Philadelphia Decr. 26th. 1806
It is painful to me to trouble you at this period, when you are so much occupied with the important affairs of the Nation; but your goodness I hope will excuse my anxiety, to procure some seeds of the indiginous plants of the western parts of America, if you received such from Capt. Lewis on his return. A small portion of every kind you could conveniently spare, would greatly oblige me and perhaps, render me essential service; and it would be of some importance to get them as soon as you could make it convenient to have them forwarded, that each kind might be treated according to its apparent nature, and different methods tried to effect its successful propagation with the greater degree of certainty, especially, the nondescripts, if any.
Of the Cucurbita you were so kind as to send me, some grew to the length of five feet five inches. I have one of them now in my shop window, perfectly dry, which is five feet one inch long, perfectly straight and in every part about four inches in diameter: they are excellent to use as squashes while young. The quarantine Corn, was with me fit for the table, in fifty days after sowing; our last summer was colder than usual, or it, probably, would have been fit for use in forty days; however, it is a great acquisition and highly deserving of cultivation for the early part of the season.
I have the happiness of being with great respect and esteem, Sir Your sincere Wellwisher.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.