Thomas Jefferson Papers

James H. McCulloch to Thomas Jefferson, 26 December 1821

From James H. McCulloch

Custom House Balto Decr 26 1821

Dear Sir

I have recd a letter this morning from Mr J Le Souff Vice Consul of the U’ States London, with the bill of lading for a box of books on your account, directed to my care. You will please to give me direction how to forward them. Though as the season is thickening around us, I am much1 disposed if an opportunity offers to send them to Richmond, under a persuasion that they are for your own use at home; or at any rate for some neighbouring institution.

I have the pleasure once more to subscribe myself, with all the wishes the season & past recollections inspire,

Your obliged & obt servt

Jas H McCulloch

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 30 Dec. 1821 and so recorded in SJL. RC (ViU: TJP); address cover only; with Dft of TJ to Franklin Bache, 10 Apr. 1824, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello Near Charlottsville Virginia”; stamped; postmarked Baltimore, 26 Dec.

On the day after McCulloch composed this letter, TJ’s granddaughter Mary J. Randolph wrote from Monticello to her sister Virginia J. Randolph (Trist) in Richmond describing the holiday celebrations among the enslaved people at Monticello: “this Christmas has passed away hitherto as quietly as I wished & a great deal more so than I expected. I have not had a single application to write passes or done or seen any of the little disagreable business that we generally have to do & except catching the sound of a fiddle yesterday on my way to the smokehouse & getting a glimpse of the fiddler as he stood with half closed eyes & head thrown back with one foot keeping time to his own scraping in the midst of a circle of attentive & admiring auditors I have not seen or heard any thing like Christmas gambols & what is yet more extraordinary have not ordered the death of a single turkey or helped to do execution on a solitary mince pie so you see you lost nothing by being on the road this week & you have gained something by not arriving in Richmond till the end of it since I am told it is the most disagreable part of the year to the white population of the place.” Later in the same letter she remarked that she might “learn latin which grand papa has just been reccomending to me” (RC in NcU: NPT).

1Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • boats; carriage to and from Richmond search
  • Christmas; and mince pies search
  • Christmas; at Monticello search
  • education; Latin search
  • food; pies search
  • food; turkey search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Latin language; study of search
  • Latin language; TJ on search
  • Le Souef, Jeremiah; as vice consul at London search
  • McCulloch, James Hugh (father of James H. McCulloh); collector at Baltimore search
  • McCulloch, James Hugh (father of James H. McCulloh); letters from search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); smokehouse at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); turkeys at search
  • music; and African Americans search
  • music; violin search
  • pies; mince search
  • Randolph, Mary Jefferson (TJ’s granddaughter); correspondence with siblings search
  • Randolph, Mary Jefferson (TJ’s granddaughter); describes Christmas celebrations search
  • Randolph, Mary Jefferson (TJ’s granddaughter); plans to study Latin search
  • Richmond, Va.; boat carriage to and from search
  • slaves; and Christmas search
  • Trist, Virginia Jefferson Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); correspondence with siblings search
  • turkeys; at Monticello search