Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas May (for John Ayers & Company) to Thomas Jefferson, 9 April 1821

From Thomas May (for John Ayers & Company)

Richmond 9th April 1821


We have placed under charge of Mr Bernard Peyton of this City a Barrel of Corn to be forwarded to you at the request of Mr Jechonias Thayer of Boston, State of Massachusetts, from which place we lately received it.

Mr Thayer states to us, that the Corn is considered valuable, as being very prolific and may do well in this climate, but requires a longer Season to mature it, than that of Massachusetts.

We have with pleasure complied with the request of Mr Thayer, under the certainty that the corn goes to proper hands to ensure its general cultivation in this state, if on trial, it be found worthy of particular1 attention.

Respectfully Your most Obdt Svts
Jno Ayers & Co
 ⅌ Thos May

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 12 Apr. 1821 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to John Hayley Jones, 25 June 1821, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Montecello Virginia”; franked; postmarked Richmond, 9 Apr.

John Ayers & Company, Richmond mercantile firm, was a partnership between John Ayers, Henry Ayers, and Thomas May. Active by 1819, the firm was insolvent in 1822. May wrapped up its affairs and continued as a commission merchant under his own name. He was an agent for the Ætna Insurance Company in 1824 (The Richmond Directory, Register and Almanac, for the Year 1819 [Richmond, 1819], 34; Virginia Patriot, and Richmond Mercantile Advertiser, 3 Aug. 1819; Richmond Enquirer, 25 June, 5 July 1822, 9 Mar., 17 Sept. 1824).

Jechonias Thayer (ca. 1786–1876), merchant, was a native of Braintree, Massachusetts. By 1809 he was a partner in the firm of Austin & Thayer in Boston. During the War of 1812 Thayer served as a paymaster and quartermaster in the Massachusetts volunteer militia. He had his own grocery business in Boston in 1818, and he traded under the name of J. Thayer & Company in New Orleans from about 1836 to 1840. Thayer was a member of the Massachusetts Peace Society and the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture. He died in Boston (Thayer’s passport application, 29 May 1857 [DNA: RG 59, PA]; Boston Gazette, 11 Sept. 1809; Gardner W. Pearson, Records of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia [1913], 68; Massachusetts Register and United States Calendar; For the Year of our Lord 1813 [Boston, (1813)], 174; Boston Daily Advertiser, 21 Dec. 1818, 30 Oct. 1876; Catalogue of the Officers and Members of the Massachusetts Peace Society [Cambridge, Mass., 1819], 4; Massachusetts Agricultural Repository and Journal 7 [1822]: 208; New Orleans Commercial Bulletin, 1 Jan. 1836; New Orleans Daily Picayune, 21 Oct. 1840).

1Manuscript: “paticular.”

Index Entries

  • corn; seed sent to TJ search
  • John Ayers & Company (Richmond firm); and corn for TJ search
  • John Ayers & Company (Richmond firm); identified search
  • John Ayers & Company (Richmond firm); letter from search
  • May, Thomas; as partner in John Ayers & Company search
  • May, Thomas; identified search
  • May, Thomas; letter from search
  • Peyton, Bernard; and goods for TJ search
  • seeds; corn search
  • Thayer, Jechonias; identified search
  • Thayer, Jechonias; sends corn to TJ search