Thomas Jefferson Papers

James Clarke to Thomas Jefferson, 15 August 1821

From James Clarke

powhatan Augt 15th 1821

Dear Sir

Inclosed, I send you a small sample of the cotton, and the coffee, which grows Spontaneously on that part of the coast of Africa now colonising with the free people of Colour from America. It was sent to Richmond by one of the first adventurers from Virginia

He writes, the country is remarkably healthy and the soil extremely fertile—It gives me a pleasing hope, that we shall, in time, get rid of that unfortunate discription of people, and they be placed in a much happier situation than they are here—and that it will open a door to many Slave holders1 who wish to emancipate their Slaves—

I am extremely glad to learn that your health has very much improved since I had the pleasure of seing last—

Be pleased to accept the highest respt of Your Obedt Servt

James Clarke

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 18 Sept. 1821 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Arthur S. Brockenbrough, 12 Dec. 1822, on verso; addressed: “Mr Thomas Jefferson Monticello”; franked; postmarked Richmond, 11 Sept.

Lott Cary, Collin Teage, and Richmond Sampson were among the free people of colour who sailed from Norfolk in January 1821 to establish a colony in Africa. They had recently sent positive reports to friends in the United States (DVB description begins John T. Kneebone, Sara B. Bearss, and others, eds., Dictionary of Virginia Biography, 1998– , 3 vols. description ends , 3:109–11; Latter Day Luminary 2 [1821]: 397–400; Baltimore Patriot & Mercantile Advertiser, 3 June 1821; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 16 June 1821).

1Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Africa; and colonization search
  • Africa; crops from search
  • African Americans; colonization of search
  • Cary, Lott; and colony in Africa search
  • Clarke, James (of Powhatan Co.); and African colonization search
  • Clarke, James (of Powhatan Co.); letters from search
  • coffee; in Africa search
  • cotton; in Africa search
  • Sampson, Richmond; and colony in Africa search
  • slavery; and colonization search
  • Teage, Collin; and colony in Africa search