Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Armistead Burwell, 4 June 1807

June 4th 1807—

Dr Sir

I should have written you sooner; but for want of Materials, which would compensate you for the trouble of reading my letter; I can barely give you some account of our Agricultural prospects. we have had more cold weather this Spring than usual & more drought, than has been, necessary for preparing for a new Crop; At present the weather is sufficiently warm, & Moist to pitch our Crop of Tobacco. the people generally have planted & I myself have planted Four fiths of my crop & expect to plant the balance before the Season changes; My Corn appears to grow kindly & unless Some Accident—befals it, I shall make an abundance.

Small grain has suffir’d a considerable diminution from the Severity of the Winter, what has Survived the frost will probably yield, very well—In this part of the State we have Not experienced any Scarcity; Corn Sells at fifteen Shillings the Barrel. & may be procured in every Neighbourhood, without difficulty—

The preparations for a Tob. crop are more extensive than I have ever known them—

In your letter you mention nothing important had reach’d you from Europe; I wish your next advices may not wear an unpleasant Aspect; The change of the British Cabinet, & the Sentiments Ascribed to the present Ministers, while in Parliamt Augur a course of policy towards this country, which I fear will compel us to depart from that system of peace which has given Such universal satisfaction to the people of the US. establishd, social & political harmony. & procur’d to the Administration, an unexampled, & Merited popularity; I however hope the people will discriminate between the calamities of a war Sedulously avoided, & at last undertaken from necessity & one brought on to Answer party purposes, & promote views which can only be accomplish’d while the public Mind is agitated; They will readily consider difference with England of the first kind, & will cheerfully contribute to Maintain the independence of the country without a diminution of their attatchment to those who have so long Served them faithfully—I sincerely hope my apprehensions may prove groundless—I shall most certainly visit you this summer; Accept my most sincere interest in your public Success & private happiness.

W A Burwell

MHi: Coolidge Collection.

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