Thomas Jefferson Papers

Caesar A. Rodney to Thomas Jefferson, 1 October 1820

From Caesar A. Rodney

Wilmington Octob. 1st 1820.

Honored Revered & Dear Sir,

I lamented extremely that my time, did not allow me to stay longer with the best of friends, on my late visit to Monticello. I had intended to leave home the last of June, instead of July, but was unfortunately prevented by an attack of Lumbago, which confined me to my house for a month nearly. This delay, made the period of my departure approach near the commencement of our Court of Chancery which began on the 19th of august, and compelled me, most reluctantly to leave so soon1 your hospitable mansion. For as I am dependent on my profession for my daily bread I am necessarily obliged to devote my attention to it. If health permits I hope next summer to repeat my visit and indeed if it were in my power, I would make an annual pilgrimage to Monticello, to visit my second father.

I have spoken to Mr Alrich about your wool-carding machine & he says he will take great pleasure in putting it in complete order, whenever you may send it on. He is a very ingenious man, & has been a decided friend in gloomy times[.] He is among the most intelligent of our numerous Republican Quakers, in this place.

The Maldonado Pumpkin seed shall be selected from some of the best melons & shall be sent as soon as they are fit; and indeed any thing of the kind in my power. Did you ever see any of the Paraguay Tea of S. America? Shall I send you a sample, by mail, as your frank will allow me to do it?

Let me recommend to you for employment, as a carpenter at your University, Mr Samuel Askew, of this place. He is a most excellent workman & has long been a master carpenter here. He has always done my work & all the public buildings at this place. In these dull times he is willing to go to Virginia & to work as low as one dollar & fifty cents per day, in hopes that he will soon recommend himself to something better. In addition to this, he has been politically faithful in the worst of times. I am sure you would be pleased with him, & I should be much gratified if he could be usefully employed.

Remember me particularly to Mr & Ms Randolph & all your family.

With every sentiment of respect gratitude & affection I remain Dr Sir

Yours Most Truly

C. A. Rodney

P.S. as soon as I can get possession of Governor MKean’s letter, relative to the conduct of my uncle Cæsar on the question of Independence I will transmit a copy without delay. I enclose you a letter for Mr Coles from our old friend A. H. Rowan of Ireland lately transmitted to me. I do not know where to direct it to him, agreeably to Mr Rowan’s request, & I am very anxious it should reach him in safety.


RC (DLC); edge chipped; endorsed by TJ as received 7 Oct. 1820 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

paraguay tea, in this context, is the dried or roasted leaves of the South American maté plant (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

1Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Alrichs, Jacob; and TJ’s wool-carding machine search
  • Alrichs, Jacob; C. A. Rodney on search
  • Askew, Samuel; seeks employment at University of Virginia search
  • carding machines; TJ’s search
  • Coles, Mr.; and A. H. Rowan search
  • Declaration of Independence; debate on search
  • franking privilege; of TJ search
  • health; back pain search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; franking privilege search
  • machines; carding search
  • McKean, Thomas; and Declaration of Independence search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Rodney, Caesar A. search
  • pumpkins; from Maldonado search
  • pumpkins; seeds of search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); greetings sent to search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); greetings sent to search
  • Rodney, Caesar; and Declaration of Independence search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; and C. Rodney search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; and seeds for TJ search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; health of search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; legal career of search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; letters from search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; on J. Alrichs search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; plans to visit TJ search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; recommends S. Askew search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; visits Monticello search
  • Rowan, Archibald Hamilton; correspondence of search
  • seeds; pumpkin search
  • tea; Paraguay (maté) search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; carpenters and joiners for search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; wages for workmen search
  • Wilmington, Del.; chancery court at search
  • wool; carding machines search