Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to William Barret, 12 February 1821

To William Barret

Monticello Feb. 12. 21.


I recieved yesterday evening your favor of the 5th inst. I am one of those who during the flood of bank-currency which deluged us, unwarily contracted debts, which had the times continued the same, would have given me no trouble; but by the sudden reduction of that, and the fall of produce from tha[t] cause and the failure of market, I am left in the lurch, these debts being now fully trebled. the flour I now send to market clears me but 1.96. D. after paying expences. I have not hesitated, seeing no prospect of change, to give up the idea of depending on crops for payment, and to offer property for sale. but this too requires time. I offer for sale a merchant mill which would pay every dollar I owe in the world, but I know not when I may meet with a purchaser. I offer lands also, but under the same uncertainty. I am now therefore engaged in making some arrangements which may lessen delays to those to whom I owe and give me time to make reasonable sales. it will be about three weeks before I shall know the result of these; and I must therefore ask that time before I can propose to you specific sums & times of payment. the moment I know this result, you shal[l] certainly hear from me on the subject. in the mean time accept the assurance of my great respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of Bernard Peyton to TJ, 7 Oct. 1819; edge trimmed; at foot of text: “Mr Barrett”; endorsed by TJ.

Barret’s letter was dated 6 Feb. 1821, not the 5th inst.

Index Entries

  • A. Robertson & Company (firm); TJ’s debt to search
  • banks; currency issued by search
  • Barret, William; and TJ’s debt to A. Robertson & Company search
  • Barret, William; letters to search
  • crops; sales of search
  • currency; amount of in circulation search
  • flour; price of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; debt to A. Robertson & Company search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; sells land search
  • United States; economy of search