George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 5 March 1793

From Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] Mar. 5. 93.

Th: Jefferson presents his respectful compliments to the President & will take the liberty of presenting to him to-day Colo. Von Rohr,1 who is the subject of the inclosed letter from Governor Walterstorf of Santa Cruz.2

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; LB (photocopy), DLC:GW.

1Julius Philipp Benjamin von Rohr (c.1735–1793) was a native of Prussia, but he spent most of life in service to the Danish government, which in 1757 appointed him municipal buildings inspector and government land surveyor of the Danish West Indies, the present-day U. S. Virgin Islands. An avid botanist, Rohr established a botanical garden on Santa Cruz (Saint Croix), and in the 1780s the Danish government commissioned him to study the cultivation of cotton in the Caribbean and South America. He published his results as Anmerkungen über den Cattunbau zum Nuzen der dänischen westindischen Colonien (Altona and Leipzig, 1791–93). His visit to the United States preceded a scientific expedition sponsored by the Danish government to conduct botanical studies on the Guinea Coast of West Africa. Rohr’s ship from New York City was lost at sea on its voyage to Africa.

2Ernest Frederick von Walterstorff (1755–1820) served as governor-general of Santa Cruz 1787–94 and 1802–3. For an abstract of his letter to Jefferson of 9 Oct. 1792, in which he introduced Rohr and enclosed part 1 of the botanist’s cotton study, see Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends 24:458.

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