the quantity of grain,” noting that it could be sown in October, or even in November in rich soils (Cultivator 4 [1837]: 147–8).

1Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Argentina; wheat from search
  • barley; from Spain search
  • Chile; wheat from search
  • Cocke, John Hartwell (1780–1866); and wheat search
  • Divers, George; wheat grown by search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); forwards grain samples search
  • Peyton, Bernard; and flour for TJ’s friends search
  • Peyton, Bernard; letters from accounted for search
  • Peyton, Bernard; letters to search
  • Spain; barley from search
  • wheat; from South America search
  • Yrujo (Irujo), Carlos Martínez de; grain samples from search