Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to James Clarke, 19 January 1821

To James Clarke

Monticello Jan. 19. 21.

Dear Sir

On my return from Bedford lately I had the misfortune to lose the rod and ratchet wheel which communicates motion from the wheel of the carriage to the Odometer; and I had not been thoughtful enough to note the number of teeth in that wheel, their form, or the size of the wheel. I am obliged therefore to request you to draw for me on paper, or on a card the exact diagram of that wheel [wh]ich,1 as well as the rod on which it is put, I expect my smith could make. or perhaps you can save me half the doubt by stitching between 2 cards the little wheel itself, which in that way will come safely under a letter cover by the mail. my trial of the machine in going to Bedford, and in returning until the loss, was very satisfactory. accept my friendly & respectful salutation[s]

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; edge trimmed; adjacent to signature: “Colo James Clarke”; endorsed by TJ; with notation by TJ at foot of text: “Mar. 22. 21. sent a duplicate” (see note to Clarke to TJ, 2 Apr. 1821).

1Word faint.

Index Entries

  • blacksmiths; at Monticello search
  • carriages; odometers for search
  • Clarke, James (of Powhatan Co.); letters to search
  • Clarke, James (of Powhatan Co.); odometer of search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); blacksmiths at search
  • odometers search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search