Bedford 20th May ,20
Yours of the 12th Inst I have received, as also the Dft. for Hepburn for fifty dollars. Hepburn is not at present in this neighbourhood nor do I Know where he is at work at this time having not seen or heard from him for the last 2 or 3 weeks. on sight I will hand him the Dft, and tell him, what you say respecting his going to Monticello to work, but suppose myself, if left to him altogether, he will not go down untill Fall;—We have not done anything as yet, towards our canal, this People has been very sickly this spring, tho none dangerous, I thought it best as Hepburn would not be ready till spring to put it off, so as not to endanger the health of the People and interfere with the crop,
We have hard times here also another such a year as the two last, will produce a famine, I shall be much put to it to get bread untill Harvest, the crop of wheat very unpromising and the greatest scarcity of Tobo plants, ever Known, we have planted a few, and I hope that we shall nearly have enough in time should it be tolerably seasonable, I sown a large crop of Oats, and planted a large crop of corn at both places, entirely sufficent for next year, in ordinary seasons, but it seems, they become more and more difficult every year. on the 17 Inst we had a smart frost, and 6 weeks drough in April & mMay which I have never seen before—you may rely on my best exertions to promote your all I can, but first one thing and then another befalls us, I almost despair, should fail of a crop this year, I shall be compelled to sell my land and run a way to some first country. I am very anxious to see you, and hope if not sooner, you will be with us in Harvest.
MHi: Coolidge Collection.