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Thomas Jefferson’s Constant Friend

1773

Alexander Donald

Son of Geilston, 1745-1808

1787

The life of an 18th century Glasgow Merchant and his correspondence with Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and James Watt


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Letter of introduction from Thomas Jefferson To Thomas Pinckney, Philadelphia, 8 June 1792

Th: Jefferson takes the liberty of presenting Mr. Pinkney the bearer hereof Alexander Donald esq. one of his youthful friends and found a constant one, even unto the end. He long resided in Virginia, is now established in London, and Th: Jefferson will be responsible to Mr. Pinkney that any esteem he may honor him with, will be worthily placed.

Letter of introduction from Patrick Henry To George Washington, Richmond, 5 March 1785

The Bearer hereof Mr Alexander Donald wishes to have the Honor of presenting himself to you, & has entreated of me to sollicit for him permission to do so. I take the Liberty therefore to introduce him to you, not doubting but you will find him agreable. With the highest Esteem & Regard I am Dear sir, your most obedient Servant In memory of Colin Dunlop Donald, 1934-2006

This is a draft version for private circulation. Not all copyright of letters and images has been cleared for publication. Credits and bibliography to follow Š James Donald, no part of this text may be reproduced without permission of the author jamesiandonald@hotmail.com

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Contents To be updated and added to Life and times 

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Alexander’s will

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Timeline 

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Family tree 

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Relationship with Thomas Jefferson

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Letters 1787-1798 

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James Watt letters  

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1760 Signature of Alexander Donald, 14, a month after his father’s death. This was on a “factory” as he left Scotland to go to America and work for Murdoch & Cochrane. The letter “r” of “Alexr” developed into the “crow’s foot” between his initials, described on page 19 in an advertisement of 1768, and in all the signatures following

1773

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From the wedding contract between Thomas Donald of Geilston and Janet Dunlop. “Alexander Donald, merchant of Glasgow”, Thomas’s brother, was a witness

178 1779 From the Council Record Book of Glasgow, Alexander Donald, baillie of the city, swearing his allegiance to King George III. He was sent by Glasgow Council to St James’s Palace in London in August 1780 to pledge Glasgow’s allegiance to the crown, and kissed the King’s hand

1787 From a letter Alexander Donald wrote from Richmond, Virginia to George Washington at Mount Vernon on 22 May

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1790 From a letter dated 3 September from London arranging a meeting between Rev. Doc. James Madison and the anti-slavery campaigner, Granville Sharp. Also arranging a meeting between Madison and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who made Madison a Bishop later that month

1792 From a letter from Alexander to Thomas Jefferson in December informing him that there have been near riots in London after the publication of The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine

1793 From a letter from Alexander to Thomas Jefferson in January asking for further details about Jefferson’s request for a “sober” stonemason from Scotland to help with the building of Monticello

1798 From a letter on 6 November from Alexander in Nuneaton to Boulton and Watt about the purchase of a steam engine for his coal mine in Warwickshire, England Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Alexander Donald 1745-1808

A

lexander Donald, Scots Atlantic trader, entrepreneur, and friend and confidante of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, was born on 23 May 1745 at Geilston House, Cardross, Dunbartonshire, at the height of the last Jacobite rebellion. He was born into a wealthy family of Scottish merchants, and his father James Donald of Geilston was a partner in James and Robert Donald & Co which thrived on the transatlantic commerce between Scotland and America. Orphaned at the age of 14 in 1760, Alexander inherited a fortune, and sailed to America where he became a long-standing friend of some of the most significant figures in the early history of the United States. Alexander very quickly built up a successful business in America before returning home in 1770 shortly before the outbreak of the American War of Independence. He became a Baillie – a local civic officer - of the City of Glasgow, and was tasked with delivering an address to King George III pledging the city’s loyalty. From Glasgow, Alexander moved to London to work with another Scottish merchant, Robert Burton. He returned to America from 1784-90 to continue his business, now with the company Donald & Burton, and took American citizenship for the second time between 1785-1790. He rekindled his friendship with Thomas Jefferson through letters while Jefferson was serving as American Minister to France (1784-1789).

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Geilston House, Cardross, birthplace of Alexander Donald. Only the original part of the house (left) existed at the time Alexander stayed with George Washington at his Virginia estate Mount Vernon at least twice according to Washington’s diaries of 1785 and 1787. He wrote to Jefferson after his stay in 1787 that he had sounded out Washington – and Martha Washington – about the prospect of his becoming President and he later wrote to Washington to help persuade the reluctant retired general to assume the presidency in February 1789: “The Happiness & Prosperity of the Thirteen United States, intirely depends on your acceptance of the President’s Chair. Allow me to add, that it is the general opinion of the Friends to the New Government, that if you decline being at the Head of it, it never can, or will take effect.” Washington became first President of the United States in April 1789. Donald & Burton did not ultimately flourish in the new US and Alexander returned to London to manage the business from there, continuing his


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Parish record of the christening of Alexander and his siblings in Glasgow on 11 May 1756 correspondence with Jefferson. However, Donald & Burton went bankrupt in 1793. Alexander started other businesses, including a drinks-importing business, and he also moved into coal mining, and took over the Haunchwood Colliery in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, writing a series of letters to the Greenock-born engineer James Watt Jnr (1736-1819) ordering a second hand pump for the mine and complaining about the slow delivery and installation. This business also went bust, but this time with more serious consequences and Alexander ended up in a London debtor’s prison, the King’s Bench in 1801. In 1806, back in Nuneaton, he wrote a will in which he effectively disinherited his son James, leaving him the sum of only 5 shillings, leaving the rest of his money to his two daughters, Janet and Sarah. He died in 1808. His obituary in the Monthly Magazine read: “At Haunchwood-House, near Nuneatoncolliery, in his 64th year, Alexander Donald, esq, of Glasgow, formerly one of the magistrates of that city, and many years an eminent American merchant in London. When in prosperity, many felt the warmth of his benevolent heart; his liberal hand being always extended to relieve the distresses of his fellow-creatures.”

“His remains were interred at Chilvers Coton Church” in Nuneaton, according to a report in Gentleman’s Magazine. Early life Alexander Donald was born on 23 May 1745 - the fourth child of James Donald of Geilston and Marion Yuille of Darleith. Geilston is on the outskirts of Cardross, Dumbartonshire a village on the northwest bank of the River Clyde. He was christened in Glasgow in 1756 with his siblings, Elizabeth (b1741), Janet, (b1743), and Thomas, (1744-1798). Alexander’s mother died while he was young and his father remarried, to Isabella Govan, who bore him a further daughter Margaret. When Alexander was 14 his father James, Baillie of Glasgow and merchant in Virginia, then aged 47 died of “apoplexy” (possibly a stroke or a heart attack) and was buried in the vault of St David’s Kirk, now the Ramshorn Church, in Ingram Street in Glasgow’s Merchant City. Alexander and his brother and sisters inherited a fortune - he wrote later that he inherited £5,000 of the £20,000 James left in his will. Alexander’s uncle Robert was made ward of Margaret (tutor dative). Less than a month after James Donald’s death, Alexander was sent to America. A document from 19 April hands his Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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James Donald of Geilston, 1713-1760, father of Alexander Donald. Alexander inherited a “fortune” on James’s early death, and he left for America weeks after

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Constant Friend uncle Robert power to manage his affairs dealing with the estate of James Donald and begins with a summary of what the children had inherited: “Considering that the said deceast James Donald our father was at the time of his decease deeply engaged in foreign trade as well as in different branches of business at home and that he was proprietor of lands in the paroches of Cardros and Govan, and also of land in and about Glasgow...” On the back page of the document (shown on page 13) is the passage where Alexander hands over power of his affairs to his uncle Robert as he heads of America to work as an apprentice: “And considering that I the said Alexander Donald am bound by indentures to serve the saids John Murdoch, Andrew Cochran and Company in their business of merchandizing at Virginia for the space of three years after my arrival in that place, and that it will be necessary during my absence from Scotland that the said Robert Donald my uncle be vested with the special powers underwritten ...” The document is signed by Alexander and his brother, Thomas Donald, and his his sisters - Elizabeth who signed herself Eliza, and Janet who signed herself Fanney. The document is also signed by the men responsible for the orphans - the curators elected - a Who’s Who of the powerful men of the Glasgow of that time: Baillie John Murdoch (senior) Andrew Cochran - merchant, late provost, (He had been provost in 1745 during the last Jacobite Rebellion and refused to hand over a list of Hanoverian Loyalists in Glasgow to Bonnie Prince Charlie.) Provost John Murdoch (junior)

Details on the back of James Donald’s portrait, shown on page 8 James Donald - Merchant of Greenock - son of Robert Donald of Greenock and cousin of James Donald of Geilston. Arthur Robertson - Merchant of Glasgow. The document was witnessed by: John Wilson - Writer in Glasgow and Archibald Givan - apprentice to Wilson. Virginia Gazette Much of what is known about Alexander Donald’s first period in America is gleaned from The Virginia Gazette. This weekly journal, published in Williamsburg between 1736 and 1780, acted as a message board for the commercial community. In it they could announce forthcoming sales, list trade opportunities, seek to recover lost “property” (often escaped slaves) , air grievances against another (for example the letters published between Alexander’s cousin Robert Donald junior and William Watson in 1775), or give notice of their intention to leave the colony. From 1766 until Alexander left Virginia Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Notice of Baillie James Donald of Geilston’s death on 23 February 1760, aged 47

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Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Extract of James Donald’s will

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Source: scotlandspeople


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“Factory� written a month after the death of James Donald in which Alexander hands power over his affairs to his uncle Robert as he departs for America Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend in 1770, he was mentioned in at least 12 advertisements a selection of which are shown on page 15. The first, placed by John McDouall on 3 April 1766, was published a month before Alexander’s 21st birthday. From this it appears as if the store at Page’s had been managed by McDouall until Alexander came of age. Page’s was a settlement on the banks of the Pamunkey River, which later was known as Hanovertown. Nothing remains of the settlement today. “Whereas little regard has been paid to my former advertisement, requesting those who are indebted to the store kept to me at Page’s, as well as to them kept by Mr Alexander Donald at Major Boswell’s and Mr Archibald Govan at Aylett’s, to come and settle their accounts, either by bond or otherwise, must again beg that all who have hitherto failed complying will immediately come and do it, as I shall leave the country in 3 weeks before which time I hope all persons who have any demands either against any of the above stores, or myself, on private accounts, will make them known, as none will be allowed by Mr Alexander Donald, who transacts the company’s business, or by Mr John Johnson, who will settle my own private affairs, and who has proper authority for the same. All those who now fail in complying with the above may depend on being sued, whenever the law admits.” His uncle Robert refers to business at Pages in the 1750s in a letter to George Washington, illustrated on page 23. On 15 August 1766, he simply advertises that he would act as an agent for William Dudley who was selling four lots of land in Hanover town, for “tobacco, bills of exchange, cash or short credit.” Again the same year he also advertised that he was a manager of Joseph Calvert’s lottery scheme and that “any person who has a mind to become an adventurer”

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could see the scheme and the plan at Alexander Donald, Page’s. The first prize was land in Norfolk Town “lying on the fourth side of the Main Street”. The other four prizes were also land in Norfolk – and the last two being “capable of great improvements”. The following year Alexander placed a notice that his “very likely bay horse, about 15 hands high ... with a bob tail” had “strayed or stolen” from Captain George Weeden’s stable yard. He had also lost a large sorrel mare, about “4 feet 10 inches high”. He offered a 40 shillings reward for the return of “said horses”. On 7 July 1768, the now 23-year-old Alexander also advertised that he had lost some shoes and boots: “Imported in the ship Elizabeth, Capt Hubbard, from London, a small box, containing some shoes, and one pair of boots, marked AD, with a crow’s foot between the letters, No 1, which by mistake has been sent to the wrong person. It will be considered a favour if the Gentleman who has received it will convey it to the subscriber, who will thankfully pay the charges. Alexander Donald” No mention is made of his address for returning the shoes, so he may have been sufficiently well-known within Virginia commercial circles to make this unnecessary. In 1768 Alexander petitioned the Governor of Virginia, the Honourable Norborne Baron de Battetoun, about lands situated on the east side of the Ohio river, asking his permission to carry out a survey of the land which was recognised by six Nations of Indians. His fellow petitioners included Thomas Jefferson and Warner Lewis. At the time the Crown’s policy was that settlers were barred from settling west of the Appalachians and there is no record


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Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend of the petition being granted. Resentment of stipulations about where people could and could not live was a major cause of the War of Independence. In spite of the Crown’s opposition to settlements beyond the Appalachians the Greenbrier Valley was settled by 1755. (The Greenbrier Land Company was formed in 1749) and by 1772 it is estimated there were 20,000 whites in what is now West Virginia.) At the end of 1768, Balfour and Barraud announced that the ship Lunn and Lloyd would be sailing for London in December. A great part of her cargo had already been engaged, but “those who desire to be shippers are requested to send their notes or orders as soon as may be convenient to ... Mr Alexander Donald at Page’s”. Alexander announced his intention to leave America in the following year: “Hanover Town, Sept 14, 1769. The subscriber intending to leave the colony early in the spring, gives this timeous notice, that all persons indebted to Messrs Cochrane, Donald and company, may come and settle their accounts with him betwixt and the first of January next, his residence in the colony after that time being very uncertain. As the accounts are now long due, he expects every person will give bonds for their respective balances, and security is required. Some disputes having arisen after Mr McDouall left the country, owing to those indebted neglecting to settle with him, it is now expected every person concerned will pay proper regards to this advertisement, as no discounts will be afterwards be allowed. The outstanding debts, at my departure, will be delivered over to Mr John Johnson, who is properly authorized to settle and collect the same. A Donald.” Obviously the advertisement placed by John McDouall in 1766 had not achieved its purpose.

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But before he left, on 23 November 1769 Alexander put his estate up for sale. “The subscriber intends selling to the highest bidder, on Friday the 8th of December, if fair, otherwise next fair day, his plantation in the upper end of Hanover, containing 600 acres of good land, whereon is a convenient dwelling house, and out-houses; also a very fine double geared grist-mill, extremely well situated for customs, and well calculated for manufacturing wheat, having a boulting cloth which goes by water, and a house for packing away the flour contiguous to the mill, she is also well supplied with water, having a strong stone damn across the Southanna river, is 30 miles from Richmond and 35 from Hanover Town. At the same time and place will be sold, twenty very likely Virginia born negroes, consisting of men, women and children, an English stallion, several blooded mares and colts, all the flock of cattle and hogs, the crop of corn and fodder, and plantation utensils. Credit will be given on all sums exceeding twenty-five shillings, till April 1771. Any person inclinable to purchase the land and mills may make the time of payment agreeable to himself. Bond and security will be demanded of the purchasers. A Donald.” In the same edition of the newspaper, Alexander was also listed as a manager of Bernard Moore’s lottery scheme (with George Washington and Richard Henry Lee). Tickets were £10 each and the lottery was for “disposing of certain lands, slaves and stocks” belonging to Moore. The first lot was a plot of land (550 acres) in King William Country. Lot 6, worth £280 – was for a “negro boy named Billy, about 22 years old, an exceeding trusty good forgeman, as well as the finery as under the hammer, and understands putting up his fires. Also his wife named Lucy, a young wench, who works exceedingly well both in


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Alexander’s signature on his brother Thomas’s marriage contract of 1773 the house and field.” There then followed 33 subsequent lots of slaves, including men named Dublin, London and Cambridge and ending on “A Negro man named Toby, a good miller”, worth £25. At some point in his decade-long first residence in the colony Alexander met and befriended Thomas Jefferson - two years his elder - whose father, a Welsh descended planter and surveyor, had also died when his son was 14 in 1757 (see next chapter). Return to Britain Alexander returned to Glasgow in 1770. The next known record of him dates from 1773, when he was witness to his brother Thomas Donald’s marriage contract to Janet Dunlop (shown on page 17). On the 23 December 1773, Alexander was made Burgess and Guild Brethren of Glasgow. This honour was only available to relatives of existing or previous members. Alexander’s father, James Donald, had been made Burgess on 26 November 1741. James was made one by virtue of his marriage to Marion Yuille in 1740, and her father Thomas Yuille of Darlieth, a Dumbartonshire estate close to his own at

Geilston, had been a Burgess. In 1776, Alexander and his brother Thomas were two of the original directors of the Glasgow Assembly Rooms where they “appointed a dancing and a card assembly to be held alternate Tuesday through the winter” He became a Baillie of the City of Glasgow in 1779-1780, as his father James had been in 1749 and 1753, His uncle Robert was Baillie in 1765 and 1773 before becoming Provost twice in 1776 and 1777. The treasurer was Alexander McCaul, who Alexander knew in Virginia. In 1792 Alexander wrote to Thomas Jefferson from Glasgow about McCaul: “Several People here have been making enquiries after you, especially your Old Friend Mr. Alexr. McCaul whom you will remember in Richmond many years before the Revolution.” Other prominent Glasgwegian excolonialists on the civic government list included James Dennistoun, treasurer, Alexander’s uncle Robert Donald who was Merchant Counsellor and Robert Dinwiddie who was Baillie of Provan. Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Signatures of the main Glasgow magistrates of 1779-1800 from the Glasgow Council record books Alexander held office during the “No Popery” or Gordon Riots that followed the Catholic Relief Act of 1778, some of the most violent public disturbances to afflict 18th Century Britain. According to Robert Reid’s Glasgow, Past and Present (1856): “The magistrates of Glasgow who were in office at the time of this riot were, William French, provost; Alexander Donald, Alexander Brown and William Craig, Baillies. .. Baillie Alexander Donald was a Virginia merchant and ship-owner; his name appears in Mr Pagan’s list of tobacco importers in 1774; but this gentleman never took a prominent part in Glasgow affairs.” However, that mid-Victorian assertion of Alexander’s relative obscurity is contradicted by records of being entrusted with delivering a message to King George III at court, pledging Glasgow’s loyalty during the American War of Independence. A report in the London Gazette, on 26 August 1780, shown on page 21 reads: The following address of the Provost, Magistrates,

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and Council of the City of Glasgow, has been presented to the King by Alexander Donald, Esq; one of the present magistrates of the said City, being introduced by the Lord of His Majesty’s Bedchamber in Waiting: Which Address His Majesty was pleased to receive very graciously; and Mr Donald had the Honour to kiss His Majesty’s Hand. The “humble address” was to pledge Glasgow’s allegiance to the crown, firstly over the recent outbreak of the Gordon Riots in 1780, following on from the No-Popery riots in Glasgow and Edinburgh the previous year, and then over the still unresolved rebellion in America - in the hope that “Peace and Commerce will soon be restored to that distracted Country, under the Government of the best of Princes”. The resumption of commerce was obviously uppermost in mind of mercantile Glasgow. To the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, The humble address of the Provost, Magistrates and Council of the City of Glasgow, in Common Council assembled. Most gracious Sovereign, We, your Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Provost, Magistrates and Council of the City of Glasgow, with Hearts impressed with the firmest Attachment to your Majesty’s Sacred Person and Family, beg Leave most humbly to express our Abhorrences and Detestation of those dreadful Acts of Violence and Outrage, which lately threatened the Subversion of all legal Authority, in the Capital of your Majesty’s Dominions. While we express on this Occasion our grateful Thanks for the Paternal Care manifested by your Majesty in the wise and effectual Measures employed to quell those daring Commotions. We humbly beg Leave to assure your Majesty, that, as Magistrates and Citizens highly sensible of the Blessings we enjoy under your mild


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Thomas Donald of Geilston, Alexander’s brother. Alexander was a witness to his marriage contract of 1773 and the brothers had many business dealings together Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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The Trongate, Glasgow in 1774 - business hub of the Glasgow tobacco Lords Government, we shall carefull watch over the Peace of the Community to which we belong; and oppose, with the utmost Vigour, every attempt against the Dignity of your Majesty’s Crown, and that excellent Constitutions of which you ever been the Guardian. Permit us to express to your Majesty our sincere congratulations on the Success which has attended your Arms in the Southern Provinces of America; and to hope, that the Blessings which your Majesty’s mild and equitable Government must communicate to the Colonies of Georgia and South Carolina, will have a happy Effect in dissolving the Combinations of your Majesty’s subjects who are still in Rebellion; and that Peace and Commerce will soon be restored to that distracted Country, under the Government of the best of Princes.

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Signed in Council, William French, Provost, Glasgow, August 16, 1780 Robert Donald of Moutblow Alexander’s uncle Robert Donald of Mountblow (1724-1803) – named after his estate in what is now Clydebank – was also a witness to to Thomas and Janet’s marriage, played a more significant part in Glasgow affairs. He had been a business partner of Alexander’s father James, in James and Robert Donald and Co, a very successful merchant house from Glasgow, which continued trading long after James’s premature death. From the list of creditors after 1777, there are three Donald companies listed: (95) James and Robert Donald and Co.


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Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend (96) Robert, Thomas and Alexander Donald (97) Thomas and Alexander Donald and Co. The company names illustrates a problem when dealing with Donald companies in America - many Donalds had the same first name. For example, Robert Donald of Mountblow had an uncle called Robert Donald, who had a son called Robert Donald, who had a nephew called Robert Donald, who was the son of Alexander’s second cousin James Donald. Alexander’s father was called James Donald, he called his son James Donald and his grandson was called Alexander James Donald D’Orsey (see Donald family tree on page 46). However, James and Robert Donald & Co was apparently known as “The Company” amongst the “endless Donald connections” according to Robert Polk Thomson’s The Tobacco Export of the Upper James River Naval District, 1773-75- and certainly when James Donald, Alexander’s father died in 1760, his share was worth over £20,000. Robert was resident in America from 1741-1758 as the company was built up. At that time he was close to Governor Robert Dinwiddie (c1692-1770) during his governorship of 1751-58, and also knew the young George Washington. In 1793, nearing 70, he wrote a letter to then President Washington (shown on page 23), presuming on an acquaintance from 40 years previous, to promote the career of another of his nephews. Will your Excellency permit a forty years ago acquaintance to sollicate your notices of the bearer Mr James CD Smith (my nephew) who has been for some years an inhabitant of your Province and who I believe intends removing to your City of Washington, where under your patronage I flatter myself he may push his way in your Rising States

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Robert Donald of Mountblow much better than I was able after a seventeen years residence. My first acquaintance with your Excellency was at our mutual Wesley friend Governor Dinwiddies on your return from the Ohio in I think 1751 or 2 and next day I had the honour of your company to my residence at Pages in Hanover County, and was afterwards often in your company at Williamsburg until I left the country with the Governors family in the year 1758 all of whom are now dead except little Beckie who is married to a Mr Hamilton and resides in London. I want words to apologise for this freedom and have the honour to be with unspeakable esteem and regards, Your Excellency most obedient and most faithfull humble servant Robert Donald.


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Letter from Robert Donald, Alexander’s uncle, to George Washington, President of the United States, in 1793 – the year Alexander’s American business collapsed Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Donald companies involved with tobacco export in the Upper James River from 1773-1775  Source: The Tobacco Export of the Upper James River Naval District, 1773-75

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Illustration of traders with hogsheads of tobacco on the Fry/Jefferson map of 1751. Peter Jefferson was Thomas Jefferson’s father  Source: The Library of Congress No reply to this letter has so far come to light. During the American War of Independence, 1775-1783, Robert was twice Provost of Glasgow. The book Curiosities of Glasgow Citizenship records : “Robert Donald of Mountblow was Lord Provost in the disastrous years of 1776 and 1777, when the revolt of the American colonies brought so much misery and ruin on the trade of Glasgow. By the promptitude and forethought of the worthy Provost and his associates in office, much was done to alleviate the general distress. He was unwearied in his endeavours at the time times to procure some mitigation of the crisis, the pressure of which was greatly intensified by the restrictions of the Corn Laws.”

However, there was still civic celebration to mitigate such ominous national and international developments. According to a report contained in Glasgow Past and Present: “Glasgow, 26 January, 1778 - A procession was made by the magistrates, in their formalities, with the city colours, drums, fifes and pipes – young gentlemen of the city acting as drummers, fifers etc, followed by the town clerks, the council, and the deacons of the trades and closed with the Cap Club – their sovereign in his regalia on his head. The company dined at the Saracen Head [an inn in the city’s Gallowgate]; and in the evening (after a good libation of punch) made a second procession with flambeaux, bonfires, Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Detail of the Fry/Jefferson map of Virginia showing the location of Pages, Richmond and Williamsburg  The LoC

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Constant Friend illuminations and ringing of bells etc. What a set of jolly fellows in those days our magistrates and other officials have been – their names ought to be handed down to posterity. Here they are: Provost Robert Donald….etc” Robert was later appointed supervisor of works to improve navigation on the Clyde, the dredging of which transformed the city’s economic fortunes in the early 19th Century. . Alexander returns to America Alexander built up his own business as a merchant, going into partnership with fellow Scot Robert Burton to form Donald & Burton, based in Angel’s Court, Throgmorton Street, behind the Bank of England, in the heart of the City of London. In 1784, aged 39, a year after the ending of hostilities, he returned to America, visiting New York, Philadelphia and settling in Richmond, Virginia. Edward Carrington wrote to Alexander in 1787: “Your Friends in N. York often enquire after you with great goodness. Mrs. Colden, Miss Van Berkel and several others on whose minds you have left, at least, favorable impressions frequently regret your departure.” Alexander re-established his friendship with Thomas Jefferson who was in Paris at the time through letters. In one of his first letters to Jefferson, on 12 November 1787, Alexander wrote: “I am free to say, that when we used to pass some jovial days together at Hanover Town, I did not then imagine, that at this time you would be in Paris, Ambassador to the Court of Versailles. Some People in your High Caracter would be very apt to forget their old acquaintance, but you are not, and I must be allowed to do myself the justice to declare, I never entertained an Idea that you would. “

18th century advertisement for Virginian tobacco Jefferson wrote back to Alexander: “I received with infinite satisfaction your letter of the 1st. of March. It was the first information I had of your being in America. There is no person whom I shall see again with more cordial joy whenever it shall be my lot to return to my native country; nor any one whose prosperity in the mean time will be more interesting to me. I find as I grow older that I set a higher value on the intimacies of my youth, and am more afflicted by whatever loses one of them to me. Thus begun a nine-year correspondence that lasted until 1796. A total of 50 letters between the two are recorded in the Library of Congress. Trade affairs were at the heart of many of their letters, but they also discussed politics, old acquaintances, the weather and their mutual love of wine. Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend Alexander seems to have been everkeen to flatter Jefferson as he did not underestimate the importance to his own status and career of his association with the great statesman. Disarmingly, he made no effort to conceal this element of selfinterest: “From which you will see that your Friendship is likely to be of very material consequence to me in my future Life, and I promise you that I will conduct myself so as to merit a continuance of it, and to prevent any reflection upon your Judgement of Mankind.” But it is equally obvious that Jefferson held Alexander in high esteem. On 28 July 1787 he wrote: “It will give me much pleasure to hear from you as often as you can spare a moment to write. Be assured that nobody entertains for you sentiments of more perfect and sincere esteem than Dear Sir Your friend & servant,” Politics Jefferson appears to have shared his highest theoretical, and most pressing practical concerns about the Constitution of the United States with Alexander. From Paris on 7 February 1788, four months before the ratification of the Constitution, created in September the previous year, he wrote: “I wish with all my soul that the nine first Conventions may accept the new Constitution, because this will secure to us the good it contains, which I think great and important. But I equally wish that the four latest conventions, whichever they be, may refuse to accede to it till a declaration of rights be annexed. This would probably command the offer of such a declaration, and thus give to the whole fabric, perhaps as much

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perfection as any one of that kind ever had. By a declaration of rights I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil which no honest government should decline. There is another strong feature in the new constitution which I as strongly dislike. That is the perpetual re-eligibility of the President. Of this I expect no amendment at present because I do not see that any body has objected to it on your side the water. But it will be productive of cruel distress to our country even in your day and mine. The importance to France and England to have our government in the hands of a Friend or a foe, will occasion their interference by money, and even by arms. Our President will be of much more consequence to them than a king of Poland. We must take care however that neither this nor any other objection to the new form produce a schism in our union. That would be an incurable evil, because near friends falling out never reunite cordially; whereas, all of us going together, we shall be sure to cure the evils of our new constitution, before they do great harm.” Alexander also wrote about his own political hopes and helped plan a new bill, writing on 12 November 1787: “Our Assembly is now sitting ...at the request of Colo. George Mason, I have drawn up a Plan for a new Bill, which will more effectually secure the Revenue than the former, and will remove the many objections that Merchantile People had to the Last. Till this Assembly an Idea seemed to prevail almost universally, that the Landed and Commercial Interests were opposed to each other. I have been at great pains to do away this erroneous opinion, and from the Laws that have been made


for two years past, such unexpected consequences have followed, that the minds of the People are now disposed to hear reasoning upon the subject of Trade, from those who have been long engaged in it. Our installment bill for paying Debts engrosses much time and attention.” This could have been the original draft of the revenue bill that passed on 1 Jan. 1788, entitled “An act to amend the laws of revenue, to provide for the support of civil government, and the gradual redemption of all the debts due by this commonwealth”. In 1789 Donald wrote to Jefferson: “Every Person seems to be more engaged either for or against the new Government, than in their own private concerns. The opposition to it is formidable, at least in point of numbers, but contemptable in every other point of view.” In 1785 Alexander became a Virginian citizen, for the second time - he was a citizen before the War of Independence which he then renounced in 1790. He wrote to Jefferson: “Before I leave the State I intend to relinquish my Citizenship, as it will be attended with very considerable inconveniences and disadvantages to me in my business there, if I do not.” Alexander and George Washington Alexander stayed with George Washington twice at Mount Vernon (above) during this time in America according to Washington’s diaries. The first time, on 16 March 1785 he came armed with a letter of introduction from Governor Patrick Henry. Henry was the first post-colonial governor of Virginia from 1776-1779. He had been a prominent figure in the Revolution and is most famous for his speech made in the House of

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Burgesses on 23 March 1775 in Richmond, which ended with the lines: Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! His letter of introduction to Washington (shown on page 30) read: Dear sir  Richmond March 5th 1785 The Bearer hereof Mr Alexander Donald wishes to have the Honor of presenting himself to you, & has entreated of me to sollicit for him permission to do so. I take the Liberty therefore to introduce him to you, not doubting but you will find him agreable. With the highest Esteem & Regard I am Dear sir, your most obedient Servant P. Henry He also stayed the weekend from Friday 5 October 1787 to Sunday 7 October. After this second visit, Alexander wrote to Jefferson: “I staid two days with General Washington at Mount Vernon about Six weeks ago. He is in perfect good health, and looks almost as well as he did Twenty years ago. I never saw him so keen for any thing in my life, as he is for the adoption Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Governor Patrick Henry’s letter of introduction for Alexander to George Washington. The reverse side of the letter includes field notes in George Washington’s hand Source: Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

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of the new Form of Government. As the eyes of all America are turned towards this truly Great and Good Man, for the First President, I took the liberty of sounding him upon it. He appears to be greatly against going into Publick Life again, Pleads in Excuse for himself, His Love of Retirement, and his advanced Age, but Notwithstanding of these, I am fully of opinion he may be induced to appear once more on the Publick Stage of Life. I form my opinion from what passed between us in a very long and serious conversation as well as from what I could gather from Mrs. Washington on same subject.”

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Alexander also wrote several letters to Washington about the business they did together – and on 28 February 1789, he wrote: “It will give me much pleasure to be able to pay my personal respects to you at Mount Vernon, before you go to New York, You observe Sir, that I make no doubt of your accepting the High and Honourable Office of President, I am confident that in point of Happiness, & enjoyment, you will be a great looser by your change of situation, as every person of your rural turn of mind must be, in relinquishing the pleasures of Mount Vernon, for the fatigue & bustle of business, which you must unavoidably experience at New York. But still I am satisfied you cannot resist the unanimous wish of United America, especially if you could be brought to think as all other good men do, That The Happiness & Prosperity of the Thirteen United States, intirely depends on your acceptance of the President’s Chair. Allow me to add, that it is the general opinion of the Friends to the New Government, that if you decline being at the Head of it, It never can, or will take effect.” Alexander also announced to Washington his intention to leave America to attend to the business of Donald & Burton.

Governor Patrick Henry, who wrote a letter of introduction to George Washington for Alexander Return to London Alexander returned to London in 1790 and in the same year on 3 September he wrote to the anti-slavery campaigner Granville Sharp (1735-1813) to arrange a meeting between Sharp and Rev Dr James Madison - cousin of the 4th President of the United States, James Madison. The Revr & Docr Maddison has just called upon me, and I have acquainted him with the polite message which you was so obliging as bring me this morning from Docr Sharp. As that gentleman intends leaving town tomorrow Mr Madison is anxious to pay his respects to him before he goes and to thank him for his offer of introducing him to the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of London – and you will much oblige me by making Mr Maddison acquainted with Mr Sharp. Alexander addressed the letter to Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend Collapse of Donald and Burton In 1793 Donald and Burton “failed” and at the age of 48 –the approximate age of his own father at the time of his sudden and untimely death Alexander lost a fortune. As he wrote to Jefferson on 4 April 1793:

Anthony Buxton, Sharp’s secretary, at Leadenhall Street. After the meeting, Buxton wrote a memo the bottom: Dr Maddison called here this morning about 11 O Clock & stayed ‘till 3, seems to be a very amiable & worthy Man & brings ample testimonials. Madison was consecrated as a Bishop in Canterbury on 19 September 1790. Madison was President of William and Mary College in Williamsburg and in 1791 Granville Sharp was awarded an honoury degree. Granville Sharp (1735-1813) was one of the first abolitionists and was one of the founders of Sierra Leone. Alexander would have been able to provide him with firsthand intelligence about the workings of a slave economy from his family business. Many of Alexander’s family had been involved in the dealing of slaves in America and in his father, James Donald’s will of 1760, Cadiz, the slave that was with him at Geilston at the time of his death was listed as being worth the considerable sum of £20. When Alexander had sold his estate twenty years previously in America the lot had contained 20 slaves.

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“It requires a considerable strength of mind to enable me to bear up under what has lately happened to me. Well Born, Genteely brought up and educated, and left a Fortune by my Father when I was only fourteen years of age of upwards of Five Thousand Pounds Stg., having always been industrious, Free from gameing and every kind of extravagance, and at a time when I thought my self independent, and in a fair way of making a Fortune, to be brought to distress and ruin by improper conduct in my Partner, and at my time of Life is what does not fall to the Lot of many People. My dependence on my Friends in America has enabled me to consider my misfortunes as an aweful lesson, from which I hope to derive great advantages in future.” According to a letter from William Short on 2 April 1793 to Jefferson there was a vast amount of money involved. “I received on the 29th. a letter informing me that the house of Donald & Burton had failed more than a month ago for £150,000 stlg. As you know that they had almost the whole of my fortune in their hands, you will readily concieve what an effect that had produced on me. It seems as if all the misfortunes that can befall the human lot were reserved for me and to be crowded on me at once. This has forced me to abandon the painful and provoking subject I was engaged in to take up another still more painful and distressing. The three days which have passed since I have recieved that information are such as I have never passed before. Although little in a condition to write or do any thing else, I set down to communicate to you


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Haunchwood Colliery in the 1880s. Alexander erected the first pump there this disquieting event, and under the authority of your former friendly offer to ask your aid and assistance.” Alexander squarely blamed the collapse of the firm on his partner, Burton. He wrote to Jefferson on 10 March 1793: “Several causes combined to bring upon us this misfortune, and none more than the rash and ill judged Speculation of my Partner in wheat and flour in the Winter of 89. 90. My mind for some months past has been in great distress, but I have the consolation to find that altho I have lost my Fortune, I still retain what is infinitely more valuable, my Character is unimpeached.” He also wrote in the same letter than he was moving into a new business “entirely under my own direction, for I am determined never to put it in the power of any man to bring me to ruin again.” One of these businesses, recorded from the London Gazette, November 10, 1797 was as a drinks importer. “Notice is hereby given, that the Concern of Hunter and Co. Star-Street, Shadwell, Coopers and Porter-Dealers, was dissolved by mutual Consent on the 1st of July last; the Business, since

being carried on by Alexander Donald only, to whom those indebted to the Concern are directed to pay their respective balances, and at whose Counting-House, No. 5, Great Winchester-Street, Broad-Street, all those having Claims are desired to apply for Payment.” A. Donald, Patrick Hunter. At the same time Alexander moved into the coal industry, as England rushed towards the industrial revolution and the demand for coal dramatically increased. He was involved with the management of Haunchwood Colliery, near Nuneaton in the English Midlands, ordering industrial equipment from the Greenock-born inventor and mechanical engineer James Watt (1736-1819) with whom he had established a correspondence. He started writing to the firm of Boulton & Watt in 1795 and ordered a second hand engine in 1797 that he needed their help to install . He wrote a succession of letters about the engine and problems with it’s installation and on 9 December 1797 he wrote of his “dissatisfaction at not being informed of R Baty’s opinion of the state of the pumps at the bog mine.” On the 13 December 1797 he then wrote a letter of apology. Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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I am sure you must have been much hurt by my letter, or you would not have done me so much injustice as for a moment to suppose that I would object to paying R Batty’s expenses – I certainly did not mean to hint at such a thing in my letter, I did not keep a copy of it, but to the best of my recollection I said “that if I am to pay R Batty’s expenses, I had a right to be informed upon his return as to what state he found things at the Bog mine” or words nearly to that effect. This was meant as an apology for my finding fault at Mssrs Boulton & Watts, for if I had not settled my account with paying not only his expenses but for his time, I had no right to find fault – I must insist upon being B & W’s debtor for this sum, or to be allowed to repay you – He wrote several more letters about his pump from the bog mine and how it should be installed and on 6 November 1798 he wrote asking for an extension of credit. Having always been used to twelve months credit. I expected the same from you - But should this be longer than you generally give, I hope it will not be inconvenient for you to extend it at least for a few months longer ... The erection of my steam engine has drained me exceedingly He repeated his request on 23 November 1798, after they refused, explaining how the colliery should now give him a “very handsome income”. In 1800 Alexander was declared bankrupt. The London Gazette entry reads: “The creditors who have proved their Debts under a commission of bankrupt awarded and issued forth against Alexander Donald, of Nuneaton, in the County of Warwick, Coal-Merchant, Dealer and Chapman, are desired to meet the Assignees of the said bankrupt’s estate and effects on Tuesday the 19th of January instant, at Twelve at Noon ...”

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The Committal Book of 1800-01 of the King’s Bench Prison in London That same year, surely the low point of his fortunes, he was sent to King’s Bench Prison in Southwark, London on 31 December 1800, a notorious debtors prison dating from medieval times. His entry, as prisoner 127 from the King’s Bench Committal Book, shown on page 34, reads: Alexander Donald Tendered etc 31 Dec 1800 in discharge of his Bail at the suit of John Newton £23. And was there upon Committed by S Le Blanc He was discharged after less than a year on 13 August and his two discharge papers read: 13 August 1801 I certify that common bail is filed for Alexr


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Notices from the London Gazette about Alexander Donald being declared bankrupt and ending up in King’s Bench Prison, illustrated from a print in 1808 Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Notice of committal for Alexander Donald (top) from 31 December 1800 and his discharge sheets from 13 August 1801  National Archives

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Donald at the suit of John Stein. Jn Clarke For RW Nelson, Clerk of the Common Bails

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His next one is a completed printed form: John Stein Apt Alexander Donald Upon hearing the Attorney or Agents in both sides I do order that the bift shall have be discharged out of the custody of this Marshall as to this cause for want of the Plt proceeding to trial or judgement in due time upon filing common bail. Dated the 13th Day of Aug 1801 Nelson In 1803 he inherited his uncle Robert’s estate at Mountblow, but there is no record of him ever living there so he may have sold it shortly afterwards to pay off any outstanding debts. The house was eventually destroyed in the Clydebank Blitz of March 1941. In 1806 in his will, shown on page 38, describing himself as coal miner. He wrote: “I give and bequeath my son James Donald who I now believe to be resident in the Island Jamaica the sum of five shillings. The undutiful behaviour of my said son James toward me is the reason why I have withheld from him an equal share of my property with my other children.” His other known children were Janet Donald, who married William D’Orsey and Sarah Donald. He also made bequests to his friends John McTaggart, Merchant and Simon Winter, tailor, both living in London. There is no mention of a wife in his will, nor in any of his other letters. A letter from his great nephew John Stirling Donald (18141900) in 1891 suggests that Alexander’s children were illegitimate (letter shown on

Chilvers Coton Church, near Nuneaton, where Alexander was buried in 1808 pages 39-41). A 19th century family tree says he ”died unmarried”. In 1808, Alexander Donald died at Haunchwood House, Nuneaton and was buried at Chilvers Coton Church. Chilvers Coton Church was destroyed by a German bomb in May 1941 and rebuilt. There is no trace of Alexander’s grave. In 1812, his grandson, Alexander James Donald D’Orsey was born to his daughter Janet Donald and William D’Orsey at Haunchwood House. He died in 1894. He was a clergyman in the Scottish Episcopal church and a Portuguese scholar – his textbooks on colloquial Portuguese are still in print and he was made a Knight Commander of the Portuguese Order of Christ. He gained an MA in Classics from Glasgow University and became a master at the High School of Glasgow from 18341854. D’Orsey was the leader of the Anderston Mission in inner-city Glasgow from 18461850. He was the incumbent at St John’s Episcopal Church, in Ballieston in East Glasgow from 1850-1856 and chaplain in Madeira in 1856. He married and had a son, Alexander’s great grandson, who died at a young age in Madeira.

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Letter from John Stirling Donald, 1814-1900 to his nephew Colin Dunlop Donald, 1848-1895 after CDD’s publication of the history of the Board of Green Cloth Club Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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1740s

Age

1750s

0

Alexander Donald

1745 - born at Geilston, Cardross, Scotland, 23 May

11

1756 - Christened in Glasgow

14

1760 - Orphaned and sent to America - lives in Pages, Hanover County and becomes a friend of Thomas Jefferson

1760s

In America 1770 - Returns from America - divides time between Glasgow and London

1770s

24

34

42

1779 - Made a Baillie of Glasgow

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808


Great Britain

America 1743 Thomas Jefferson born

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1745 - Last Jacobite Rising 1746 Battle of Culloden

1757 Jefferson’s father died 1760 George III becomes King at the age of 22

1773 Boston Tea Party 1775-1783 American War of Independence

1775-1783 American War of Independence 1776 Declaration of Independence

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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1780 - In London to pledge Glasgow’s allegiance to the Crown. Kisses King George’s hand

1785 - Returns to America - settles in Richmond, Virginia 1787 - Writes to Jefferson, then living in Paris, to rekindle their friendship 1787 - Stays with George Washington at Mount Vernon 1788 - Jefferson writes to Alexander from Paris about his concerns on the adoption of the American Constitution 1789 - Writes to George Washington, persuading him to become President

45 45 48

1790 - Returns from America and moves to London 1790 - Arranges a meeting between anti-slave campaigner Granville Sharp and Rev James Madison in London 1793 - Alexander’s company Donald & Burton goes bust

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1795 - Moves to Nuneaton as owner of coalmine. Starts correspondence with James Watt about a steam engine for his coal mine 1796 - Writes his last letter to Jefferson

54

1799 - Business goes bust again

55

1800 - Sent to King’s Bench debtor’s prison, London - released August 1801

1800s

1790s

40 42 42 42 44

1806 - Writes will from Nuneaton, disinhereting his son, James Donald of Jamaica

63

1808 - Dies at Haunchwood House, Nuneaton

1810s

61

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In America

1780s

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1780 Gordon Riots

1782 Jefferson’s wife Martha dies 1785 Jefferson goes to Paris as Minister to France

1789 French Revolution

1787 United States Constitution completed 1789 Jefferson returns from Paris 1789 George Washington becomes 1st President 1790-1793 Jefferson Secretary of State

1792 French Revolutionary War starts

1798 Irish Rebellion

1793 Jefferson retires to Monticello

1797-1801 Jefferson Vice President 1799 Death of Washington 1801 Jefferson becomes 3rd President

1805 Battle of Trafalgar

1815 Battle of Waterloo

1820 Death of George III

1829 Jefferson dies Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Alexander Donald’s family tree 1) William Donald of Lyleston 1711-

1) John Donald of Lyleston

1) Martha, -1831 ; 4) Thomas Donald, 1784-1807

Catherine “Kate” Donald, daughter of Robert Donald of Greenock, wife and first cousin of Robert Donald of Mountblow, 1737-1798

3) Walter 1718; 5) Thomas 1726 (died young); 6) Thomas 1732; 7) Elizabeth; 8) Catherine 10) Janet; 11) Christian, married William Smith, Merchant in Paisley in 1753; 12) Christina

Susannah Allan, daughter of Mr John Allan,

Margaret Cunningham, daughter of George Leny of Glins, Stirlingshire

2) William Donald; 3) Anna; 4) Catherine; 5) Janet;

2) James Donald,

1775-1831. Captain in the 94th Regt at the storming of Seringapatam in 1799 and was severely wounded at the battle of Argaum in 1803.

1) Thomas Donald 1813-1887 Writer

Frances Maxwell of Dargavel 1815-

1) Colin Dunlop Donald 1848-1895

Ellen Mary Wilsone Brown -1882

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Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

4) Robert Donald of Mountblow 1724-1803 Provost, Married Catherine

1) Elizabeth, 1741; 2) Janet, 1743 Unmarried

3) Thomas Donald of Geilston 1744-1798

Anne Graham of Whitehill, Daughter of Robert Graham and Helen Geddes

3) Colin Dunlop Donald 1777-1859 Writer

Janet Dunlop of Carmyle Married 1773

Marianne Stirling 1785-1825

2) John Stirling Donald 1814-1900 Sheep farmer in Australia, wrote letter on pages 39-41; 3) Colin Dunlop Donald 1815-1886; 4) James Donald 1816-1896 Australia; 5) Janet Donald 1818-1855 Married James Dunlop; 6) Martha Matilda 1820 (died young by falling out of a window) 7) Marianne 1822; 8) Mary Donald 1823-1886; 9) William Donald 1824-1877, founder of Donald, Victoria, Australia 10) Anne Graham 1825, Wed Count von Reischach

2) Mary Maxwell 1850; 3) William

Alexander Donald 1852New Zealand; 5) John

Robert Donald

4) Thomas Francis Donald 1853-1932 RNYC


Constant Friend Thomas William Donald in Auchaill, Born circa 1620-

Janet Lecky

1) James Donald of Lyleston, 1654-1726

Catherine McAdam

2) Catherine

1) Thomas Donald of Lyleston, 1681-1757

Janet Cumming of Baremman

2) John Donald, 1688-

Marion Daughter of Thomas Yuille of Darleith, 9 Nov 1716Married on 28 December 1740

1) James Donald, 1728; 2) Andrew Donald, 1729; 3) Robert Donald, 1731 merchant in Warwick, Virginia; 4) Thomas Donald, 1732; 5) Mary Donald, 1734; 6) Catherine, 1737 (Mrs Mountblow); 7) Christian Donald 1738; 8) Jean Donald, 1740 (married Captain William Hamilton, 25 January 1762 - Alexander, Robert William, Walter, William Hamilton and girls Christian and Elizabeth); 9) William Donald, 1741-1783, trader partner of William Hamilton; 10) Helen Donald, 1743 (married John Fullarton); 11) Robert Donald, 1744; 12) Janet Donald, 1747; 13) Hugh Donald, 1749; 14) Alexander Donald, 1750;

2) James Donald of Geilston 1713-1760 Baillie

4) Alexander Donald 23 May 1745-1808 “When in prosperity, many felt the warmth of his benevolent heart; his liberal hand being always extended to relieve the distresses of his fellow-creatures.” . Obit

1) James Donald of Jamaica 3) Sarah Donald

From James’s second marriage to Isabella, daughter of Archibald Govan of Bogerhapill in Stirlingshire, 5) Margaret, Married in 1777, James Dennistoun of Colgrain

2) Janet Donald, married William D’Orsey, of Haunchwood Nuneaton

1) Alexander James Donald Dorsey, 1812-1894 Scottish Episcopal Clergyman Portuguese Scholar MA Glasgow University, master at the High School of Glasgow from 1834-1854. Priest in charge of the Anderston Mission in Glasgow from 1846-1850. Incumbent at St John’s Church, Glasgow from 1850-1856 and chaplain in Madeira in 1856 to the English Church, Becco Dos Aranhas, Funcal. The national archive lists four collections of Alexander James Donald Dorsey’s correspondence. In 1860 he won the Chancellor’s Medal at the Cambridge Commencement in 1860 for his poem ‘The Great Comet of 1858, as seen from the Island of Maderia.”

A son, died young in Madeira

3) Robert Donald of Greenock, 1698

Christian Lees

Child of William: Andrew Donald - 1806, of Fancy Farm, Bedford, VA, married Sally Moore

1) Benjamin Andrew

Donald of Otterburn, VA, 1797-1871, married Sarah (Sally) Camm, 1808-1881, daughter of John Camm II of Lynchburg. They had a daughter who died before the age of one.

4) Janet, 1702 (above)

Children of James Donald: Andrew, Robert and Margaret, married Captain George Charles Jones of the 84th in 1805

2) Geils Donald , 1800-63, George Noble, 12 children, including Sir Andrew Noble

2) William McTaggart Dorsey, 1813-1878 Doctor in Australia. Married Margaret Douglas in Glasgow in 1837. 1842 moved to Sydney. In addition to his medical practice Dorsey pursued his squatting interests; in 1853-55 he bought many small freeholds in the Moreton Bay area and took large leases in the Leichhardt district. His burial at Ipswich cemetery was largely attended and a contingent of the local volunteer artillery provided a band and fired three volleys over his grave.

Three sons and three daughters, one of whom married JP Bell (Source: Australian National Dictionary of Biography)

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Thomas Jefferson was painted whilst living in London in 1786 by Mather Brown, the year before Alexander rekindled their friendship  Smithsonian NPG

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Thomas Jefferson letters 1787-1795

A

lexander Donald and Thomas Jefferson first became friends at Page’s, in Hanover Country, north east of Richmond VA, some time in or after 1760 (see map on page 30). Alexander had emigrated to the colony at the age of 14 after the sudden death of his father James Donald, while the future president’s father, Peter Jefferson, had died three years previously in 1757 when Thomas was also 14, leaving him and his seven siblings the estate that would eventually become Monticello. Jefferson’s early education was under a Scottish minister William Douglas, which may or may not be relevant to the still unknown circumstances by which the two first became acquainted. Alexander certainly referred to Rev Douglas as an “old friend” in a letter to his partner Robert Burton in 1789 about Charles Merriwether, Douglas’s grandson. Burton was also a Scot, born in Haddington in 1747. Alexander also wrote in a letter to Charles Merriwether on 29 March 1793 that Alexander McCaul “knows your relations and connexions as well as I do.” After returning to Glasgow and London for 14 years before and during the War of Independence, Alexander returned to America on business in 1784 and assumed American citizenship - probably for trade purposes. His surviving letters to Jefferson date from 1787, during the period when the great statesman was American Minister in Paris. Alexander’s letters contain an interesting mix of flattery, exhibitionism, crude sales pitches, name-dropping, local gossip and international politics.

Alexander’s correspondence, reestablishing links with the principle author of the Declaration of Independence, open with this reminder of their youthful friendship. In a letter of 3 January 1787: “In the multiplicity of important business, which must take up your time and attention, I am almost afraid to trouble you with this letter. But recollecting with much satisfaction, your former Friendship, I trust that your good nature will pardon me for intruding upon your time, and having the honour of being a Citizen of this State, and being deeply interested in its Welfare, I hope you will not think me impertinent in communicating to you the following information.” Three years later on 9 January 1790, Alexander was adopting the same effusive terminology to thank Jefferson for the gift of some maps . “I hope that I need not say how happy I shall ever be in your Company, and I can answer for my Friend Mr. Brown that he will be so too.—We shall both accept with thankfulness your Present of the Maps. I was once thinking of taking only one, but I know Mr. Brown wishes for one, and I must have one to carry with me to England, not but I suppose they may be bought there, but then I could not boast of having recieved it from your own hands.” Trade Commercial transactions are a major subject of the Jefferson-Donald letters. Alexander was sending goods to Jefferson in France from America and England, and Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Alexander’s letter of 18 December 1787 to Thomas Jefferson when he was in Paris. “I want it [Claret] of the first grade and high flavour. I don’t limit you to any price.”

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in his opening letter on 3 January 1787 he offers his services in a roundabout way: “It would be presumptuous in me to make you an offer of my services here, but I beg you will do me the Justice to believe, that it would make me happy, if I could serve you either here or in London, and I can add, that my Partner’s sentiments perfectly accord with mine.” Jefferson immediately took advantage of the offer and over the course of the next decade ordered many goods from Alexander. As he wrote on 17 September 1787: “ You made me a very unlucky offer of service in Richmond. Probably you did not know how troublesome I should be to you. And if you had known, I still doubt whether it would have deterred you from the offer, for I well remember that it was a part of your character to serve others tho you suffered yourself by it. “ Jefferson was also in a position to help Alexander in his business, which included cereals trading. He was able to inform him that France had a wheat shortage on 18 November 1788: P.S. The crop of wheat here has been so short, that they write me from all the ports that want is apprehended, and that American wheat or flour would come to a good market here. I mention this to you, tho’ I am sure you have information on the subject much more accurate than I can give you. As a result of this advice, Alexander made large consignments and advised William Short on 20 July 1789: “Mr. Jefferson was so very obliging as to inform me of the prospect of wheat and flour answering well in France, and in consequence thereof I have

shipped above 10,000 barrels of the latter, and a considerable quantity of the former to Havre de Grace, consigned to the House of Messrs. Collow Freres, Carmichael & Co., Merchts there, and I have taken the liberty of desiring them to apply to Mr. Jefferson for his assistance should any difficulty arise in respect to obtaining the premium, or rather the bounty to be paid on American wheat and flour into France. I have lately understood that the Captains of the different Vessels ought to secure an […] oath to their manifests, which I have entirely neglected, from ignorance that it was required.—But surely no advantage can in justice be taken of this, if the most unequivocal proofs can be given that the vessels did absolutely take on their Cargoes in some of the United States. But should any thing of the sort be attempted, may I be permitted to request your interference in my behalf ” Alexander was always keen to make sure that all his transactions with Jefferson were a success, but quite often, due to poor communications things did go wrong, or as Alexander put it “Here my Dear Sir, to speak in the Merchantile Style, there appears to be a Total loss on this Adventure.” He was almost ashamed to admit all that had gone wrong, although was always quick to protest that it wasn’t his fault. “From what I have wrote, you will not be surprized that I felt much reluctance at taking up my Pen, and yet Sir I hope you will have the goodness to believe that the untoward situation of the business you entrusted to me does not proceed from any want of attention in me, or from any want of disposition to oblige and serve you. I do assure you that there are but a very few in the world I would be so happy to oblige.” Jefferson’s requests were varied – even including asking Alexander to ship Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend tradesmen over from Scotland to help him with the building of Monticello on 7 November 1792. “But there is another commission with which I trouble you with real reluctance. It is to procure for me from Glasgow or Edinburgh a mason acquainted with both the cutting and laying stone (these two trades being united there, tho’ separately followed in England) sober, industrious, goodhumored, and on moderate wages, his lodging, and board to be found him. I could wish him to be engaged for five years, or such shorter term as he will insist on. Nothing less than the importance to me of having such a workman should have induced me to give you the trouble which I know this must give to yourself or friends in finding such a man, stipulating with him, sending him &c. but being about to resume the finishing of my house, I cannot advance a step without a mason. They are hardly to be got here at all who can unite the two parts of the trade, and the wages asked are beyond all reason. The sooner in the spring I can receive him the better, and the moment he lands at Richmond, he should be sent off by your friend there to Monticello, or he will get corrupted. 24. hours conversation with our workmen in Richmond, would so turn his head as that I could never be able to keep him. “ Alexander wrote back that Scotland’s economic boom and the building frenzy that it engendered would make it hard to lure a mason from Scotland for the knockdown price that Jefferson had unhelpfully not specified, but that he would put out feelers: “I will immediately apply to some of my Friends in Scotland to procure you if possible a good stone mason. There are plenty of them in that Country, but it is growing so rich that Fine Houses cannot be so fast built as they are wanted, nothing can induce a good workman therefore to leave his

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Country but some tempting offer. I wish you had given me some Idea of the wages you was willing to give. I shall be able to write you more fully on this subject by next Packet. “ Politics Alexander wrote on 24 November 1788 that: “I shall not trouble you much with Politicks”, before proceeding to write in depth about the situation, concluding: “I very much fear that the new Congress will have a majority of anti Federal members. If so I really tremble for the consequences.” A year earlier on 3 January 1787, he had also voiced his fears about the overspending of Virginians: “And it gives me pain to add, that the People in this State will in the course of a year or two, be unable even to pay the taxes, unless there is a possibility of falling upon some happy plan of moderating their extravagance, and encouraging their industry. I am sure you will blush for your Countrymen, when I assure you that in this, and all the other Towns in this State, we are supplied by our Sister States to the Eastward, with the most of our Hay, Cabbages, Potatoes, onions &c. and that they even send us Lime, Bricks, and framing for Houses ready for setting up. Many a time I laugh at my Friends for their want of industry.” Jefferson replied on 28 July 1787 that he agreed with Alexander about the extravagance of Virginians and their lack of industry and also wrote that the root of this was excessive credit: “Among many good qualities which my countrymen possess, some of a different character unhappily mix themselves. The most remarkable are indolence, extravagance, and infidelity to their engagements. Cure the two first, and the last would disappear, because it is a consequence of


them, and not proceeding from a want of morals. I know of no remedy against indolence and extravagance but a free course of justice. Every thing else is merely palliative: but unhappily the evil has gained too generally the mass of the nation to leave the course of justice unobstructed. The maxim of buying nothing without money in our pocket to pay for it, would make of our country one of the happiest upon earth.” Although Jefferson, would of course have had official sources of political intelligence, Alexander felt compelled to keep him informed of developments with the Constitution as it went through its final stages of ratification. On 12 November 1787 he wrote: You will no doubt have seen before this time the result of the deliberations of the Convention, which was assembled at Philadelphia last Summer, for revising, and amending the Federal Constitution. I am sorry to say it is like to meet with strong opposition in this state, at this moment I do believe that a great majority of the People approve of it, but I can easily conceive, that interested men will do every thing in their power, between this and the electing of our State Convention, to poison the minds of the People, and get them persuaded to give their votes for such Gentlemen as they know are decidedly against the adoption of the New Constitution. I will not presume to be competent to give an opinion on such a Complex subject, but I can see that there may be some objections made to it, but still it is my sincere opinion, that the Adoption of it will be the salvation of America, For at present there is hardly the semblance of Law or Government in any of the States, and for want of a Superintending Power over the whole, a dissolution seems to be impending. He wrote a month later on 15 December that he was concerned about ratification of

Constant Friend the Constitution and particularly how that document was being received in Virginia: I am grieved to inform you that the Constitution lately proposed by the Convention at Phila. is daily loosing ground. And I am now pretty much convinced that it will not be adopted in this State. Once back in England and when Jefferson was back in America, Alexander kept Jefferson abreast of European politics. He informed him of the overthrow of the French monarchy on 6 September 1792: You will learn by this opportunity that the French have at last got clear of their monarchial Government. I am sorry to say that they do not appear capable of substituting any other in its place. At least they have not yet shewn any signs of being skilful Legislators, most People in this Country are friendly to the Revolution, but they lament exceedingly the vindictive and sanguinary measures which have been adopted for the bringing it about. A few months will probably determine the Fate of France. Three months later on 12 December, 1792 Alexander was concerned that the spirit of revolt was spreading and blamed Thomas Paine’s publication of the Rights of Man which was very popular at the time: The Politicks of France seem to be gaining ground fast in Europe, Even this Country, has been greatly agitated by the distribution of Paine’s, and other inflamatory writters, Ten days ago I was under very serious apprehensions of some mischief, But the wise and active measures adopted by Government, and by the Bulk of the People declaring their determination to support our present constitution, my fears are now done away. Our Parliment meets to morrow, when I trust they will be unanimous in their answers to the Kings Speech, and that they will promise Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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to support the constitution with their lives and fortunes. We have plenty of Grain in this Kingdom, But in the Continent it will be in great demand, which will be of infinite advantage to our Friends in America, at which I always rejoice sincerely. Advancement seeking Alexander made strenuous efforts to use his relationship with Jefferson to land himself an important position - writing to Jefferson somewhat coyly on 2 July 1790: I have another Friend to mention to you, but I will not presume to say so much in his favour. Seeing that Consuls are appointed for the Ports of Liverpool and Cowes, I would think it the most honourable feather in my Cap, could I obtain the same appointment for the Port of London. The Emolument of office is no object to me, but the Office itself I would always consider as a very flattering proof of the good opinion my Fellow Citizens have of me. My intention is never to deceive, and altho I have been a Citizen of America for five years past, and I flatter myself a pretty usefull one, Jefferson’s curt reply later that month was: The suggestion for your other friend was also too late. Mr. Joshua Johnson had been already decided on by the President. Not to be deterred, Alexander wrote again in October, 1790:

I will [on]ly repeat what I said to you formerly, that it will make me very happy if ever it is in my power to be serviceable to the United States of America. In 1792, as Donald & Burton started to stumble towards financial disaster, Alexander forgets taking a job where “salary will not be an object” and instead applies to Jefferson to ask him to use his influence to secure the appointment of his firm the London credit agency of the new National Bank of America - for a knockdown quarter per cent commission rate. He wrote on 5 January 1792: Since writing you yesterday, it has occurr’d to me that as your National Bank has now come into opperation that it will require a House of Credit and Respectability to transact business for it in this place, and upon that Idea I have taken the Liberty of mentioning to you, and Mr. Hamilton, that Donald & Burton will be very happy in being appointed as Agents for the Bank in this place, and altho the usual commission on such business is half a per Cent for paying, and the same for receiving all monies, we will in consideration of the magnitude of the business, accept of one quarter per Cent. Knowing as I do from experience the certainty and warmth of your Friendship, I know it is sufficient for me to mention my wishes.—I remain with great esteem Dear Sir your faithful & Humbe: Servt.,

Whether I am considered as a Proper Person to represent the Trade of America here, I shall be happy in every opportunity of promoting the Interest thereof, but as I said before, if I have that Honour, Salary will not be an object.

Wine Alexander and Jefferson had many discussions on wine – Alexander seems to have considered himself a serious oenophile, writing to Jefferson on 15 December 1787:

Repeating this in another letter of the same month:

If you can procure for me one groce of the best Claret in France, in time to send by return of my

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ship Bowman, I will be very thankful to you for it. I want it of the first grade and high flavour. I don’t limit you to any price. Order it to be delivered to Messrs. Callow, Carmichael & Co. of Havre, who will also pay for it. If this wine pleases me; I may become troublesome to you. I tasted some that you sent Mr. Eppes. It was good, but I have drank better. Jefferson agreed in a letter of 15 February 1788 that some of Mr Eppes wine was not up to scratch, but he had some other wines which were infinitely superior. You say you had tasted at Mr. Eppes’s some wine I had sent him, which was good, but not equal to what you have seen. I have sent to him twice; and what you say would correspond to the first batch. The second was of Chateau Margau of the year 1784. bought by myself on the spot, and a part of the very purchase from which I now send you. It is of the best vintage which has happened in nine years, and is of one of the four vineyards which are admitted to possess exclusively the first reputation. I may safely assure you therefore that, according to the taste of this country and of England there cannot be a bottle of better Bordeaux produced in France. It cost me at Bordeaux three livres a bottle, ready bottled and packed. This is very dear; but you say you do not limit me in price. I send you a note of the principal wines of this country, their prices &c. and shall be happy to have you furnished with any of them which you may wish for your own use, only giving me notice enough before hand to have them provided and lodged at Havre or Bordeaux. Notice for the latter need be very short when you have a vessel coming to Bordeaux. Notice for Hermitage must be very long. Alexander wrote on 24 November 1788 that he had to agree with Jefferson’s recommendation and once took the opportunity to flatter Jefferson and to emphasise how much he revelled in –

Constant Friend or “dined out on” - his association with Jefferson amongst his circle of friends: “The wine you were so kind as spare me from your own stock, is very excellent. It is universally admired, and whenever it is produced (which is only on particular occasions) I am prompted either by my gratitude or vanity to declare from whence it came, and give me leave to add, that we never fail to take a toast to your health. Don’t I pray you misunderstand me, which you will exceedingly, if you conclude that you are only remembered at my Table, when your wine is produced on it. By the way, I do not believe that you have yet been paid for it. Do me the favour to send me the amount of it, which shall instantly be paid to any person here, or I will order payment of it in London, as is most agreeable to you. “ In one case Alexander adopts a tone that might imply past youthful complicity in over-indulgence. In an exchange, to explain how he had not fulfilled some task he wrote: The Truth of the matter is, that I had some Friends dining with me that day, and we made rather too free with the Juice of the Grape. He also sent Jefferson brandy on 9 January 1790 - and it appears that Skipworth did not share their love of wine: “I have sent Ten Gallons of very fine French Brandy. I could not get a Cask that held less. I will venture to sport an opinion that you will find use for it. Skipwith will cut deep in one Gallon of it. When he understood that I was sending it, he said that he was glad of it, for he did not much like French wines.” On 13 May 1791, Thomas Jefferson sent Alexander a long list of wines for him to try, with tasting notes. He explained that Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend no amount of name dropping or letters of introduction from Jefferson to Alexander would help, except with two sellers:

situation at the highest level. The Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton - a great political adversary of Jefferson:

“ You have no occasion for a letter. The only introduction and the sufficient one is the cash. If you should apply to Madame de Rosan or Monsieur de Luz-Saluce, if their stock of good wine should be low, it may add an inducement to them to name me. In all cases the owner is the person to be applied to. He will either send you none, or good. He never adulterates, because he would be a felo de se to do it. All the persons live at Bordeaux where not otherwise mentioned. “

“Immediately on receipt of the first I waited on the Secretary of the treasury with your memorial, and said to him what I shall not repeat to you. He seemed very ready to suppose that passion might have mingled itself in the representations which had been made to him. I saw him again two days after, and asked him if I might say any thing to you on the subject. He had then received a copy of the abusive letter to you of which you complain, expressed his sense of it, and said he would write himself to you, and to the writer of that letter. I trust he will do this immediately, and that a proper opinion of you will temper whatever he may conceive himself obliged to do on fuller information of the fact before him.”

Colonel Heath Alexander had a very public spat with a Colonel Heath just before he left America and asked Jefferson to help clear his name. On 22 March 1790, Alexander wrote: “Two days ago I received the most abusive letter from Colo. Heth (the Collector at Bermuda Hundred) I ever saw, and this is the more surprising, that I never spoke ten words to the man in my life. I impute it to the illiberality and envy of his disposition. He writes me that he would forward a copy of it to the Secretary of the Treasury. You have known me long, and you know the Character that I have ever sustained. Do me the favour to inform Mr. Hamilton of it, lest he should take up an unfavourable impression of me from Mr. Heth’s letter. Till the receipt of which I never imagined that I should be obliged to call upon any of my Friends to vouch for me. I write Mr. Morris also by this Post, on same subject. Jefferson, who had returned to America to serve as Washington’s Secretary of State, took the trouble to intervene at the highest level in what must for him have been a relatively trivial matter, and wrote in April that he had tried to help resolve the

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Alexander wrote later in the same month that when he had received the letter from Colonel Heath that he had considered seeking satisfaction on “the Field”, ie. challenging him to a duel; “Upon recieving above letter, I was so exasperated at the malice of the writer that I was determined for some time to call him to a severe account for it, and had in consequence spoken to a Gentleman to attend me to the Field, but I think it more fortunate that he urged such strong reasons against such a step, as induced me to postpone the adoption of the measure for a day. Upon cooling a little, I was inclined to drop my first intention, being satisfied (as my Friend observed to me) that with those who knew both our Characters, that mine could not suffer, but that the Odium must all recur upon the Author of the letter, who is very industrious in showing it to every person he meets with, and has even of late said that he would publish it in the News Papers. The first part does not give me any uneasyness, but a Publication of it in the Publick Papers certainly would, because it


Constant Friend would go through all America, and very probably to Europe, and my Character very much injured in the opinion of many who knew little of either of us.—This is also a further proof of the Personal Pique and Malice of the Collector, for surely the Publick Interest is no way concerned in injuring my reputation. I am certain that you will feel for me, and it is a cruel situation that I am reduced to. It is near Thirty years since I first came to America. I have all my Life endeavoured to act fairly and honourably by all men; and it is a pretty strong proof that I have done so, when such an inveterate enemy as Mr. Heth, has not been able to produce one instance of a contrary conduct. If he could have done so, I do not think that his delicacy could have made him suppress it. “ Jefferson wrote from New York on 13 June 1790 to assure Alexander that his good name had not been dented by the whole episode. “On the subject of your inquietude with the custom house, you may rest assured you have suffered in nobody’s estimation here. For that I will answer for you, because I have known you too long to have any doubts myself, or suffer any body else to have them.” Donald & Burton collapse Alexander was very concerned to retain Jefferson’s good opinion after the bankruptcy of his firm Donald & Burton, and dropped heavy hints about how he thought he could rely on his long-suffering friend’s loyalty. On the 10 of March 1793, he wrote: “I have no doubt but you will hear before this letter reaches you, that the House of D. & Burton have been obliged to stop payment. Several causes combined to bring upon us this misfortune, and none more than the rash and

ill judged Speculation of my Partner in wheat and flour in the Winter of 89. 90. My mind for some months past has been in great distress, but I have the consolation to find that altho I have lost my Fortune, I still retain what is infinitely more valuable, my Character is unimpeached. This gives me firm hopes of being able very soon to go on again in a business entirely under my own direction, for I am determined never to put it in the power of any man to bring me to ruin again.” To emphasise the point, a month later, he wrote in somewhat self-pitying tones that if Jefferson was to desert him, he would indeed despair. “It requires a considerable strength of mind to enable me to bear up under what has lately happened to me. Well Born, Genteely brought up and educated, and left a Fortune by my Father when I was only fourteen years of age of upwards of Five Thousand Pounds Stg., having always been industrious, Free from gameing and every kind of extravagance, and at a time when I thought my self independent, and in a fair way of making a Fortune, to be brought to distress and ruin by improper conduct in my Partner, and at my time of Life is what does not fall to the Lot of many People. My dependence on my Friends in America has enabled me to consider my misfortunes as an aweful lesson, from which I hope to derive great advantages in future. Was you to desert me I would indeed dispair, but this I know you cannot do, Because it is contrary to your nature. I will always be proud to receive your commands and I remain Dear Sir Your Faithful & obt. Sert. “ Jefferson’s letter of 22 August 1793, must have gone some way to reassure Alexander: “Just before their receipt I had heard of the calamity which had befallen you and which has Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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since befallen so many on your side the water. I heard it with poignant distress, for however it may be with others, I find that my earliest affections are my strongest.” Alexander closed his correspondence with Jefferson with a letter of 22 Feb. 1796, which is recorded as received from London on 14 May 1796, but not found.

they are to it. No attachments soothe the mind so much as those contracted in early life: nor do I recollect any societies which have given me more pleasure than those of which you have partaken with me. I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage, with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post which any human power can give.

Jefferson friendship Onerous though friendship with Alexander seems to have been at times, Jefferson’s character was such that he seems to have valued it highly. In his letter of introduction of Thomas Pinkney to Alexander Donald written on 8 June 1792, he wrote:

Jefferson’s last surviving letter to Alexander is especially poignant, in that it reiterates in highly lyrical terms the value that he placed their friendship. No further letters between the two have been saved, though it should be noted that previous letters also ended with a final “Adieu”.

Th: Jefferson takes the liberty of presenting Mr. Pinkney the bearer hereof Alexander Donald esq. one of his youthful friends and found a constant one, even unto the end. He long resided in Virginia, is now established in London, and Th: Jefferson will be responsible to Mr. Pinkney that any esteem he may honor him with, will be worthily placed.

“In one of your letters you flatter us with the idea that you may one day visit us at Monticello. I love to believe whatever I ardently wish. You even talk of laying your bones in America, and I, like other people, am so much the dupe of the fondness for the natale solum as to believe seriously there is no quarter of the globe so desireable as America, no state in America so desireable as Virginia, no county in Virginia equal to Albemarle, and no spot in Albemarle to compare to Monticello. Come then, since you cannot have Monticello, and fix yourself along side of it, and let us take our soupe and wine together every day, and talk over the stories of our youth, and the tales of other times. We shall never see better. Only do not be too long in thinking yourself rich enough for retirement; otherwise we may both first make our great retirement to where there is neither soupe nor wine, and where we are told that neither moth nor rust doth corrupt. From this the lord preserve us both for many good years, and have us always in his holy keeping. Adieu.

Jefferson willingly collaborated with Alexander painting of a rosy picture of their youth together. He valued old friendship as one of life’s simple pleasures, which he combined with his stated disdain for worldly success, and his fantasies of withdrawing from public life. This letter of 7 February 1788 was written 13 years before Jefferson assumed the Presidency: Your letter has kindled all the fond recollections of antient times, recollections much dearer to me than any thing I have known since. There are minds which can be pleased by honors and preferments, but I see nothing in them but envy and enmity. It is only necessary to possess them to know how little they contribute to happiness, or rather how hostile

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Your’s affectionately Th Jefferson


Constant Friend

One of Jefferson’s last letters to Alexander Donald, written in August 1793 after the failure of Donald & Burton: “I find that my earliest affections are my strongest” Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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To Thomas Jefferson 3 January 1787 Dear Sir

In the multiplicity of important business, which must take up your time and attention, I am almost affraid to trouble you with this letter. But recollecting with much satisfaction, your former Friendship, I trust that your good nature will pardon me for intrudeing upon your time, and haveing the honour of being a Citizen of this State, and being deeply interested in its Welfare, I hope you will not think me impertinent in communicateing to you the following information. In consequence of the Agreement with the Farmers General of France on the 24th. May last, for to recieve from 12. to 15,000 hhds. of Tobacco over and above the quantity contracted for with Mr. Morris at the same prices which are paid to him, provided the Tobacco was sent direct from the place of its growth, in French or American vessels, several speculations have already been made, and I have lately chartered a large Ship to send to Havre de Grace, but I am much allarmed at being lately informed that every possible obstacle is thrown in the way of carrying the resolutions of the Committee of Berni into effect. Some cargoes have been refused, and those that have been accepted, has been at an inferiour price to what Mr. Morris recieves for Tobacco shipt from the very same Rivers. I hope this information is not founded. But if it is, many individuals will suffer severely by their confidence, and it will be a great loss to the Publick, For the prices allowed Mr. Morris appeared so tempting, that many Gentlemen were induced to speculate to France. The consequence has been a very considerable rise in the price of Tobacco at all the lower warehouses on this River, as well as at Petersburg, and upon Rappk. and Potowmack, from which places Mr. Alexander chiefly draws his quantity. He ships very little from this place, or Pages (where you and myself have passed some happy days). I will take the liberty of writeing my Partner Mr. Robt. Burton in London, that if there is any obstacles in the way of receiveing the Cargo of Tobacco which my Friends are now shipping for Havre, to apply to you for your Friendly and effectual interposition. For tho Mr. Morris’s contract is at an end this year, yet if the Farmers General or their Agents, have it in their power to evade the receiveing all Tobacco that does not come from Mr. Morris or his Agents, your spirited exertions in behalf of this State and Maryland will be rendered nugatory, and of no effect, and the Tobacco Trade to France, must remain to all intents and purposes, a monopoly in the hands of Mr. M. and his Friends, as it has done since the conclusion of the War. And they may buy the inferiour qualities in this Country at any price they please. I will not presume to trouble you with my opinion of the Political situation of the United States. That you will no doubt be informed of by those who are more adequate to the Task. But I cannot help expressing great uneasyness at the disturbances in the Eastern States. And it gives me pain to add, that the People in this State will in the course of a year or two, be unable even to pay the taxes, unless there is a possibility of falling upon some happy plan of moderateing their extravagance, and encourageing their industry. I am sure you will blush for your Countrymen, when I assure you that in this, and all the other Towns in this State, we are supplied by our Sister States to the Eastward, with the most of our Hay,

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Constant Friend

Cabbages, Potatoes, onions &c. and that they even send us Lime, Bricks, and frameing for Houses ready for setting up. Many a time I laugh at my Friends for their want of industry. Last Fall I was up in Albermarle and passed a very happy week with our Friend Jack Walker, and his Cara Sposa. I had the Honour of forwarding a letter to you lately from him. It would be presumptuous in me to make you an offer of my services here, but I beg you will do me the Justice to believe, that it would make me happy, if I could serve you either here or in London, and I can add, that my Partner’s sentiments perfectly accord with mine. I am with great respect & esteem Dear Sir Your mo: obt. humb St., A Donald

Recorded in SJL as received 11 June 1787. Alexander was Morris’s agent in Virginia in the purchase of tobacco. The letter to you from John Walker must not have been that of 4 Feb. 1786, which Donald would scarcely have referred to as having been forwarded lately. TJ had received Walker’s of 4 Feb. on 23 June 1786, and, since it spoke of the death of his daughter, it is possible that TJ replied during the latter part of 1786 and that Walker wrote again. However, no such letters are recorded in SJL or have been found. In the light of the politically inspired charges of a later day concerning TJ’s relations with Mrs. Walker (see Malone, Jefferson the Virginian, “The Walker Affair, 1768–1809,” p. 447–51), it is important to note that the letter of 4 Feb. 1786 addressed TJ as “My Dear Friend” and that Walker assured TJ “Mrs. Walker…begs to be affectionately remember’d to you and Miss Patsy.”

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To George Washington 22 May 1787

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Constant Friend

Richmond 22d May 1787 Sir At the desire of Docr Stewart,I have the Honour of enclosing you Mr Morris’s note for 200 Dollars, And the first of Messrs William Alexander & Co’s. bill on same Gentleman for 894. 85/90 ths payable at ten days sight—Both which I hope will get safe to hand. I beg you will do me the favour to acknowledge receipt of the above money. I will not trouble you with the second Copy of the bill, if I find the first gets to your hands. It would give me very great pleasure if I could be of any service to you here; & my House in London, carried on under the Firm of Donald & Burton, would have equal pleasure in rendering you any service there. I beg you will beleive me to be with very great respect and Esteem Sir Your mo: obt Sert A. Donald

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To George Washington 20 June 1787

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Constant Friend

Richmond 20th June 1787 Sir I had the honour of receiveing your letter of the 2d Current—By which, I saw that the former remittance which I made you, at Docr Stewart’s desire, had got safe to hand, I now beg leave to trouble you with a further remittance of 306 65/90 th of a dollar, at the request of same Gentleman, which I hope will also reach you. I am with undissembled respect—Sir your mo: obt Sert A. Donald

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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From George Washington To David Stuart, 1 July 1787

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Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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From George Washington To David Stuart, 1 July 1787 Philadelphia, July 1, 1787. Dear Sir: I have been favored with your letter of the 17th ultimo. In May, Mr. Alexr. Donald made me a remittance in Bills on Robert Morris Esqr. of this City to the amount of 1094 35/90 Dollrs., and a few days since I received another draught on the same Gentleman for 306 65/90 Dollars making together 1401 60/90 Dollrs. or Four hundred and twenty pounds ten Shillings Virginia Currency, which I have placed to the Credit of Mr. Custis’s Estate. Rhode Island, from our last accts. still preseveres in that impolitic, unjust, and one might add without much impropriety scandalous conduct, which seems to have marked all her public Councils of late. Consequently, no Representation is yet here from thence. New Hampshire, tho’ Delegates have been appointed, is also unrepresented. Various causes have been assigned, whether well, or ill-founded I shall not take upon me to decide. The fact, however, is that they are not here. Political contests, and want of money, are amidst the reasons assigned for the non-attendance of the members. As the rules of the convention prevent me from relating any of the proceedings of it, and the gazettes contain, more fully than I could detail, other occurrences of a public nature, I have little to communicate to you on the article of news. Happy indeed would it be, if the convention shall be able to recommend such a firm and permanent government for this Union, that all who live under it may be secure in their lives, liberty, and property; and thrice happy would it be, if such a recommendation should obtain. Every body wishes, every body expects something from the convention; but what will be the final result of its deliberation, the book of fate must disclose. Persuaded I am, that the primary cause of all our disorders lies in the different State governments, and in the tenacity of that power, which pervades the whole of their systems. Whilst independent sovereignty is so ardently contended for, whilst the local views of each State, and separate interests, by which they are too much governed, will not yield to a more enlarged scale of politics, incompatibility in the laws of different States, and disrespect to those of the general government, must render the situation of this great country weak, inefficient, and disgraceful. It has already done so, almost to the final dissolution of it. Weak at home and disregarded abroad is our present condition, and contemptible enough it is. Entirely unnecessary was it to offer any apology for the sentiments you were so obliging as to offer me. I have had no wish more ardent, through the whole progress of this business, than that of knowing what kind of government is best calculated for us to live under. No doubt there will be a diversity of sentiments on this important subject; and to inform the judgment, it is necessary to hear all arguments that can be advanced. To please all is impossible, and to attempt it would be vain. The only way, therefore, is, under all the views in which it can be placed, and with a due consideration to circumstances, habits, &c., &c., to form such a government as will bear the scrutinizing eye of criticism, and trust it to the good sense and patriotism of the people to carry it into effect. Demagogues, men

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who are unwilling to lose any of their State consequence, and interested characters in each, will oppose any general government. But let these be regarded rightly, and justice, it is to be hoped, will at length prevail. My best wishes attend Mrs. Stuart, yourself, and the girls. If I can render [you] any service whilst I remain here, I shall be happy in doing it. I am, &c.63

From the “Letter Book� copy in the Washington Papers.]

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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From Thomas Jefferson Paris, July 28, 1787

I received with infinite satisfaction your letter of the 1st. of March. It was the first information I had of your being in America. There is no person whom I shall see again with more cordial joy whenever it shall be my lot to return to my native country; nor any one whose prosperity in the mean time will be more interesting to me. I find as I grow older that I set a higher value on the intimacies of my youth, and am more afflicted by whatever loses one of them to me. Should it be in my power to render any service in your shipment of tobacco to Havre de Grace, I shall do it with great pleasure. The order of Berni has I believe been evaded by the farmers general as much as possible. At this moment I receive information from most of the seaports that they refuse taking any tobacco under pretext that they have purchased their whole quantity. From Havre I have heard nothing, and beleive you will stand a better chance there than any where else. Being one of the ports of manufacture too it is entitled to a higher price. I have now desired that the farmers may make a distinct return of their purchases which are conformable to the order of Berni. If they have really bought their quantity on those terms, we must be satisfied: if they have not, I shall propose their being obliged to make it up instantly. There is a considerable accumulation of tobacco in the ports. Among many good qualities which my countrymen possess, some of a different character unhappily mix themselves. The most remarkable are indolence, extravagance, and infidelity to their engagements. Cure the two first, and the last would disappear, because it is a consequence of them, and not proceeding from a want of morals. I know of no remedy against indolence and extravagance but a free course of justice. Every thing else is merely palliative: but unhappily the evil has gained too generally the mass of the nation to leave the course of justice unobstructed. The maxim of buying nothing without money in our pocket to pay for it, would make of our country one of the happiest upon earth. Experience during the war proved this; as I think every man will remember that under all the privations it obliged him to submit to during that period he slept sounder, and awaked happier than he can do now. Desperate of finding relief from a free course of justice, I look forward to the abolition of all credit as the only other remedy which can take place. I have seen therefore with pleasure the exaggerations of our want of faith with which the London papers teem. It is indeed a strong medecine for sensible minds, but it is a medecine. It will prevent their crediting us abroad, in which case we cannot be credited at home. I have been much concerned at the losses produced by the fire of Richmond. I hope you have escaped them. It will give me much pleasure to hear from you as often as you can spare a moment to write. Be assured that nobody entertains for you sentiments of more perfect and sincere esteem than Dear Sir Your friend & servant, Th: Jefferson

RC (NN: Arents Tobacco Collection); addressed: “Alexander Donald esq. Merchant at Richmond Virginia�; endorsed. PrC (DLC).

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From Thomas Jefferson

Constant Friend

Paris, September 17, 1787

I had the honor of writing to you on the 28th. of July, when appearan[ces] rather threatened a war in Europe from the quarter of Holland. Since that the affairs of that country have continued to become more and more incapable of reconciliation. In the mean time a war has actually broken out between the Turks and Russians. It has been formally declared by the former against the latter, and accompanied by such circumstances as seem to render accomodation impossible. That this will become general, and will involve every power in Europe I think certain, or at least every one of note. Particularly it appears to me that France, the two Empires, Turkey, Prussia, England Spain and the United Netherlands will be engaged. How they will take sides is not yet known. Probably that will all be settled during the winter, and that it may be the Spring before the war becomes general. We I hope shall remain neuter. The only danger is that England by harrassing our merchant ships may oblige us to become parties. If we remain neutral our commerce must become considerable; and particularly the carrying business must fall principally into our hands. The West Indian islands of all the powers must be opened to us.窶年othing is yet concluded on the subject of our tobacco trade with this country after the expiration of the order of Bernis. Perhaps the prospect of war may be favorable to that arrangement. You made me a very unlucky offer of service in Richmond. Probably you did not know how troublesome I should be to you. And if you had known, I still doubt whether it would have deterred you from the offer, for I well remember that it was a part of your character to serve others tho you suffered yourself by it. I have taken the liberty to send to the care of Mr. Madison at New York a box addressed to you which contains 100 maps of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware, and 57 copies of a bad book called Notes on Virginia, the author of which has no other merit than that of thinking as little of it as any man in the world can. 17. of these copies are destined for yourself, Govr. Randolph, Genl. Washington, Colo. Monroe, Doctr. Mc.lurg, Doctr. Turpin, Richard Henry Lee, Colo. Mason, Mr. Jo. Jones of King George, Mr. Smith, president of the P. Edwd. College, F. Eppes, H. Skipwith, C. H. Harrison, John Bolling junr. Mr. Zane, Mr. Stuard of Rockbridge, and Mr. Brown nephew to Colo. Preston. As you will probably see all these gentlemen, sooner or later in Richmond, you will have no other trouble than the delivery of the books with my request to accept of them. The remaining 40 copies, if any body will buy, at 10/ Virginia money apiece and the maps at half that, it may refund to me a part of the expences of impression. To save both to you and myself the trouble of accounts, part with them only for the cash in hand. The sums would not be worth the trouble of collecting. I have taken the liberty of desiring Colo. N. Lewis of Albemarle to send some seeds to your care to be forwarded for me to Havre, where Mr. Limozin, agent for the United states will take care of them for me. Perhaps he may add to them a dozen or two of hams, which the captain, who brings them, must pretend to be a part of his private stores, or they will be seised. Perhaps too the object may not be worth the trouble. Of this the captains are the best judges. I have it in contemplation to write to Mr. Eppes for some of a particular kind of cyder which he makes, and in like manner to trouble you with it. Judge now if you acted wisely in offering me your services, or whether you can contrive to indemnify yourself by entrusting me with the execution of any commissions on your part, which I chearfully offer, and will faithfully execute. Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Particularly I can undertake to procure for you in the cellars of the persons who make it, any wines of [this country] which you may desire. I have visited all the most celebrated wine cantons, have informed myself of the best vignobles and can assure you that it is from them alone that genuine wine is to be got, and not from any wine merchant whatever; for this or any other purpose make what use of me you please, being with sentiments of real esteem and attachment Dear Sir your most obedient friend and servant, TH: JEFFERSON PrC (DLC).

TJ’s memorandum in MHi (see note to TJ to George Wythe, 16 Sep.) lists the contents of the box for Donald in abbreviated form; in that memorandum TJ states that the 40 copies of the Notes are “to be sold @ 1⅔ dollars,” the “100 maps to be sold @ ⅚ of a dollar.” Original source: Main Series, Volume 12 (7 August 1787–31 March 1788)

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To Thomas Jefferson

Constant Friend

Richmond, 12 November, 1787 Many thanks to you for your very Friendly and Polite letter of the 28th. July. You will no doubt have seen before this time the result of the deliberations of the Convention, which was assembled at Philadelphia last Summer, for revising, and amending the Federal Constitution. I am sorry to say it is like to meet with strong opposition in this state, at this moment I do believe that a great majority of the People approve of it, but I can easily conceive, that interested men will do every thing in their power, between this and the electing of our State Convention, to poison the minds of the People, and get them persuaded to give their votes for such Gentlemen as they know are decidedly against the adoption of the New Constitution. I will not presume to be competent to give an opinion on such a Complex subject, but I can see that there may be some objections made to it, but still it is my sincere opinion, that the Adoption of it will be the salvation of America, For at present there is hardly the semblance of Law or Government in any of the States, and for want of a Superintending Power over the whole, a dissolution seems to be impending. I staid two days with General Washington at Mount Vernon about Six weeks ago. He is in perfect good health, and looks almost as well as he did Twenty years ago. I never saw him so keen for any thing in my life, as he is for the adoption of the new Form of Government. As the eyes of all America are turned towards this truly Great and Good Man, for the First President, I took the liberty of sounding him upon it. He appears to be greatly against going into Publick Life again, Pleads in Excuse for himself, His Love of Retirement, and his advanced Age, but Notwithstanding of these, I am fully of opinion he may be induced to appear once more on the Publick Stage of Life. I form my opinion from what passed between us in a very long and serious conversation as well as from what I could gather from Mrs. Washington on same subject. Our Assembly are now sitting. They have not yet done much business, but what has been done is highly commendable. They have in very strong and pointed language thrown out a proposal for emitting paper money, and they have repealed the Port Bill, which was attended with numberless inconveniencies to the Merchants. At the request of Colo. George Mason, I have drawn up a Plan for a new Bill, which will more effectually secure the Revenue than the former, and will remove the many objections that Merchantile People had to the Last. Till this Assembly an Idea seemed to prevail almost universally, that the Landed and Commercial Interests were opposed to each other. I have been at great pains to do away this erroneous opinion, and from the Laws that have been made for two years past, such unexpected consequences have followed, that the minds of the People are now disposed to hear reasoning upon the subject of Trade, from those who have been long engaged in it. Our installment bill for paying Debts engrosses much time and attention. This is a favourite Child of your Friend Colo. George Nicholas. I have only one objection to it upon the Principles they talk off, and that is the Precedent, I am satisfied that take the state altogether, it owes more money than the lands can produce for three years. Therefore the Debts cannot be paid in that time. I would be for giving four years, which surely would be much better for the Creditor, than going to Law, when he could not obtain a Judgement in less than seven, and if the sum is considerable, he must follow his Debtor into the Court of Appeals and from thence into Chancery, and after going through every Court when he has an Execution served upon the Estate of his Debtor thro a last Replyvin, (this is a new Trick) And in short every delay and Chicanery Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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is made use of to stave off the payment of Just Debts and this Country which is blessed by Nature with many advantages is likely to go to Anarchy and Ruin, for want of a proper execution of the Laws, and of a Firm and Efficient Government. In order to avoid the sickly season I left this place the latter end of June, and did not return till the 12th. Febr. I went as far as New York, where I staid a month. I was two weeks at Philada. in going, and returning. This gave me an opportunity of being frequently with Mr. Morris. He told me that he expected a renewal of his Contract with the Farmers General of France, and as the proceedings of the Counsil of Berni were forced upon them, and contrary to their wishes, he insinuated that individuals would find great difficulty in disposing of any Tobacco in that Kingdom. I hope Mr. Morris will be mistaken in both. Sure I am that it will be much against the Interest of this State in particular, For the inferior kinds of Tobacco are fit for the French market only. Therefore give any one man a monopoly of supplying that market, he of course sees a monopoly in the purchase of the inferiour qualities of Tobacco in this state and so fix the price as low as he pleases. I had intended to have shipt largely to France in future, in expectation of the Trade being thrown entirely open, but from what you have been so obliging as write me, and from what Mr. Morris has said to me, I am affraid to venture deep. I will however take my Chance of one Cargo from this River of 5. or 600. hhds. I will send it to Havre as you recommend, and I will take the liberty of writing my Friends there, that if they find any difficulty in selling the Cargo, to apply to you for advice, Being convinced that you will give them every assistance in your Power, for the good of this State, as well as for my particular Interest. You will oblige me exceedingly by writing me as early as possible your Sentiments on this subject, that I may regulate myself accordingly. If the Farmers are affraid that they may be disappointed in their quantity, were they to trust entirely to what might be sent to them in the way of Trade, I would willingly and gladly contract with them for Ten Thousand hhds. annually, at the same price they allow Mr. Morris, or even for a Livre per hundred less. I can afford to take less than Mr. Morris, As I can command a better Exchange for my bills, and will save the heavy Commission which he is obliged to pay to Old Mr. Alexander and others. And I may safely say, that being situated at this place; I could send better Tobacco than Mr. Morris can possibly collect to the Northward of this. In my last, I think I took the liberty of mentioning to you, that Mr. Robt. Burton and myself are connected in business, he is settled in London, where it is conducted under the Firm of Donald and Burton. You will probably recollect him as he lived several years at this place previous to the Revolution. If there is any prospect of obtaining a Contract for me, I beg you will inform him of it, and he will give any security that may be required for the performance of the same. Your old school Companion W. Lewis, of Warner Hall was here staying with me when I had the pleasure of receiving your letter. It was so Friendly, and so very Flattering to my Pride, that I could not resist the vanity of showing it to him. He added to my Pride, by declaring (what I was pretty much convinced of before) that of all the Men he ever knew in his Life, he believed you to be the most sincere in your profession of Friendship. I am free to say, that when we used to pass some jovial days together at Hanover Town, I did not then imagine, that at this time you would be in Paris, Ambassador to the Court of Versailles. Some People in your High Caracter would be very apt to forget their old acquaintance, but you are not, and I must be allowed to do myself the justice to declare, I never entertained an Idea that you would. I will do myself the pleasure of writing you again by the Bowman the Ship I intend sending to Havre. I hope she will sail in a month. I am with the highest Esteem and Respect Dear Sir Your mo: obt. Humb. St., A DONALD

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From Edward Carrington New York, 26 November, 1787 My dear Sir,

I am to acknowledge the receipt of the letter you did me the honor to write from Philadelphia---;also that from Richmond inclosing two to be sent by the English packet. These were put into the mail, and I suppose are by this time nearly at their ports of destination. I am happy to find you have safely arrived in Richmond after the various hazards you encountered while in, & after you left, N. York---; that near Princeton must have been alarming as well as mortifying. I know of nothing that so disconcerts a young man, as to be brought up by the heels in cutting a Caper---;in this I have no direct allusion to the catastrophe near Princeton, but it directly applies to your good Freind Sir Jno. Temple, who upon that very day you left this City, and a few minutes after his interview with you at No. 19 Maiden lane was laid at full length upon the ground, in the Act of walking in the Train of the Governor, when he was reviewing the Troops. I would not mention this circumstance to any but a particular freind of the Baronets for the world---;you will doubtless sympathize with him. Your Freinds in N. York often enquire after you with great goodness. Mrs. Colden, Miss Van Berkel and several others on whose minds you have left, at least, favorable impressions frequently regret your departure---;but to pass from great things to small, by the last intelligence from Europe we have reason to suspect that the Patriots in Holland are in a bad way. The Princess of Orange has done more service to her husband than it is usual for married men to experience, the interruption given her in her passage to the Hague sometime ago, has so incensed her Brother the King of Prussia, as to bring him into more rapid & vigorous movements agst. the Patriots than he probably would have made. The duke of Brunswic at the head of 30,000 Prussian Troops has invaded the United Netherlands and is master of almost every place that was in a posture of opposition to the Stadtholder---;indeed Amsterdam stands alone, & that City is saved, for the present, only by the inundation of the surrounding Country. France cannot assist the Patriotic Party. Terminate this business how it will, there must still be an extensive & bloody Continental War---;the Porte has declared War against Russia, and as the powers now stand arranged it is likely that the flame will communicate itself throughout. The Constitution proposed for the Government of the United States is going on Well in the Eastern States, and as far as the Middle states have acted at all, their conduct is favorable. Present me to our Amiable Freind Mrs. Brent and all our other acquaintances, and believe me to be with great regard, Your sincere freind & Humble servt., Ed. Carrington RC (NN: Stauffer Collection). Alexander Donald, an associate of the London mercantile firm of (Robert) Burton & Donald, was a Richmond tobacco and wheat merchant and agent for Robert Morris in fulfilling his contract with the French Farmers General. He had become a Virginia citizen and an intimate of Thomas Jefferson and other Virginians before the war, but had apparently returned to Great Britain and did not resume his American career until 1786--;87.

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To Thomas Jefferson

Richmond, 15 December, 1787 Since my last respects to you, I have the Honor of receiving your favour of the 17th. Septr., forwarded from New York, by our Friend Mr. Maddison. I thank you for the Political information contained in your letter. As a Citizen of the West, I deprecate all Wars, But as a Citizen of America, I can have no objection to the Powers of Europe going to Logger Heads. The advantages we will reap from it, must be great indeed; Without we can find some marcut for our Flour, we shall be obliged to give [up] our growing any for the future. I am not under any apprehensions of the English harrassing our Trade, in case a war does take place. I am more affraid of our Sister States to the Eastward going to the Old Trade of Privateering. They found the advantages of it so sensibly in the last War, That I can hardly think they will be idle in the next. The Books and Maps are not yet come forward. Mr. Maddison has promised to send them by the first opportunity. I have seen several of the Gentlemen for whom the former are intended, and I have informed them that they will be delivered as soon as they come to hand. I happened to be writing to your old acquaintance Warner Lewis a day or two after your last letter came to hand, and I wrote him that you had sent him a Copy of the book as a token of your remembrance of him. I know this will please him, and if I know you, I am confident that I will not incur your displeasure by taking this Liberty with you. On the whole, I fear that I will not be able to acquit myself with Credit in this consignment. You may remember that your Countrymen in General are not much given to Books, (except the history of the four Kings, which they are in general very perfect in). But Besides, you will see by the inclosed advertisement, that there is an eddition of the Book Just going to be Published in Philadelphia the price of which is to be only a dollar to subscribers. One part of your Instructions I shall most religiously adhere to, not to part with a single Copy without the money is paid me for it. The day after I received your letter, I had an opportunity to write Colo. N. Lewis. I advised him that I had a ship that would sail to France about this time, and that if he had any shrubs which he wanted to send you, I desired him to forward them to me as soon as possible; and that they would be taken care of. I have not heard from him, but as I shall have another opportunity to Havre de Grace in two or three weeks, I hope they will be here before that Time. The Hams will not be fit to ship before March or April, when they also will be sent you. I beg you will believe that I was sincere in my proffered Services, and that the frequenter you give me an opportunity of convincing you of this, the more you will oblige me. If Mr. Eppes sends any Cyder to my care, it shall be forwarded as you desired. If you can procure for me one groce of the best Claret in France, in time to send by return of my ship Bowman, I will be very thankful to you for it. I want it of the first grade and high flavour. I don’t limit you to any price. Order it to be delivered to Messrs. Callow, Carmichael & Co. of Havre, who will also pay for it. If this wine pleases me; I may become troublesome to you. I tasted some that you sent Mr. Eppes. It was good, but I have drank better.

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I intend to send you by this Ship some of our later News Papers that you may see what is going on here. I am grieved to inform you that the Constitution lately proposed by the Convention at Phila. is daily loosing ground. And I am now pretty much convinced that it will not be adopted in this State. I am with every sentiment of esteem & respect Dear Sir Your mo: obt. huml. Servt.,

Constant Friend

A DONALD

RC (DLC); endorsed. Enclosure (DLC): Clipping from The Virginia Independent Chronicle (Richmond, Augustine Davis), for 12 Dec. 1787: “Now in the Press, and shortly will be published, by Prichard & Hall, Printers, Philadelphia, Notes on the State of Virginia; Written by his Excellency Thomas Jefferson, Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America to the court of France. The work will be comprised in a handsome octavo volume, with an elegant type, and good paper, and delivered to the subscribers neatly bound and lettered at the moderate rate of one dollar. The price to non-subscribers will be seven shillings and six pence Virginia currency. The encouragement the undertakers of this work have already met with in their applications to the public, induces them to believe that few copies of their edition will remain unsubscribed for; it is therefore the interest of Gentlemen to give in their names as subscribers as soon as possible to those authorised to receive them.—Subscriptions are taken in at Mr. Davis’s Printing-Office in Richmond where a specimen of the work is left for inspection.” Original source: Main Series, Volume 12 (7 August 1787–31 March 1788)

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To Thomas Jefferson Richmond, 1 January, 1788

Has received a letter from Nicholas Lewis asking him to assist Derieux, who wished to sell some bills of exchange; he gladly assisted him after seeing the letter TJ had written Derieux, but he believes “it would have been as well, had you not mentioned to him the sum which his Aunt would probably leave him at her Death, for it appears to me that he reckons upon it, as much almost as if [it] was actually now in his possession, For in place of laying out the money received for his bills in a piece of good land and some Negroes &c. he has out of the first end of it, purchased a Phaeton and Horses.” This is a “bad symptom of his Œconomy,” and if his aunt lives a few years and refuses further assistance, he will be ruined. Had he known what Derieux was going to do he would have advised him. “Colo. Lewis has sent a specimen of Indian Corn and seeds, which will be forwarded by this opportunity” hopes they arrive safely; some hams will be sent in the spring. Does not think England wants war or that France is in a condition to begin war; if he is right “they will each concede a little” “But should there be a war in Europe, it gives me pleasure to find that the People … will take no part with either, but will avail themselves of the great advantages which must result from a state of perfect neutrality.” This he believes will be their conduct for some time. Sends a letter he received from Warner Lewis. The box containing copies of TJ’s “Book” for various persons has not yet arrived.

RC (DLC); 2 p.; endorsed. Enclosure (DLC): Warner Lewis to Alexander Donald, 22 Dec. 1787, shown on following pages. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-12-02-0498 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 12 (7 August 1787–31 March 1788)

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From Warner Lewis

Constant Friend

22 December, 1787

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Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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From Warner Lewis 22 December, 1787

Letter to Alexander Donald from Warner Lewis, forwarded by Alexander to Thomas Jefferson My dear sir, In the ordinary events of life to be disappointed is what I am pretty well prepared for but when I am dealing with a man of your punctuality, disappointment, I confess, is a matter of a more serious nature and not so easily borne. Had Acquia been between us this and your residence, near to which dwells the fairest of the fair, I should not have been surprised if a man of less mettle than I know you possess had, by the magnetic powers of that place, been drawn from his fist persail. But when I recollected that Acquia was far distant from your road, I really had serious apprehensions. I could not help fearing that illness, or perhaps broken limbs in your passage, had deprived us of that pleasure which we all considered as certain. Your letter, a long time on its way to me, at length relieved us in some degree; and tho’ a hidden flame may be piece meal be consuming you as report has lately, and confidentially too, told us, I hope that consumption will be so gradual as to leave enough of your remaining, at least to undergo a last visit to friends who very much regard you. You cannot come too soon and you can never come unseasonably. But, let me tell you, the oysters cannot be some time hence, as they have been. We ransacked the river to procure the best we could for your gratification in the season, I fear, will have passed before we have the pleasure of seeing you, of offering any more such to your acceptance. I am exceedingly concerned at the probability of a war in Europe, and of such an one as will in all likelihood be general. If it should be general, the parts you have allotted to the different powers, I think, will be found to be perfectly just. I have no doubt myself that the Emperor of Germany will take that part which France espouses; and I hope America will have wisdom enough to take no part at all. The more I contemplate the new constitution, as it is called, and the more I consider the situation of my country, the more I am persuaded of the necessity of making immediate trial of it. With this idea, that I may have an opportunity of giving a vote for it, I have offered my services to the county I live in. Whether I shall be elected or not, is a matter of some doubt. With enough to do at home, you will probably think, that it may be fortunate for me if I am rejected –and I really think so too. he mortification of rejection will by no means be a sore one to me. I thank my friend Jefferson for his recollection of me amidst the business with which he is surrounded; and I shall receive the present of his book with that pleasure, which every testimony of his remembrance and regard will always impress upon me.

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I shall tire you if I go on, so adieu my friend! Yours most affectionately, Warner Lewis Warner Hall December, 1787

Aquia is 13 miles north of Fredericksburg in Virginia

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Constant Friend

From Thomas Jefferson Paris, 7 February 1788

I received duly your friendly letter of Nov. 12. By this time you will have seen published by Congress the new regulation obtained from this court in favor of our commerce. I should have made them known to you at the same time but that there is a sort of decency which requires that first communications should be made to government. You will observe that the arrangement relative to tobacco is a continuation of the order of Berni for five years, only leaving the price to be settled between the buyer and seller. You will see too that all contracts for tobacco are forbidden till it arrives in France. Of course your proposition for a contract is precluded. I fear the prices here will be low, especially if the market be crowded. You should be particularly attentive to the article which requires that the tobacco should come in French or American bottoms, as this article will in no instance be departed from. I wish with all my soul that the nine first Conventions may accept the new Constitution, because this will secure to us the good it contains, which I think great and important. But I equally wish that the four latest conventions, whichever they be, may refuse to accede to it till a declaration of rights be annexed. This would probably command the offer of such a declaration, and thus give to the whole fabric, perhaps as much perfection as any one of that kind ever had. By a declaration of rights I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil which no honest government should decline. There is another strong feature in the new constitution which I as strongly dislike. That is the perpetual re-eligibility of the President. Of this I expect no amendment at present because I do not see that any body has objected to it on your side the water. But it will be productive of cruel distress to our country even in your day and mine. The importance to France and England to have our government in the hands of a Friend or a foe, will occasion their interference by money, and even by arms. Our President will be of much more consequence to them than a king of Poland. We must take care however that neither this nor any other objection to the new form produce a schism in our union. That would be an incurable evil, because near friends falling out never reunite cordially; whereas, all of us going together, we shall be sure to cure the evils of our new constitution, before they do great harm.1— The box of books I had taken the liberty to address to you is but just gone from Havre for New York. I do not see at present any symptoms strongly indicating war. It is true that the distrust existing between the two courts of Versailles and London is so great that they can scarcely do business together. However the difficulty and doubt of obtaining money makes both afraid to enter into war. The little preparations for war, which we see, are the effect of distrust rather than of a design to commence hostilities. However, in such a state of mind, you know small things may produce a rupture. So that tho peace is rather probable, war is very possible. Your letter has kindled all the fond recollections of antient times, recollections much dearer to me than any thing I have known since. There are minds which can be pleased by honors and preferments, but I

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see nothing in them but envy and enmity. It is only necessary to possess them to know how little they contribute to happiness, or rather how hostile they are to it. No attachments soothe the mind so much as those contracted in early life: nor do I recollect any societies which have given me more pleasure than those of which you have partaken with me. I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage, with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post which any human power can give. I shall be glad to hear from you often. Give me the small news as well as the great. Tell Dr. Currie that I believe I am indebted to him a letter, but that, like the mass of my countrymen I am not at this moment able to pay all my debts: the post being to depart in an hour, and the last stroke of a pen I am able to send by it being that which assures you of the sentiments of esteem and attachment with which I am dear Sir your affectionate friend & servt., TH: JEFFERSON PrC (DLC). Tr of Extract (DLC: Monroe Papers); in TJ’s hand, with the following caption: “Extract from the letter of Th: J. to A. Donald dated Paris Feb. 7. 1788. which was quoted to the Virginia convention.” On the use of this extract, see Monroe to TJ, 12 July 1788, and Madison to TJ, 24 July 1788. Original source: Main Series, Volume 12 (7 August 1787–31 March 1788)

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From Thomas Jefferson Paris, 15 February 1788

I received your favor of Dec. 15. two days after I had written my letter of the 7th. inst. and at the same time with one from Callow Carmichael & co. informing me that your vessel would sail from Havre about the 19th. instant. The shortness of warning not admitting time to order claret for you from Bordeaux early enough to go either by the Bowman or by your next ship, I send you two hampers from my own cellar, containing 124 bottles. I am afraid it will not get to Havre in time for the Bowman. You say you had tasted at Mr. Eppes’s some wine I had sent him, which was good, but not equal to what you have seen. I have sent to him twice; and what you say would correspond to the first batch. The second was of Chateau Margau of the year 1784. bought by myself on the spot, and a part of the very purchase from which I now send you. It is of the best vintage which has happened in nine years, and is of one of the four vineyards which are admitted to possess exclusively the first reputation. I may safely assure you therefore that, according to the taste of this country and of England there cannot be a bottle of better Bordeaux produced in France. It cost me at Bordeaux three livres a bottle, ready bottled and packed. This is very dear; but you say you do not limit me in price. I send you a note of the principal wines of this country, their prices &c. and shall be happy to have you furnished with any of them which you may wish for your own use, only giving me notice enough before hand to have them provided and lodged at Havre or Bordeaux. Notice for the latter need be very short when you have a vessel coming to Bordeaux. Notice for Hermitage must be very long. I thank you for supplying my omission as to Mr. Warner Lewis. You did what I would have done myself, if time had not hurried my recollections. The books and maps, by some inattention at Havre, sailed from that place for New York only the last month. Sell them for what you please. It will always be that much more than they are worth. The map may perhaps give to these copies a preference over the American edition, which will probably be without a map. Your attention to forward plants, hams, cyder &c. is very obliging. The last two articles being prohibited, must pass as the captain’s sea-stores. Can you by any opportunity send me some of the Lima-bean, or Sugar bean, which is not to be had here or in England, and is asked from me by a friend. I thank you for the Newspapers. They are a great treat to me; and the advertisements are not the least interesting parts of them. Nothing new having transpired since my last, I have only to repeat assurances of the sincere esteem and respect with which I am Dear Sir your affectionate friend & servt., TH: JEFFERSON PrC (DLC). The enclosed note of the principal wines has not been found, but it must have been based upon the notes compiled by TJ during his tour of Southern France and must have been similar to the more extended notes compiled after his journey through the vineyards of the Moselle and the Rhine in 1788—notes drawn from the travel journals of 1787–1788 and which formed the basic list from which TJ supplied information about European wines to many persons from 1788 onward (DLC: TJ Papers, 234:41990–6; to be printed in Second Series). The first American edition of Notes on Virginia was printed in Philadelphia in 1788 by Prichard and Hall; it was pirated from the Stockdale edition of 1787 (Coolie Verner, A Further Checklist of the Separate Editions of Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, Charlottesville, 1950, p. 9; Sabin No. 35897). See note to Donald to TJ, 15 Dec. 1787. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-12-02-0630 [accessed 28 Jul

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Constant Friend

Paris, 18 November 1788

Often sollicited by persons on this side the water to enquire for their friends in America about whose fate they are incertain, I can only hand on their requests to my friends in America. The inclosed letter from the Chevalier de Sigougne desires some enquiry after his brother whom he supposes to have settled at Todd’s bridge. As this is within your reach, I must refer the request to your humanity, and beg of you, if you can hear of him you will be so good as to give me an account of him, returning me the inclosed letter at the same time. The campaign between the Turks and Russians has been tolerably equal. The Austrians have suffered thro’ the whole of it. By the interposition of Prussia and England, peace is likely to be made between Russia, Denmark and Sweden. This is a proof that England does not mean to engage in the war herself. This country will certainly engage herself in no manner externally before the meeting of her States general. This assembly has been so long disused, that the forms of it’s convocation occasion difficulty. The Notables have been convened to prescribe them, and they are now in session. I am in hopes this will end in giving a good degree of liberty to this country. They enjoy at present the most perfect tranquillity within. Their stocks however continue low, and money difficult to be got for current expences. It is hoped that Mr. Neckar’s talents and popularity, with the aid of a national assembly will extricate them from their difficulties. We have been daily expecting to hear of the death of the king of England. Our last news is of the 11th. when he was thought in the utmost danger. This event might produce a great change in the situation of things. It is supposed Mr. Fox would come into place, and he has been generally understood to be disposed for war. Should the king survive, I think the continuance of peace more probable at present than it has been for some time past. Be so good as to contrive the inclosed letter by a very safe conveiance. Remember me in the most friendly terms to Dr. Currie, and be assured yourself of the esteem & attachment with which I am Dear Sir Your affectionate friend & servt, TH: JEFFERSON P.S. The crop of wheat here has been so short, that they write me from all the ports that want is apprehended, and that American wheat or flour would come to a good market here. I mention this to you, tho’ I am sure you have information on the subject much more accurate than I can give you. PrC (DLC). The enclosed letter from Sigougne has not been found; on 20 July 1789 Donald wrote to William Short: “On the 14th April I had the honour of receiving a letter from Mr. Jefferson dated the 18th November. … I conclude that he will have left Paris before you receive this. I enclose (agreeably to Mr. Jefferson’s desire) a letter which was enclosed in his last to me; I made the enquiry desired, and I found that Mr. De Sigougne was about taking his departure for France. I therefore did not conceive it to be of any consequence giving instant information of his movement” (DLC: Short Papers). This letter was received by Short on 30 Sep. 1789, four days after TJ had departed from Paris. The second enclosure has not been identified. This letter evidently was the first in which TJ transmitted information to America of the impending wheat shortage, his private communication anticipating the public notification by ten days (see TJ to Jay, 29 Nov. 1788). As a result of this advice, Donald made large consignments and advised Short in the letter cited above: “Mr. Jefferson was so very obliging as to inform me of the prospect of wheat and flour answering well in France, and in consequence thereof I have shipped above 10,000 barrels of the latter, and a considerable quantity of the former to Havre de Grace, consigned to the House of Messrs. Collow Freres, Carmichael & Co., Merchts there, and I have taken the liberty of desiring them to apply to Mr. Jefferson for his assistance should any difficulty arise in respect to obtaining the premium, or rather the bounty to be paid on American wheat and flour into France. I have lately understood that the Captains of the different Vessels ought to secure an […] oath to their manifests, which I have entirely neglected, from ignorance that it was required.—But surely no advantage can in justice be taken of this, if the most

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To Thomas Jefferson

Richmond, 24 November 1788 There has been so few direct opportunities from hence for France for some months past, that I have long been deprived of the honour of addressing you. And at this moment I feel a great reluctance in doing so, because I shall not be able to give an account of my Stewardship that will be pleasant to you or satisfactory to myself. And yet such is the force of self love that I cannot blame myself.—Now to the Point. Last winter Colo. N. Lewis sent down here two large cases of hams, along with a few ears of I. Corn and two or three small paper parcells, I took the first opportunity of forwarding the whole to Mr. Nickolls at Portsmouth, who has the Superintendence of the Ships which Mr. Morris sends to France with his Tobo, and requested the favour of him to forward them by the first opportunity, but he has not been able to prevail on any of the Captains to take the hams. They all alledge that their ships would be liable to seizure if they had taken them, as the importation of all hams they say is prohibited in France. Upon finding after repeated trials that there was no prospect of getting them sent you, I wrote to have the cases opened, and the hams sold, but I am informed that when this was done, the hams were found to be entirely spoiled, owing probably to their having been put up before they were perfectly cured. Here my Dear Sir, to speak in the Merchantile Style, there appears to be a Total loss on this Adventure.—And I have every reason to apprehend the same, on the box of books and maps. It has never come to hand. I have wrote 10 or a dozen of letters about it. Mr. Maddison says he gave it in charge to Mr. Constable at New York, to be forwarded by him to me. When Mr. Maddison was here upon the Convention I corresponded with Colo. Carrington. He wrote me that he had called upon Mr. Constable, who was from home, but one of the young men in the Office said that the box had been sent to Mr. Nickolls at Portsmouth a month or two before that time. Upon hearing this I wrote Immediately to Mr. Nickolls, who in answer said that no such box had been received by him, and that he had never heard of it before he received my letter. From this narrative you will observe that the box appears to be in imminent jeopardy. The only chance of its being safe is, that it may be lodged in the Custom House at Norfolk, for payment of the Duties, and the officers are too indolent to search for it. I shall pay particular attention to their sales, and if I see your box advertized I will prevent its being sold. From what I have wrote, you will not be surprized that I felt much reluctance at taking up my Pen, and yet Sir I hope you will have the goodness to believe that the untoward situation of the business you entrusted to me does not proceed from any want of attention in me, or from any want of disposition to oblige and serve you. I do assure you that there are but a very few in the world I would be so happy to oblige. The wine you were so kind as spare me from your own stock, is very excellent. It is universally admired, and whenever it is produced (which is only on particular occasions) I am prompted either by my gratitude or vanity to declare from whence it came, and give me leave to add, that we never fail to take a toast to your health. Don’t I pray you misunderstand me, which you will exceedingly, if you conclude that you are only remembered at my Table, when your wine is produced on it. By the way, I do not believe that you have yet been paid for it. Do me the favour to send me the amount of it, which shall

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instantly be paid to any person here, or I will order payment of it in London, as is most agreeable to you. I shall not trouble you much with Politicks. In the first place the State of them here at present will not admit any thing to be said on this subject that would be either pleasing or instructive to you, and in the Second Place; Colo. Ed. Carrington told me he was to write you, and I am convinced that others of your Friends equally versed in this science will do the same; I must beg leave to refer you to them, I cannot however avoid deploring the misery which seems to be awaiting this State, and which seems to be fast approaching occasioned by the blind and unbounded confidence, which the majority of our House of Assembly, have in a leading, Popular Caracter. I flatter myself that the same facination does not prevail to the same dangerous extent over the state, but you know that the Conduct of the Assembly, and the Laws which they make, must, or at least ought to affect the whole. You will no doubt be informed that Richard Henry Lee & Mr. Grayson are ellected the Senators for representing this State in the New Constitution. Mr. Maddison was too foederal to be chosen. And I have very serious apprehensions that he will not be sent even as a Delegate. The Friends of their Country, and the new Forms of Government, do not exert themselves in the present strugle. Their opponents being more active and industrious carry every thing before them.—And for this reason I very much fear that the new Congress will have a majority of anti Foederal members. If so I really tremble for the consequences. By this opportunity I send you a few of our last newspapers, and the first volume of the debates of our late Convention, taken by a shorthand writer. The second volume shall follow as soon as published. As I am now engaged in the purchase of Tobo. for Mr. Morris to supply the Farms, I will be much obliged to you to inform me when his Contract expires, and what quantity of Tobo. the Farmers Generale are yet obliged to receive from him. Your answers to those queries, may be of infinite consequence to me. Having said this I have no occasion to urge this matter further, but if you would be so good as give me your opinion of the certainty of Mr. M’s draught on Monsieur Le Couteulx & Co: being paid, it will be doing me an additional favour. We have had the most uncommon Autumn this Fall ever known. It has in reallity been an English Summer. I keep a Diary of the State of the weather by Farenheits Thermometer. The greatest heat at 3. oClock P.M. from the 2d. Current to the 8th. It always was above 80: from that to 81½. On the 19th it was 74, the 20th 73. the 21st 77. 22d 77 23d. 76 and this day 77. Such hot weather at this Season will hardly gain Credit with you, but be assured that I am accurate, but I should also tell you that my Thermometer is suspended in my passage, out of any effect from the sun. And Fires are not yet in my house. Your Old Friend Jack Walker Breakfasted with me this morning. I mentioned my intention of writing you, and he requested that I would not neglect to present his best Compliments to you. We have for some days past been without a Governor. Mr. Randolph has resigned and is now in the Assembly. The Candidates for this high office are Colo. B. Harrison of Berkley, and Beverly Randolph our Lt. Governor, the last has just left me, I was enquiring how matters stood with him, he says very well, I asked if he was not allarmed at the Assembly postponing the appointment of a Governor till Mr. Harrison is eligible for the Office, (observe he is not four years out of office till 30th Decemb.) He answered in the negative, and made himself quite easy in thinking that the House only meant to give him a fair chance. For my Part I auger ill of this procrastination. After what has passed, I offer my services to you with becoming diffidence, but notwithstanding of what has happened, I beg Sir that you will be assured that I will be happy in every opportunity of obliging you. I am with great Respect & Esteem Dear Sir Your mo. obt. humble A. DONALD Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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To Thomas Jefferson Richmond, 16 January 1789 DEAR SIR I did myself the Honor of addressing you about Six weeks ago, by the ship Le Compte D’Artois bound for Bourdeaux. I hope you will receive the News Papers which I sent by that. I now send you a few more by the L’Couteulx bound for same Port. I would have sent you also the Laws passed the last Assembly, had they been published. They shall be forwarded by the next opportunity. We have no news here. We have had some very cold weather. Farenheits Thermometer hanging in my passage has been as low as 15. at Nine oClock a.m. Every Person seems to be more engaged either for or against the new Government, than in their own private concerns. The opposition to it is formidable, at least in point of numbers, but contemptable in every other point of view. I speak only of those who are against it, in toto. For many good and sensible men are for previous amendments. For my own part I think, that as all of them are of a general, and not of a local nature, it will be better to have the amendments made by the New Congress. I auger so well of the Government (provided they (The President and the rest of the Executive) have the means of enforcing their Laws) that I am loath to run the risk of loosing it. R. H. Lee and Mr. Grayson are appointed Senators from this state. And I have my own fears least our valuable Friend Mr. Maddison looses his election for Delegate from the District in which he lives. Beverley Randolph has now the honour of being Chief Magistrate, and I am now a Courtier, which I was not in the two preceeding reigns. Tobacco and every other species of Produce is very low. The Precious metals are extremely scarce; I needed only to have mentioned this last to you, from which you Would have concluded that the nominal price of all other Commodities must have fallen. I am very respectfully Dear Sir Your mo: obt. humb. st., A DONALD Colo. John Banister of Battersea, and his son Jack, are both gone to the shades below. RC (DLC); endorsed. Recorded in SJL as received 6 May 1789. Donald’s letter written about six weeks ago has not been found and is not recorded in SJL; the ship by which it came, le compte d’artois, had been rumored lost off Bordeaux a few days before the present letter was written (see Bondfield to TJ, 14 Jan. 1789). Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-14-02-0224 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 14 (8 October 1788–26 March 1789)

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To George Washington Richmond, 28 February 1789 DEAR SIR

I hope you will have the goodness to pardon me, for embracing the oppertunity by Doer Le Mayeur, of returning you my thanks for the unmerited kindness & attention you have been pleased to honour me with and which has made such an impression, as never can be obliterated from my memory. It will give me much pleasure to be able to pay my personal respects to you at Mount Vernon, before you go to New York, You observe Sir, that I make no doubt of your accepting the High and Honourable Office of President, I am confident that in point of Happiness, & enjoyment, you will be a great looser by your change of situation, as every person of your rural turn of mind must be, in relinquishing the pleasures of Mount Vernon, for the fatigue & bustle of business, which you must unavoidably experience at New York. But still I am satisfied you cannot resist the unanimous wish of United America, especially if you could be brought to think as all other good men do, That The Happiness & Prosperity of the Thirteen United States, intirely depends on your acceptance of the President’s Chair. Allow me to add, that it is the general opinion of the Friends to the New Government, that if you decline being at the Head of it, It never can, or will take effect. I intend returning to London in a few months, where I carry on business under the Firm of Donald & Burton, Give me leave to say, that my House will consider it as a high honour to be favoured with your commands for any thing you may want from thence, Be so good as present me most respectfully to your Lady. I am with great respect Sir Your very obedient & obliged Servant A. Donald LS, ViMtvL. Alexander Donald, one of Richmond’s leading tobacco and wheat merchants, was a member of the London merchant firm of Donald and Burton. He also acted as agent for Robert Morris in Virginia and was closely involved in the latter’s contract with the French Farmers General. In October 1787 Donald stayed at Mount Vernon and wrote his friend Thomas Jefferson a detailed description of his visit. 1 Jean Pierre Le Mayeur (Lamayner, L’Moyer) was a dentist from Richmond. He worked on GW’s teeth during the Revolution and called at Mount Vernon on more than one occasion during the 1780s to perform dental services for the family. Cite as: The Papers of George Washington Digital Edition, ed. Theodore J. Crackel. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=GEWN-print-05-01-02-0257 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Presidential Series (24 September 1788–31 August 1793), Volume 1 (24 September 1788–31 March 1789)

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To Thomas Jefferson

Richmond, 15 December 1789 My dear sir I sincerely hope that this letter will find you safe arrived at Monticello. I have been told that you had sent for Mr. Carter’s horses. I therefore lay my account with your drawing acquaintance, James Brown (who has the sole management of my business) in favour of that Gentleman for Sixty Pounds, which you may assure yourself will meet due honour. I herewith send you a letter from Mr. Edmund Randolph, who sent down here two days ago, Two Parcells of Elegant and Correct Maps, and a pair of Racketts for playing Tennis. Pray what is to be done with them? I was withheld by considerations of Delicacy from saying much to you about your present Crop of Tobacco. You were pleased to ask me whether it was most for the Interest of the Planter to ship his Tobacco, or to sell it in the Country. There is no subject that I can give so decided an opinion upon. Where the quality is good, it must ever be the Interest of the Planter to Ship it, as it is clearly his Interest to sell in the Country if mean. A Purchaser here has not the opportunity of seeing what he buys, or if he had, dare he make the true discrimination between the different qualities. Some Tobacco passed at this place is worth 12. or 15. . Ct. more than others passed at the same Inspection, but a purchaser who has a retail Store, or who has many debts owing to him, dare not give one man 12. or 15./ more than he gives another, For the man who has the mean Tobacco will insist upon the very same price that was given for the good, or he will be affronted, and leave off dealing with the man who has made such a distinction, or allow his Creditor to get his money as he can. In London the case is totally reversed. No man there will buy a hhd. till he sees it, and then he gives for it whatever it appears to be really worth. For a mean hhd. he will not give more than 2 ½d lb. when at the same time he will not hesitate to give 4 ½d. for another, and both hhds. probably passed at the same Inspection in this State. This I assure you I have repeatedly known to happen, a difference of two pence Pound is above Eight Pounds sterling hhd., and the Commission, Freight and charges are the same on both. From the foregoing reasoning you will see the principles that I go upon; If they are just, my commission must be equally so. I am very confident that I have refused the Consignment of some Thousand Hhds. for the best of all reasons, a belief that the quality was mean. My Commission as I have already observed is the same. I charge one guinea in full of every thing upon a mean hhd., and I charge no more upon the best.—But should you still entertain any doubt of what you should do with your Crop, and come to a resolution of selling in the Country, you will much oblige me by offering it to me. I will give as much as any man for it, and pay the money upon delivery. I take it for granted that you do not stand in need of any advance upon your Tobacco, should you conclude upon shipping it, but if you do I have no objection to advancing you Nine or Ten Pounds stg. hhd. on it. Your Puppies are thriving apace. I wish I could with truth say so much of their Mamma. I shall not have much Credit by her, she is regularly fed, and has plenty of water by her.

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Constant Friend Whenever your waggons come down, the Packages mentioned in your memorandum shall be sent. Whenever I can serve you, I hope you will command me with the utmost Freedom. I am with great Respect My Dear Sir Your mo. obt. hum. St., A. DONALD I find that Mr. Skipwith has already gotten the letter from Mr. Randolph.

RC (MHi); endorsed. Recorded in SJL as received 24 Dec. 1789. The letter from Randolph that Donald had expected to enclose was that of 10 Dec. 1789. The puppies and their mamma were the sheep dogs purchased at Le Havre (see note to diary of Nathaniel Cutting under 28 Sep. 1789). Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-16-02-0023 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 16 (30 November 1789–4 July 1790)

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To Thomas Jefferson Richmond, 9 January 1790 DEAR SIR Your letter to Mr. Brown of the 3d. Curt. has come to hand.—I am extremely concerned to find that one of your boxes No. 1 has not been delivered. The waggoners may say what they please, but I am perfectly certain they were both delivered. I was in the Office all the time the waggons were loading. I mentioned particularly to take notice that by your Memorandum there were two No. one. It was then before him, he told me they were both delivered, I saw him examine all the Numbers with attention, and I saw him also the moment he did so, set them down in writing. He is not at home just now, but I have always found him so accurate that I could from that and the above circumstances pawned my Life that both the boxes No. 1 were delivered. Your order to Mr. Eppes for the Harpischord was presented to me a few days after the date thereof. Fortunately however he has not yet sent for it. It now goes by your Waggon. I wish it may get safe. I have neither straw or fodder to give your waggoner, nor can such articles be procured in Town. I have not been able to procure a bundle this winter, so my horses have been obliged to lay on bare planks. I shall give your man half a Dollar to buy some when he gets a mile or two from Town.—I send you the articles you wanted.—All but the Cyder which I have not been able to procure, altho I have made repeated attempts. I have examined what I had from Mr. Harrison, and I find to my great mortification that the Corks are all out. I have only found three bottles that appears to be good, and these few are not worth your acceptance. The first Cyder that come here for sale, I will secure a barrel of good for you. The biscuit you will receive herewith. I have sent a few sacks of salt, presuming it may be wanted at this Season on your Estate, and the waggon would not have been half loaded without them. At any rate Colo. Lewis can sell them for a proffit. You had better direct your letters to be sent to my care. I send to the Post Office every Postnight, and your Albemarle Post calls upon me as regularly as he does upon Mr. Davis.—The Packet for Mr. Short I put under cover to D. & Burton London, and desired them to pay the Postage of it to France; But willing to take the chance of a direct opportunity to France, I enclosed the Packet afterwards to a Friend in Norfolk and have written to my Friend that if there is any vessel going to France, to take off the Cover directed for D. & B. and to send the Packet as it came from you, but if no vessel going soon for France, to forward it by the first for England, under the cover of D. & B. I met with Our Friend Colo. Skipwith yesterday at Dinner at the Governor’s. He has been with me this forenoon, and I expect him to dine with me. He has desired me to send his best respects to you, and to say that Mrs. S. and himself will certainly be at Mr. Nicholas’s on the day that you appointed for them to be there.

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I hope that I need not say how happy I shall ever be in your Company, and I can answer for my Friend Mr. Brown that he will be so too.—We shall both accept with thankfulness your Present of the Maps. I was once thinking of taking only one, but I know Mr. Brown wishes for one, and I must have one to carry with me to England, not but I suppose they may be bought there, but then I could not boast of having recieved it from your own hands. I have sent Ten Gallons of very fine French Brandy. I could not get a Cask that held less. I will venture to sport an opinion that you will find use for it. Skipwith will cut deep in one Gallon of it. When he understood that I was sending it, he said that he was glad of it, for he did not much like French wines.—I send you a few late English News Papers, notwithstanding your want of faith in them.—I always am with great respect & Esteem Dear Sir Your Faithful & obt. Servt, A DONALD RC (MHi); endorsed as received 14 Jan. 1790 and so recorded in SJL. Concerning the packet for Mr. Short, Skipwith wrote to Short on 19 Dec. 1789 saying that he was to go to Monticello on business and promising that “he would then put into Mr. Jeffersons hands a large packet for [Short] … containing a full statement” of the latter’s affairs; he added that the money for which he was accountable to Short on Harvie’s account had not been collected and so he had not invested it in certificates as Short had hoped. In relaying this information to Donald, Short voiced an opinion about the assumption of state debts that most Virginians evidently did not share: “At this distance it appears to us that continental securities are preferable to State. … It is feared here that if Congress do not adopt the State debts, that some of the States will make the discrimination which Mr. Madison proposed and which was rejected by Congress” (Short to Alexander Donald, 1 July 1790; PrC in DLC). Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-16-02-0051 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 16 (30 November 1789–4 July 1790)

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From Robert Morris

Philadelphia, 9 January 1790 Alexander Donald Esq, Dear Sir, I have to beg your pardon for having so long delayed an answer to your favour of the 8th of December which came to hand in due course of Posh [???], my appology must be the numerous calls upon my time of attention occasioned by my long stay at New York for which place I must set out again in a few days. your advice of Mr Jeffersons oppinion respecting wheat & flour in France are erronios or else the Speculators & adventurers that are giving the present high prices in America must be mad. I have too good an opinion of your prudence to suppose that you have an interest in Cargoes of Wheat at the Cost of a french Crown & upwards per bushell and flour at six Dollars per barrell, ??? these & higher pries are given here and in other parts of America. It seems however as if high prices would prevail all over Europe for there is a general Scarcity and all the Granaries were emptied last year. I am, in conjuction with another House here, executing a large order for flour for the City of Paris under directions of Mr Ncckar through his Friends in London who Guarantee the payments of our drafts, this flour is very fine in quality and will I expect be sold for less than the Cost in order to keep down prices at Paris & to prevent riots. Mr Jeffersons information respecting Tobacco agrees exactly with the tenor of my advices on that subject, and I have been waiting patiently for the price of Tobacco to fall in Virginia, should lower James River come to 15/ or 16/ I am ready to commence a new purchase, and the same in regards to Potomack & Rhappahamack Tobacco but unless it does come to a price that meets my approbations I will not buy, if it does I am ready to go to Work, having in that case some ground to rush on. In my last letter I requested you to settle with Mssrs Warrington & Keene for Doctor Griffins Bond of ÂŁ1000 in Certificates but desired you to receive the interest on mine first, from this

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From Thomas Jefferson Alexandria, 11 March 1790 DEAR SIR

Alexandria Mar. 11. 1790.

Your letters to Mr. Wilson were delivered on my arrival yesterday evening. The vessel sails tomorrow. By her I write to Monsieur Lamotte merchant at Havre and Mr. Coffin merchant at Dunkirk to receive and forward the box of plants. Be so good therefore as to have it addressed to the one or the other of these gentlemen according as a vessel may be first found going to the one or the other of these ports. In the mean time the box should be stowed in a cellar as one day’s heat if intense might destroy them. I write in haste & am Your friend & servt, TH: JEFFERSON

PrC (MHi). Donald may have sent the letters to Mr. Wilson under cover of one that he wrote TJ in Richmond, 8 Mch. 1790, a letter recorded in SJL as received the same day (not found). The letter to Francis Coffyn was written on 11 Mch. 1790, as from “Virginia,” and reads: “I have sent to Norfolk to be forwarded by the first vessel going to Havre or Ostend a box of plants addressed to ’Madame la Comtesse de Tessé à Paris.’ Should they come to your port, I beg you to receive and forward them to their address by some of the Fourgons which go from thense to Paris. Such expences as can be paid there will be paid on their delivery: but for any thing which you may be obliged to disburse at the port be pleased to draw on Mr. Short chargé des affaires des E. U. at Paris” (PrC in DLC, as is also PrC of an identically phrased letter from TJ to Delamotte at Le Havre, dated “Virginia Mar. 11. 1790.”). Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-16-02-0127 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 16 (30 November 1789–4 July 1790)

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Constant Friend

Richmond, 18 March 1790 DEAR SIR

I did myself the honour of addressing you by last Post. And I have confidence that your goodness will forgive me for the liberty I have taken with you. I wish much to know in what point of view Mr. Heth has represented to the Secretary of the Treasury the situation of the Bowman and Greyhound. I have no doubt but it has been done most unfavourably. The former I sold to Mr. Brown when she was last in the Country, and because he swore (to the best of his knowledge and belief ) that Dennis Butler was a Citizen of America. Heth (who thinks otherwise) has had the Temerity to say that Mr. Brown has perjured himself, and that he has directions from Mr. Hamilton to prosecute Mr. Brown accordingly. In the first place I do not believe that he has ever received such directions, for Mr. Hamilton has too much good sence to give such directions, if the case was fairly represented to him. Capt. Butler has been recognized as a Citizen both by this State and Maryland repeatedly since the Peace, as well as in several Ports of Great Britain and France. After that, if Mr. Brown had not reason to believe him to be a Citizen, I leave you to judge. But in order to have this matter investigated, I shall insist upon Mr. Brown’s bringing a Suit against Mr. Heth for damages. The principal intention of troubling you with this letter, is to communicate a peice of intelligence which I am sure must give you much pleasure, and therefore is most grateful to me. Two Colo. Lewiss was here yesterday from Albemarle. I made particular enquiry after Colo. Nicholas Lewis, and for your sake was happy to hear, that he was much better, and considered now as being out of danger. Knowing how much you are interested in that Gentleman’s health, I have not lost a moment in conveying to you this good news. I enclose you the Shippers receipt for the box of Plants, which I neglected sending in my last. I have the honour to be Dear Sir Your obliged & mo: obt. Sert., A DONALD RC (DLC); endorsed as received 27 Mch. 1790 and so recorded in SJL Enclosure not found. Donald’s letter by last post was one of 16 Mch. 1790, recorded in SJL as received 26 Mch. 1790, but not found. Col. William Heth was collector of customs at Bermuda Hundred, Va. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-16-02-0137 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 16 (30 November 1789–4 July 1790)

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To Thomas Jefferson Richmond, 22 March, 1790 DEAR SIR Mr. Francis Walker came down here last night from Albemarle, and it gives me sincere pleasure to inform you that he has seen Colo. Nicholas Lewis a few days ago, that he was able to walk about a little, and that Docr. Gilmer has pronounced him out of danger. I think you may be perfectly satisfied, that your friend is now in a fair way of recovery. Two days ago I received the most abusive letter from Colo. Heth (the Collector at Bermuda Hundred) I ever saw, and this is the more surprising, that I never spoke ten words to the man in my life. I impute it to the illiberality and envy of his disposition. He writes me that he would forward a copy of it to the Secretary of the Treasury. You have known me long, and you know the Character that I have ever sustained. Do me the favour to inform Mr. Hamilton of it, lest he should take up an unfavourable impression of me from Mr. Heth’s letter. Till the receipt of which I never imagined that I should be obliged to call upon any of my Friends to vouch for me. I write Mr. Morris also by this Post, on same subject. Mr. Walker has presented your order in his Father’s favour, and has gotten as much thereof as satisfies him for the Present, and more than Mr. Brown could well spare in the present scarcity of Current money. With much respect. I am Dear Sir Your mo: obt. Sert., A DONALD RC (DLC); endorsed as received 30 Mch. 1790 and so recorded in SJL. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-16-02-0140 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 16 (30 November 1789–4 July 1790)

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Constant Friend

New York, 8 April, 1790 Dear Sir

I was obliged, by the approaching departure of a ship for Europe which was to carry letters from me, to pass over the last post in answering your favors of the 16th. 18th. and 22d. Immediately on receipt of the first I waited on the Secretary of the treasury with your memorial, and said to him what I shall not repeat to you. He seemed very ready to suppose that passion might have mingled itself in the representations which had been made to him. I saw him again two days after, and asked him if I might say any thing to you on the subject. He had then received a copy of the abusive letter to you of which you complain, expressed his sense of it, and said he would write himself to you, and to the writer of that letter. I trust he will do this immediately, and that a proper opinion of you will temper whatever he may conceive himself obliged to do on fuller information of the fact before him. I thank you for your attention to my plants: still more for your information of the recovery of Colo. Lewis. It is the only news I have had of him, and has relieved me from a painful suspension.—A general war in the North of Europe seems possible. We shall have another and another golden harvest for our wheat. Matters in France were going on steadily as late as Jan. 21. Adieu. Your’s affectionately, Th: Jefferson RC (NjP); addressed: “Alexander Donald esquire Richmond” postmarked: “New-York April 8” endorsed. Donald’s letter of 16 Mch. (not found) is recorded in SJL as received 26 Mch. 1790, which is evidently the day TJ waited on Alexander Hamilton. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-16-02-0191 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 16 (30 November 1789–4 July 1790)

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From Thomas Jefferson New York, 11 April, 1790 Dear Sir In my letter by last post I forgot to inclose you the bill of exchange for £50. sterl. which you were so kind as to furnish me with, and for which I had no occasion. I now inclose it having first torn off the signature. Having been deprived by the snow of the use of my own carriage, which I left at Alexandria, obliged to come on in the stage, and still to have my horses brought on and a servant extraordinary to do it, I so overwent my calculation of probable expences as to change my last guinea at Elizabeth town point. An Irishman would say ’twas well I had a last one. Adieu Your friend and servt Th: Jefferson RC (PHi); addressed and franked; postmarked: “New-York ap[ri]l 12” and “free” endorsed. PrC (DLC). Enclosure not found, but its nature and purpose are indicated in the following note in TJ’s Account Book for 11 Apr. 1790: “Returned to A. Donald James Brown’s bill of exchange on Donald & Burton for £50. sterl. which he had furnished me with at Richmond in case I should have occasion for it on the road.” Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-16-02-0196 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 16 (30 November 1789–4 July 1790)

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Constant Friend

Richmond, 25 April, 1790 Dear Sir,

I was extremely obliged to you for your Friendly letter of the 8th. Current, which I have been prevented from answering earlier on account of being from home. If I do not make it appear to your satisfaction that Mr. Heth has been actuated by personal pique and malice in the threatned prosecution of Mr. Brown, I will agree to forfeit your Friendship and Good opinion, which I consider one of the greatest Sacrifices I could make on Earth. Fortunately the Bowman arrived about two weeks ago. Mr. Brown went down to Norfolk to enter her, and he has obtained from Capt. Butler the most incontestable proofs of his Citizenship, which together with his own declaration upon oath, shall be forwarded to New York in a few weeks for your satisfaction, as well as for that of the Secretary of the Treasury. In the mean time allow me to inform you, that notwithstanding the notoriety of Mr. Heth’s conduct in this business, the ship was admitted to an Entry just now at Norfolk as an American ship, and Capt. Butler of course recognized him as a Citizen, and at the late Election for a Delegate for that Borough, he went in and gave his vote as a Free holder, and no objection made thereto by either Party.—In short Sir, very few men have suffered more in the cause of America, than this very man whose Citizenship is now disputed, but by no other man than Mr. Heth. I have not been honoured with a letter from Colo. Hamilton. I intended to have remonstrated to him upon Mr. Heth’s conduct, and to representate to him the very great hardship that the Trade of the Upper District of James River must labour under by having a Person appointed the Collector who is so much guided by his Passions, but I was prevented from doing so by recieving the infamous letter which I have already complained to you about. For my acquaintance with Colo. Hamilton being but small, and supposing that he might give some degree of Credit to Mr. Heth’s letter to me, I really could not muster up resolution sufficient to write him. Upon recieving above letter, I was so exasperated at the malice of the writer that I was determined for some time to call him to a severe account for it, and had in consequence spoken to a Gentleman to attend me to the Field, but I think it more fortunate that he urged such strong reasons against such a step, as induced me to postpone the adoption of the measure for a day. Upon cooling a little, I was inclined to drop my first intention, being satisfied (as my Friend observed to me) that with those who knew both our Characters, that mine could not suffer, but that the Odium must all recur upon the Author of the letter, who is very industrious in showing it to every person he meets with, and has even of late said that he would publish it in the News Papers. The first part does not give me any uneasyness, but a Publication of it in the Publick Papers certainly would, because it would go through all America, and very probably to Europe, and my Character very much injured in the opinion of many who knew little of either of us.—This is also a further proof of the Personal Pique and Malice of the Collector, for surely the Publick Interest is no way concerned in injuring my reputation. I am certain that you will feel for me, and it is a cruel situation that I am reduced to. It is near Thirty years since I first came to America. I have all my Life endeavoured to act fairly and honourably by all men; and it is a Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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pretty strong proof that I have done so, when such an inveterate enemy as Mr. Heth, has not been able to produce one instance of a contrary conduct. If he could have done so, I do not think that his delicacy could have made him suppress it. I had the pleasure of dining yesterday with Colo. Randolph, and of seeing your Daughters, who were in good health, as well as the rest of the Family. Your Albemarle Post was about two days ago. Colo. N. Lewis continues in recovering health and strength. I have written him to send down the Hams that are intended for you as soon as he can, as they will be less injured at this Season in the passage than in the heat of Summer. Tobacco has taken a considerable rise here lately, but it has not yet got up to your price, altho I shall not be much surprized if it gets up to 30/ before the end of Summer. I am with great respect & esteem Dear Sir Your Faithful & obliged Sevt, A. Donald

I had almost forgot to acknowledge reciept of your favour of the 11th. Current with the bill for ÂŁ50. Str. enclosed, which is carried to your Credit.

RC (DLC); endorsed as received 5 May 1790 and so recorded in SJL. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-16-02-0216 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 16 (30 November 1789–4 July 1790)

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Constant Friend

Richmond, 3 May, 1790 Dear Sir,

I have only time to inform you that your Son Mr. Randolph called upon me the forenoon, that he was well, and told me that Mrs. Randolph and Miss Polly were also in good health. Colo. Thom has gone from here since the post arrived. I observed he had in his hand, a letter, and a large packet from you. You will take notice that I acknowledge the receipt of them, for altho he has as little to do, or rather does as little business as any man I know, yet he probably will not find time to own receipt of your letter and Packet for some weeks. This morning I received one letter from Colo. Lewis, and another from his Cara Sposa, a hhd. of hams came along with them, no bad attendant, if it does not share the same fate as the last charge of this kind entrusted to me. I never think of that business but with shame. By the way, have you had time to make any enquiry at Mr. Maddison, or Constable, after the box of books? When you have heard what they have to say for themselves, I will thank you to inform me. I hope no blame can be thrown upon me. But to return to the present hhd. of hams, I ship’t it immediately from the waggon, on board of a vessel bound for Norfolk (there not being any opportunity from this place just now for New York direct) and I shall assuredly write my Friend there to send it forward by the very first opportunity. I am with great respect Dear Sir Your mo: obt. humb. St. ADonald RC (DLC); endorsed as received 12 May 1790 and so recorded in SJL. Donald erred in supposing that Randolph would take some weeks to answer TJ’s letter of 18 Apr. 1790 (see Randolph to TJ this date; also TJ to Mary Jefferson, 2 May 1790). Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-16-02-0232 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 16 (30 November 1789–4 July 1790)

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From Thomas Jefferson New York, 13 June, 1790 Dear Sir, Your favors of Apr. 25. and May 3. are still to be acknoleged, for an attack of a periodical head-ach has suspended my correspondencies as well as business from the 1st. of May till within a few days; nor am I yet quite clear, as the bark has this time failed to produce a cure.—On the subject of your inquietude with the custom house, you may rest assured you have suffered in nobody’s estimation here. For that I will answer for you, because I have known you too long to have any doubts myself, or suffer any body else to have them.—The house of representatives voted the day before yesterday by a majority of 53. against 6. to remove to Baltimore. It is very doubtful whether the Senate will concur. Yet very possibly it will end in a removal either to that place or Philadelphia. Affairs in France go on slowly but steadily. The revolution of Brabant is very doubtful.—I thank you for your attention to my hams. Be so good as to write me to whom you addressed them at Norfolk, that I may order the master of the packet to call on him for them; for there is a packet which plies weekly between this place and Norfolk. Perhaps your correspondent does not know that. Adieu my dear Sir Your friend & servt, Th: Jefferson PrC (DLC). Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-16-02-0288 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 16 (30 November 1789–4 July 1790)

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Constant Friend

Richmond, 25 June, 1790 Dear Sir,

I was sincerely grieved to find that you been indisposed. Your obliging letter of the 13th. has given me some relief. I pray that your next may announce your perfect recovery. No man in the United States wishes you the full and compleat enjoyment of all earthly Blessings more sincerely than I do, and Good health is with great justice ranked amongst the very first of them. Colo. Heth’s letter has been received by the Publick, as I flattered myself it would be. I find if I may depend on my Friends, that his conduct is universally condemned, and that he has been told so by those who are most intimate with him. I believe he has consulted with Mr. Randolph and Mr. Nelson propriety of prosecuting the suit against Mr. Brown. What opinion they have given I do not know; but I am told by my Friend Mr. Harrison of Brandon that the latter has always told him that the Citizens bill alone entitles Capt. Butler to all the rights and Priviledges of a Citizen. Colo. Heth has gotten duplicates of Butlers deposition, as well as of several others, which I presume he will lay before the Secretary of the Treasury. I will take the liberty of inclosing the whole to you soon, and if they do not prove satisfactory to you I shall be much mistaken indeed. You have too much reason Sir to think that I have upon every occasion, but however strong appearances are against me, I do assure you that I have ever done my utmost to oblige you. But I am sorry to say that I have not succeeded to my wish. Your Hhd. of hams was sent to Norfolk as soon as it came down, it was put into the vessel from the waggon that brought it down. Of course no time was lost here. I sent it under a particular charge to Mr. Wm. Cuthbert at Norfolk, and I wrote him to forward it directly to you, least it might be injured by the Hot weather, and I desired him to take two receipts for it from the Person who was to carry it to New York, one of which to be sent you, and the other to me; not having heard from him in two or three weeks after the hams were sent from this, I wrote him again about them, and I have written him a third letter since the receipt of your last favour. I hope to hear from him by this night’s Post, if so you will be advised what he says. In the mean time please receive his receipt for the hams. 7. oClo: The Packet letters being arrived, I find there is a prospect of a war between Britain and Spain. I sincerely wish it may turn out so, as I am sure it must be attended with the most beneficial consequence to this Country. But I fear that the Dons will succumb. I expect to leave this State in two or three weeks. Will you do me the favour to honour me with your commands for Europe? You will oblige me by doing so, and you may be assured that I will attend to them most pointedly. I am with great consideration Dear Sir Your Obt. & mo. humb. St., A. Donald Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Mr. Brown is this instant returned from Norfolk, and he tells me that your hams are gone forward by Capt. White, who he is told is in a Packet that goes regularly between the two places, from which I hope you have received them by this day. RC (DLC); endorsed as received 3 July 1790 and so recorded in SJL. Cuthbert’s receipt for the hams was not enclosed (see Donald to TJ, 2 July 1790). On receiving the present letter, TJ made immediate inquiry for the “parcel of bacon hams,” and on 4 July 1790 wrote to William Cuthbert: “I find that Capt. White has been here and is gone again without saying or leaving a word on the subject. Not knowing the reason of this, and the delay of such a commodity at this season being exactly the loss of it, I must beg the favor of you to forward me his bill of lading or receipt by post” (PrC in DLC; not recorded in SJL). On 14 July 1790 Cuthbert replied: “I am ‥‥. really vexed that in the conveyance of your Cask Hams so great detention has occurred. They arrived here from Richmond when the packet was in the Harbour, the trip before last; I urge the Craftsman to get them out so as then to have them shipped, but from his being loaded with Tobacco they could not be got at until after Capt. White sailed, and from want of opportunity were unavoidably detained till his return. On the 30th. Ulto. I shipped them, and along with White enclosed you one of the Bills of lading” on receiving TJ’s letter, Cuthbert asked White about the shipment, who told him that on his arrival in New York he had sent a letter to TJ “and that the Cask was landed and put into Mr. Daniel Rodmans store” (RC in MHi; endorsed as received 27 July 1790 and so recorded in SJL). Meantime TJ received an undated letter from Cuthbert enclosing the bill of landing (not found but recorded in SJL as received 8 July 1790), and on 1 Aug. 1790 wrote him the following: “I have duly recieved your favor of July 14. and have to thank you for your attention to the Commission Mr. Donald had been so kind as to charge you with for me. Capt. White’s failure to give me notice of his having brought me the hogshead of hams produced no other evil, than the apprehension they would suffer if kept in a hot store house. Upon his return here I sent to him, and received them in good order. The not delivering them sooner had been a mere negligence between him and another person. I have thus thought it my duty not to leave you in a moment’s suspence on this subject” (PrC in MHi). Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-16-02-0332 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 16 (30 November 1789–4 July 1790)

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Constant Friend

Richmond, 2 July, 1790 My Dear Sir

I did myself the pleasure of writing you two Posts ago, but in closing up my letter I neglected putting into it the receipt for your Cask of hams, which was delivered me by the Skipper of the Vessel by which I forwarded it to Norfolk. The Truth of the matter is, that I had some Friends dining with me that day, and we made rather too free with the Juice of the Grape. A Gentleman called here two days ago and delivered me a letter for Colo. Nicholas Lewis, by the direction I could not be at a loss to know that it came from you. I expect your Albemarle Post down this day or tomorrow, by whom it shall be forwarded. As the Post is not regular, I shall forward it in a few days by some Gentleman going to Albe. Court which is next Thursday, provided the Post does not come down this week. I wish to recommend to you a very deserving young Gentleman; a Son of Carter Braxton’s, who is at this time surveyor of the Port of Richmond, an office much beneath his notice or acceptance, whether we consider his own merits, his Connexions or what he receives from his appointment. I can assure you with truth that he is sensible, modest, and Industrious, and would fill with great Credit the office of Consul to any Country in Europe or the West Indies. This last I think he would prefer. For being really clever he would probably have much business to do in the Consignment Line. If you can do any thing for this young Gentleman, It will oblige me, and hereafter I am confident I would have your thanks for recommending him to you. I have another Friend to mention to you, but I will not presume to say so much in his favour. Seeing that Consuls are appointed for the Ports of Liverpool and Cowes, I would think it the most honourable feather in my Cap, could I obtain the same appointment for the Port of London. The Emolument of office is no object to me, but the Office itself I would always consider as a very flattering proof of the good opinion my Fellow Citizens have of me. My intention is never to deceive, and altho I have been a Citizen of America for five years past, and I flatter myself a pretty usefull one, Yet before I leave the State I intend to relinquish my Citizenship, as it will be attended with very considerable inconveniences and disadvantages to me in my business there, if I do not. This I presume will not be any obstacle to the appointment I have mentioned, but least it should, I think it very proper that I mention it. As to the management of the business of the Office, I may probably be capable of that, my long residence in America gives me reason to think so. I do not wish My Dear Sir that you should move in this business if any other Person has applied that is more capable, or one to whom the emoluments of office would be an object. I beg leave to trouble you with Capt. Butlers affidavit, and with some corroberating depositions. From them I am confident you will acquit Mr. Brown for having sworn to Butler being a Citizen, altho Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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perhaps he may not have in every respect complied with the Strict letter of the Law.—I am told that Colo. Heth is satisfied himself, but he says that it will be more honourable for Mr. Brown to have the matter fully tried, as he says that no Jury in the World can find him guilty of wilful and corrupt perjury. That I always knew, but only consider my Dear Sir, what a horrid thing it would be to haul a man of as fair a Character as any Gentleman in this State, to the Bar of a Court of Justice, and there to be arraigned for Felony, and that of such a nature as Perjury. It is clear and evident that Mr. Brown, as well as myself, had every reason to believe Capt. Butler a Citizen, and it is equally so that he was considered so by the State of Maryland, or his name never would have been mentioned as an owner of an American Ship. By the way Sir, I wish that part of the Law was altered, which requires the Owner of an American Vessel to swear to the Citizenship of the Master. Would it not be better for the master to swear for himself, as in all other Countries that I have heard of. I hope that the Secretary to the Treasury has more liberality than to proceed any further in this business against Mr. Brown, which I shall ever think originated in envy or malice.—I have the greatest reason to depend on your Friendly offices. We are about half done with our wheat harvest, which is abundant, and I believe of good quality. Some few People complain of the Rust, but this Complaint is very partial, and confined to People who were too late of sowing. Your Son in Law called upon me two days ago, and inquired when I had heard from you, for that he had not received a letter from you for a long time past. I put your last letter into his hands. I have the pleasure to inform you that both Mr. and Mrs. Randolph are well. I expect to sail in ten days. I will be most happy to hear from you by the August Packet, as I shall have left this before I can have the pleasure of hearing from you in answer to the present. I flatter myself that the distance will not occasion any interuption to our Correspondence. Indeed I know you too well, to have any anxiety on this head. I most fervently Pray to God to bless you, and that you may ever be happy here and hereafter, is the sincere wish of Dear Sir Your Faithful & obt. St., A. Donald Please observe that the Papers now sent you are originals, and that no notarial Copies of them are taken. Therefore if the prosecution is to go on, I must beg the favour of your returning them, as it will save much trouble. Mr. Brown tells me that Mr. Heth has suggested to the Secretary of the Treasury, that he had started his Doubts to Mr. Brown of Butler’s being a Citizen But on the other hand Mr. Brown declares to me that no such thing was ever mentioned till after he had taken out the Register for the ship. Mr. Brown is a man of veracity, and if he is not mistaken in what he says, I leave you to form your own opinion of Mr. Heth’s conduct. I think I can take upon myself to say that if he had insinuated a suspicion of this nature to Mr. Brown, before he swore to Butler’s Citizenship, that he would not have done it, untill he had the matter put out of dispute. I take the liberty of sending you the Copy of a small account of yours with Messrs. Wm. & Jas. Donald & Co. A son of the Former’s has arrived lately, with ample powers to settle the business of that concern. At your leisure be so good as write Mr. Andw. Donald about it, under cover to Mr. James Brown, whom I recommend to you as a person able and willing to serve you in this State, as much, or more than any other. RC (DLC); endorsed as received 10 July, but recorded in SJL as received 11 July 1790. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-16-02-0352 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 16 (30 November 1789–4 July 1790)

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Constant Friend

New York, 29 August, 1790 Dear Sir,

Your favor of July 2. is now before me. The consulates of the W. Indies had been already filled. Mr. Braxton’s name however shall be kept on the list of candidates, and all shall be done for him which can be justly done, that is to say, between equal competitors your recommendation shall turn the scale in his favor as far as shall depend on me. The suggestion for your other friend was also too late. Mr. Joshua Johnson had been already decided on by the President. I will continue my attentions to Mr. B’s affair. The papers have not been returned to me, which is of good augury. The President sets out tomorrow for Virginia. I shall do the same the next day. He will return to Philadelphia in November, I in October. In the mean time it is expected the flames of war will be kindled between our two neighbors. Since it is so decreed by fate, we have only to pray their souldiers may eat a great deal. Our crops of wheat are good in quantity and quality, and those of corn very promising. So far also this (I hope our last) crop of tobacco looks well. Little will be done in that way the next year, and less and less every year after. Adieu my dear Sir. Your affectionate friend & servt., Th: Jefferson

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To Thomas Jefferson London, 1 September, 1790 My Dear Sir I arrived here a few days ago after a very pleasant passage of five weeks and three days. Before I left America, I had intended to ask the favour of you to give me a letter of introduction to one of the Farmers General of France; but I was so much hurried that it escaped my memory. It is reported here, that the Tobacco Trade in France is to be put upon nearly the same footing that it is on in this Country, indeed I believe it is so ordered by the National Assembly. This I recollect you mentioned to me when I had the pleasure of seeing you in Virginia, but notwithstanding of that, it is probable that some of the Farmers may still incline to do business in the Tobacco line, and I am willing either to contract to furnish any given quantity, or to purchase in Virginia upon Commission. I would go over to Paris if I had been fortunate enough to have brought with me a letter from you. I hope you have used your good offices with Mr. Hamilton so effectually as to prevent Mr. Brown any further Trouble about the Bowman’s business. The Papers which I forwarded to New York before I left Virga. would satisfie every unprejudiced person that there were no grounds for Heth’s Conduct, nay he himself told Mr. Harrison after seeing the Papers that he was satisfied. I always thought, and ever shall, that the whole proceeded from envy or malice in Mr. Heth. The appearance of war is stronger now than it was three days ago. The National Assembly of France have ordered 32 ships of the Line to be put into Commission, which will make the Spaniards more forward when they find they are to be so powerfully supported by France. I hope America will not be involved in it. I sincerely wish for war, and on her account only, as she will, by observing a strict neutrality, become the carrier for all the Belligerent Powers, and will find a very proffitable market for all her superfluous grain and Lumber in their West India Islands, and I am really sorry to find that some such market appears to be necessary, For from all the information I have been able to procure since I came here, the demand from Europe will not be great, for in general every Country has made sufficient to supply its own consumption, and I have not heard of any that apprehends a scarcity. There was only a small part of your Crop of Tobacco brought to Richmond when I left it, but I suppose it would get down soon afterwards. You will find that the money will be very punctually paid, which I hope will induce you to give Mr. Brown the refusal of your Crops in future. I took the liberty of mentioning to you and of writing to Colo. Lewis, that it would be much your Interest to import your coarse goods, if you do not manufacture enough for to cloath your People; Or if there is any thing that this Country affords, which you may want for yourself at New York, I trust I have no occasion to tell you that I will be most happy in Executing any of your commands. I am with much respect & esteem My Dear Sir Your mo. obt. Sert., A Donald

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Constant Friend

London, 5 October, 1790 Dear Sir

I did myself the pleasure of addressing you by last Packet. And I am disapointed at not having been honoured with a few lines from you since I left America, but I have the pleasure of knowing from Mr. Short that he has received a letter from you dated 12th. August, he does not say any thing of your health, from which I flatter myself that you had gotten the better of your Head Ache. I would do much injustice to my own feelings if I neglected mentioning to you, how much I consider myself obliged to Mr. Short. I had corresponded with him before I left Virga. upon his own business, for you must know that I held a large sum of his in Certificates which were put into my hands by Colo. H. Skipwith, and they are now in the hands of Mr. James Brown, my Agent at Richmond. Upon my arrival here I found that my House had a large quantity of Tobacco on hand, and that the sale of that article was very dull. I took the liberty of writing Mr. Short that he would do me a very particular favour by enquiring at some of the Gentlemen in the Tobacco department of the Farm if they were in want of any at this time. He accordingly waited on M. de la Hante, who told him that they were not in immediate want, and when he understood that I was an old Friend and acquaintance of yours, he was so good as say that he would always pay great attention to your recommendation, and would therefore inform Mr. Short whenever the Farm intended to purchase. You may recollect that you had the goodness to promise me a letter of introduction to one of the Gentlemen in the Tobacco department, it may have been to M. de la Hante, but be this as it may, you will oblige me greatly by sending me the letter as soon as you can, if it is not already on the way. When Mr. Short mentioned a Contract, M. de la Hante objected to this from the uncertainty of its being complied with on the Part of the Person who has the delivering of the Tobacco. In answer to this objection I have desired Mr. Short to say that I was willing and able to give an Undoubted Guarantee in Paris for Five Million or Ten Million of Livres Tournois, for the punctual and faithful discharge of my part of the Contract. If you will be so good as to give your opinion on this subject it must weigh greatly in my favour.—Without we can persuade the French to come to market either here or in America for a few thousand hhd., I do not see how the large crop made this year can be disposed off, for at this moment every market in Europe except France, is overstocked with it. I am much affraid that the demand for American wheat and flour will not be near so great as it was last winter, For the Crops in Europe this year have been very abundant. I pray that this Country may go to war with Spain. It will be a fine harvest for America if she remains neuter, as she will have all the carrying Trade, as well as the supplying of the West India Islands belonging to all the Belligerant Powers. It is the general opinion here that we will not go to War, but I am free to confess that I am of a contrary opinion. From the immense exertions made by this Country for Six months past and which are still continued with unremitted vigour, I cannot help thinking that war must be the result. We have now upwards of Sixty Sail of the Line ready for Sea at a days warning, and I am told that Spain is not far behind us. France cannot do much in her present situation unless Spain can supply her well with money. Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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It appears as if the Brabanters must again return under the Dominion of the House of Austria, indeed there cannot be a doubt about it. The revolution in France does not appear to me to be clearly fixed. The National Assembly appear to have lost in a great degree their Influence over the People, who seem to be much disatisfied, and in consequence, there has been several riots in different places, particularly in Nancy.—I am much inclined to think that the King must be vested with a larger share of Power than he has at present, or it will be very difficult if not impossible to restore Peace and good order, without much bloodshed. Whether I am considered as a Proper Person to represent the Trade of America here, I shall be happy in every opportunity of promoting the Interest thereof, but as I said before, if I have that Honour, Salary will not be an object. It will give me much pleasure if I can serve you individually. I am with great consideration Dear Sir Your mo: obt. & obliged S[ervt.], A. Donald RC (DLC); endorsed as received 29 Nov. 1790 and so recorded in SJL. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-17-02-0196 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 17 (6 July–3 November 1790)

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Constant Friend

London, 25 October, 1790

My Dear Sir, Yesterday I had the Honour of receiving [you]r esteemed favour of the 29th. August. As you did not make any men[tio]n of your health therein, I am willing to believe and hope that you had gotten [b]etter of your Headachs. I thank you sincerely for your [ki]ndly expressions towards Mr. Corbin Braxton, I am satisfied that if [you] have an opportunity of being serviceable to him, he will always be grateful [to you] and that you never will have reason to be ashamed of your choice. I have ob[serv]ed his conduct for some years past, and I never saw or heard anything improper [in] it. I do assure you Sir that I am more vexed at his disappointment than [at] my own, and I cannot but applaud the President’s choice of Mr. Johnson.—I will [on]ly repeat what I said to you formerly, that it will make me very happy if ever it is in my power to be serviceable to the United States of America. I have made myself pretty easy as to Mr. Heths conduct to Mr. B.——Knowing Colo. Hamilton to be a man of Sence and Liberality, I was persuaded that upon reading the Papers which I sent to you, that he would see that Mr. B. had every reason to believe that Capt. Butler was an American Citizen. I depend greatly upon your known Friendship should any thing further be done in that business. I have experienced much kindness and attention from Mr. Short, for which I consider myself greatly indebted to you. He has not been able to succeed in the business which I mentioned to him, but I consider myself under the same obligations to him as if he had. In a letter of the 27th. Sepr. he informs me that he had been with M. de la Hante, upon conversing with him upon the Tobacco business he found him averse to making any contract, but said, He would give an order for a Cargo (in the event of the Farm being continued) if that was found good, he would order more and soon. Mr. Short writes me that Mr. de la Hante added that my having your confidence, would be an additional motive for dealing with me on terms of confidence.—From which you will see that your Friendship is likely to be of very material consequence to me in my future Life, and I promise you that I will conduct myself so as to merit a continuance of it, and to prevent any reflection upon your Judgement of Mankind.—If this M. de la Hante is the same Gentleman that you was so good as promise to give me a letter to when I had the pleasure of seeing you in Richmond, I will thank you for sending it to me at your convenience, or to any other Gentleman whom you think may be serviceable to me in this negotiation—Which to me is of more consequence than the one which has been so long pending between this Country and Spain. It is very strange that Preparations for War has been going on for Six months and still continue with the utmost vigour both by Sea and Land, and yet at this m[oment?] as many People are of opinion that there will not be war, as that there will. The Fact is, that the present Administration is so secret that the Publick have no sure ground to form an opinion upon. But I confess it astonishes me that any man who is not in the arcana of the Cabinet, and seeing such immence preparations for war going on, should entertain any doubt on the subject. I confess I wish for War, because it will be of infinite service to America, Provided Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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she does not take a part in it, and which I cannot suspect from the Wisdom of her present administration that she will do. I really wish that you could make me serviceable to you here. I consider myself much in your debt, and I feel myself more uneasy under a Debt of Gratitude than any other. I am with sincere esteem & respect My Dear Sir Your much obliged & faithful humb Servt, A Donald RC (DLC); MS torn and some words editorially supplied; endorsed by TJ as received 10 Jan. 1791 and so recorded in SJL. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-17-02-0232 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 17 (6 July–3 November 1790)

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Constant Friend

Philadelphia, 25 November, 1790 Dear Sir, Your favor of Sep. 1. came to my hands a few days ago and gave me the first account of your safe arrival in England, on which, as well as your pleasant voyage accept my friendly congratulations. The incertainty of the footing on which the supplying the French market with tobacco will be put, induces me to believe that the surest mode of rendering you that service which I ever wish to render you, is to give a special recommendation on the subject to Mr. Short, who will best know to whom an efficacious application can be made, and who will make any use of my name in it which may seem to promise any effect. I presume he will be returning from Amsterdam to Paris about the time you will recieve this, or certainly very soon after. What business I do in Virginia myself with any mercantile house, I do with Mr. Brown for whose character, as given me by others I have great respect. With respect to my general affairs, they are in the hands of Colo. Lewis, and you know there is no delegating a trust by halves. I say to him always that when he can do business with Mr. Brown equally to his own mind, my partiality asks a preference of him. You will not expect mercantile news from me, and we have none political. I only add therefore assurances of the esteem with which I am Dear Sir your affectionate friend & servt., Th: Jefferson

RC (ViW); addressed: “Alexander Donald esquire of the house of Donald & Burton merchants London” and (in another hand) “ Ship London”; postmarked: “JA 10” and “DOVER SHIP LRE.” PrC (DLC). TJ probably enclosed his letter to Short of the same date with the above. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-18-02-0051 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 18 (4 November 1790–24 January 1791)

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To Thomas Jefferson London, 6 January, 1791 My Dear Sir The last letter I had the honour of receiving from you was dated the 29th August. I am disapointed at not having the Pleasure of hearing from you by the Decemr. Packet. I hope you will write me by the January one, and that you will be so good as send me an introductory letter to M. de la Hante in Paris, if it is not already on the way. Mr. Short writes me that this letter would probably be of great service to me and I am fully convinced of the Justness of his observation. If I receive the above letter soon, it is very probable that I may go over to Paris, and have the honour of delivering it myself. I am just returned from a visit to my Friends in the North. I was fortunate in having very good weather. Indeed we have not experienced any cold this winter. Hitherto the weather has been very mild, but we have had very heavy gales of wind accompanied with much rain, which I think must prove injurious to the Crops of wheat. So much the better for America. For if the Crops in Europe are materially injured, there will be a demand for all your Surplus grain, and at good prices.—I fear the intelligence of the Spanish Convention would reduce prices all over your Continent. I wish therefore from my Heart that it had not taken place. The Empress of Russia appears determined to drive the Turks out of Europe, and to keep possession of all her Conquests in despite of the Spirited remonstrances of the King of Prussia. This will probably induce him to take an active part against her in the Spring and if so, this Country will be obliged to send a respectable Fleet into the Baltick to protect the Dominions of Prussia from the insults and ravages of the Russian Fleets. Admiral Lord Hood is appointed to the Command of this Fleet which will probably consist of 15. or 20 Sail of the Line, and suppose will be joined by a proportionate Squadron from Holland. Russia cannot long withstand the joint efforts of the three Powers, especially as she must be pretty well exhausted already by her long exertions against Turkey. You will hear before you receive this, that the Flemings have again come under the dominion of Austria. Peace is also restored to the Principality of Liege, and the Regent Prince de Rohan has absconded, as well as many of the Principal Patriots. I cannot help thinking that it is at least Problematical how matters may end in France. The National Assembly are still sitting, I think their time is out in May next. I am inclined to think that the present members will not resign their seats at that time. But a few months will determine this. You will receive a letter from Mr. Short by this Packet, who can give you much better information on French Politicks than I can. I have sent an order to Mr. Brown to buy one Hundred Thousand Bushels of wheat provided it can be bought in my limits, which are the highest that I think can be prudently given. This order may be of some service to many of my Old Friends. Every market in Europe (except France) is glutted with Tobacco and the prices have in consequence fallen very low. France is not able to buy, having nothing to pay

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Constant Friend except Assignats, which the People on this Side the Channel have not a very high opinion of. I am sorry to see that the N. A. have permitted the Cultivation of Tobacco in France. It will reduce the demand for it from America, but this I presume you will be much pleased with, as I observe that you are opposed to the Culture of it in America, and so would I, if I could see any other thing they could raise whereby their lands would be equally productive. I am ashamed to say that I have left in Virga. the letter wherein you was so good as give me the Prices for the different kinds of French Wines. If it was not giving you too much trouble I will thank you much for a Copy of it, and a few lines of introduction to your wine merchant in Bourdeaux. I will be extremely happy if you will put it in my power to be serviceable to you. Wishing you many returns of this Season, I remain with great respect & esteem My Dear Sir Your obliged & obt. Servt. A. Donald RC (DLC); endorsed as received 12 Mch. 1791 and so recorded in SJL. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-18-02-0151 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 18 (4 November 1790–24 January 1791)

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From Thomas Jefferson

Constant Friend

Philadelphia, 13 May, 1791 Dear Sir

My public occupations rarely permit me to take up the pen of private correspondence. I have still therefore to acknoledge the reciept of your favors of Oct. 5. 25. and Jan. 6. I find that at the date of the last you had not yet received mine of Nov. 25. covering a letter to Mr. Short. This I hope has fulfilled your wish as far as the unsettled state of things in France permitted. The farms being put down, and nothing else put up as far as I yet know, I think the general letter to Mr. Short was the best measure I could adopt. When a Regie shall be established, if there be among them any acquaintance of mine I shall give you a letter to him with that pleasure it ever gives me to be useful to you. I find as I advance in life I become less capable of acquiring new affections and therefore I love to hang by my old ones. In general I shall endeavor to impress on the French government the policy of recieving no tobacco from this country, but directly, and in French or American bottoms; therefore my efforts to serve you must be consistent with that idea.—Tobacco is low in Virginia, but I have sold mine here for 5. dollars, from which deduct half a dollar the expence of bringing it here. Wheat has been generally at a dollar and from that to a French crown, at this place, through the winter. The spring has been rather dry; however the new crops of grain have not suffered, materially. We have no public news worth detailing. Deaths in Virginia are Colo. Harrison of Barclay, Turner Southall, J. Dixon the printer, Colo. Overton of Hanover. The marriage of Mr. Tucker with Mrs. Carter of Corotoman, taken place or about to take place, is perhaps new to you. To this I will add what is not new, that I am with great & sincere esteem Dear Sir Your friend & servt, Th: Jefferson Bordeaux wines. 1. Red. There are 4. crops which are best and dearest, to wit Chateau-Margaux, all engaged to Jernon a merchant. Tour de Segur belonging to Monsieur Miromenil, 125. tons. Hautbrion, two thirds of which are engaged; the other third belongs to the Count de Toulouse at Toulouse, and De la Fite belonging to the President Pichard at Bordeaux. The last are in perfection at 3. years old, the three first not till 4. years. They cost about 1500.? the tun when new, and from 2000.? to 2400.? when ready for drinking.—The best red wines after the 4. crops are Rozan belonging to Madame de Rozan (who supplies me), Dabbadie ou Lionville, la Rose, Quirouen, Durfort. These cost 1000.? new, and I believe 1500.? to 1750.? fit for use. These wines are so nearly equal to the 4. crops that I do not believe any man can distinguish them when drank separately. 2. White wines. The wines made in the Canton of Grave are most esteemed at Bordeaux. The best crops are 1. Pontac belonging to M. de Lamont, 400. the ton, new. 2. St. Brise belonging to M. de Pontac, 350. the ton new. 3. de Carbonius belonging to the Benedictine monks. They never sell new, and when old they get 800. the ton.—But the white wines made in the three parishes above Grave are Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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more esteemed at Paris than the vins de Grave. These are 1. Sauterne, the best of all, belonging to M. de Luz-Saluce (who supplies me) 300. the ton new and 600. old. 2. Prignac. The best is the President du Roy[’s]. Same price. 3. Barsac. Best is the President Pichard’s. Same price. Add to all these prices 5. sous for bottles and bottling. You have no occasion for a letter. The only introduction and the sufficient one is the cash. If you should apply to Madame de Rosan or Monsieur de Luz-Saluce, if their stock of good wine should be low, it may add an inducement to them to name me. In all cases the owner is the person to be applied to. He will either send you none, or good. He never adulterates, because he would be a felo de se to do it. All the persons live at Bordeaux where not otherwise mentioned. PrC (DLC). Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-20-02-0144 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 20 (1 April–4 August 1791)

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To Thomas Jefferson

Constant Friend

London, 6 July, 1791

Acknowledging TJ’s of 13 May. The next day he delivered that to Lackington with his own hand. As TJ is much engaged in public business, he sets a higher value on his letters, if possible, than formerly. Nothing can give him more pleasure than to be of service to TJ: “I have ever been proud of your Friendship.” The idea of a regie in France for tobacco seems at present given up, and he hopes the same may soon be said of the difference in duty on it in French and American bottoms. If not, “you will no doubt adopt such measures as will force it, for … it operates as a prohibition against your ships carrying Tobo. to France.” Short was in Amsterdam when this decree was passed. He immediately notified him and pointed out its disadvantage for American shipping.—Tobacco is very low at every market in Europe, the quantity far exceeding the consumption. He hopes Virginians “will bend their labour in some other way for two or three years” and thus perhaps get a better price. He is glad TJ sold his last crop so well and is “vastly pleased with the high prices for wheat in America last winter and Spring. Those who shipped it for Europe, must suffer much by it.” He thanks TJ for Virginia news. Tucker had informed him of his intended marriage. The fleet is still at Spithead and the press for seamen very hot, but he does not think there will be war between England and Russia.—He says nothing of the extraordinary event in France of the 21st, supposing Short will have written fully by the letter he sent TJ via New York a few days ago and by the two now forwarded by the New York packet:—He is greatly indebted to TJ for his directions about wine. RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 23 Aug. 1791 and so recorded in SJL. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-20-02-0252 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 20 (1 April–4 August 1791)

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Constant Friend

From Thomas Jefferson

Philadelphia, 23 November, 1791 Dear Sir, I recieved duly with yo[ur favor Lackington’s ca]talogue, and now in consequence thereof[, seize a moment by] Mr. Morris to send you the inclosed [list, with a prayer that] you will send it to Lackington, re[ceive the books, and forward] them to me at this place. He will [pack them. The amount] would be about 12 guineas, were he to [have the whole un]sold. But it has usually happened, e[ven when I was at] Paris, that before his catalogue could [get to me, and my let]ter in answer to him, one half of what [I wanted would be] gone. Therefore I do not know what lesser [amount they] will come to; but whatever it is I will a[sk the favor of you] to pay it for me, and the moment I know [the sum I will] either replace it to Mr. Brown, or remit you [a bill at your] option.—You will be surprised to be told [that at the late] election of a Governor of Virginia, where the [candidates were] Colo. H. Lee, Colo. Harvie, Genl. Wood, that Mr. Ha[rvie had but] 20. odd votes, Wood 50. odd, and Colo. Lee a majority of the w[hole.] Mr. Harvie’s friends had believed there was not the leas[t doubt] of his election.—Our funds here are become stationary; [even] the scrip. Imagination is at work to create some new paper [to] indulge the gamblers with as long as it may last, and so from t[ime] to time to find some new aliment for that precious spirit.—[We] have had two succesful expeditions [against the Indians] this summer, in which they have lost [about 150. and we 4 or] 5. These have proved the superiority [of militia for Indian] expeditions.— Mr. Hammond has [arrived here,1 and pro]duced his credentials of Minister [plenipotentiary. A] minister in exchange will immed[iately be sent to] London.—I am with great & sincere [attachment] Your friend, Th: Jefferson PrC (DLC: TJ Papers, 69:11951–2); mutilated, so that line endings on right margins of both pages are lost; missing portions supplied from Tr (DLC: TJ Papers, 67:11681), in 19th century hand (incomplete, so that missing words for the end of text have been conjecturally supplied after point noted in note 1 below). Donald’s favor was dated 6 July 1791 and had arrived 23 Aug. 1791. 1 Remainder of transcript missing from this point. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-22-02-0301 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 22 (6 August 1791–31 December 1791)

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Constant Friend Lackington’s Catalogue for 1792. £ s d 0–  4–6 859. Keith’s hist. of the Brit. plantns. in Virga. with maps neat. gilt. scarce. 4to. 3–  0–0 1843. Hume’s H. of Eng. 8.v. new. in a curious & very elegt. bindg. inlaid wth. maroc. silk headbands, registers &c. 8.V. 8vo. 17901 2–0 2147. Locke’s Collection of pieces. good copy. 8vo. 2–6 2149. Locke’s familr. Ires h. b. uncut. 1737. 8vo. 2–3 2150. Locke’s posthumous works. neat. 8vo. 6–3 2253. Matthews’s voyage to Sierra Leone. new. boards. 8vo. 91.2 –6 3944. Locke on tolern. 12mo. 1790 1–0 3957. Locke on coins. 12mo. 9–0 4421. Plut’s li. 7.v. cuts. h.b. not uniform. 12mo. 1762. 6–6 4795. Sparman’s voyage. 2.v. 12mo. new in calf. elgly. gilt. 89. 1–  6–  6762. Eucl’s elem. in Arabic. fair. fol. Rom. 1594. 19–6 6763. Euclidis elementa. Gr. Lat. Gregorii. nited. fol. 1703. 12–0 7494. Newton’s Matheml. princ. of Nat. ph. by Motte. 2.v. 8vo. 1729. or 7495. id. or 18007. id. 6–6 9137. Dacosta’s Conchology. 8vo.3 4–6 11334. Elemens de la langue Russe. 8vo. or 12mo. Petsbg 1768. 1–6 11383. Grammar in the Russn. language. 8vo. or 12mo. 1777 4–3 11392. Hadley on the dialect of Indostan. 8vo. or 12mo. 1–6 11532. Privileges of Englishmen in Portugal. 8vo. 12mo. 1736. 3–6 11840 Photii epistolae. Gr. Lat. fol. Lond. 1651. <3–0 12407. Aristeae historia LXXII interpretation. Gr. Lat. 8vo.>4 1–6 12416. Athenagorae opera. Gr. Lat. 12mo. Ox. 1682. 2–6 12425. Antoninus. Gr. Lat. Foul. 12mo. 1744. 1–3 12494. Eutropius. Gr. Lat. 12mo.5 10–0 12859. Maupertius. oeuvres de. 4. torn. 8vo. Lyon. 1756. 2–0 12950. Noticias de las inquisitiones de Españe y Portugal 8vo. 1–11–6 12987. Bibliotheque des sciences et des beaux arts from the begg. Jan. 1754. to Sep. 1769. 63.v. 12mo. 1–6 14146. Origenis dial. contre Marcionitas. Gr. Lat. 4to. 1674. 3–  14150. Origene contre Celse. par Bouhereau. 4to. 1700 1–6 14152. Polycarpii et Ignatii epistolae. Gr. Lat. 4to. Ox. 1644 4–0 16143. Common prayer in Manks language 8vo. 1775. 2–3 16177. Grabe’s Spicilegium SS. patrum. 2.V. 8vo. Gr. Lat.6 10–6 17432. Bible in Irish. 12mo. Lond. 1690. 6 17512. Virgilius Evangelians. 12mo. 1769. 2–6 17818. Bancroft’s Guiane. 8vo. 2–6 18160. Relation of the Nile 8vo. 1791. 1–  1–0 18344. Acta Eruditorum Lipsiensa. ab 1682. ad 1740. 7.v. 4to.

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 80:13877). TJ’s retained list, given above, contains fuller titles and descriptions, as well as catalogue numbers and prices; next to the caption he added: “Wrote to A. Donald Nov. 23. 91.” The list he actually enclosed, headed: “Books for Th: Jefferson from Lackington’s catalogue for 1792.” contained brief titles, together with catalogue numbers and prices; at the foot of the list he added: “where the particular number here mentioned, happens to be sold, if there should be another copy of the same book at nearly the same price, Mr. Lackington is desired to send it.” The list bears marks indicating which books were and were not sent (see list and textual notes). On the verso, the list is addressed, in an unidentified hand, to Messrs. Donald & Burton at their London address; when the list was returned to TJ perhaps with Donald’s letter of 15 Feb. 1792 transmitting Lackington’s bill, TJ endorsed it and added: “bot of Lackington” (MS in same, 80:13880). 1 On copy sent to Donald TJ added: “or 1841. Hume’s £2–14.—or 1842. Hume’s £3.” On bill from Lackington, the catalogue number is 1842 and TJ added: “Russia leather.” 2 2253 and the following items were not sent and are not listed on Lackington’s bill: 3957, 4421, 6763, 7494, 11334, 11383, 11392, 11532, 11840, 12416, 12950, 14146, 14152, 16177, 17818, 18344. 3 9137 was replaced by no. 7000 on Lackington’s bill and the price changed to 7–3. 4 This lined out entry is not on the copy sent to Donald nor on Lackington’s bill. 5 12494 is listed on Lackington’s bill as Delectus, but TJ crossed it out and gave title as above, adding “et Delectus.” 6 16177 is crossed out on the list sent to Donald and does not appear on Lackington’s bill, but it is included in Sowerby (no. 1592) and presumably was received at another time. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-22-02-0302 [accessed 28 Jul 2009]

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To Thomas Jefferson London, 3 January, 1792 Dear Sir, A few days ago I had the pleasure of recieving, the letter which you did me the honour to write me on the 23d. Novemr. The very next day I went myself to Lackington’s with your list. The books were sent to D. & B. Counting House yesterday and the money paid for them. The amount being £8. 17. Stg, is placed to your Debit. I pray you not to give yourself any uneasiness, or to put yourself to any inconvenience to replace this money. It may either be paid to Mr. Brown, or remitted in a bill of Exchange as you please. The Books shall be sent by the first ship for Phila., accompanied by a note of the cost, and shipping charges. I certainly did expect that our Friend Colo. Harvie would have had more votes for being Chief Magistrate of Virga. Altho I do not beleive that if I had been on the Spot I would have concluded he would have been chosen. He is a very worthy man, but abundantly Indolent. Had he been as free with his Dinners to the assembly, as Bolling Starke was when he used to stand for a councellor, he would have had a more respectable Poll. I beg pardon for the observation. I do not mean it as a reflection on the assembly, nor would I make it to every Person. But a little attention has a wonderful effect.—I believe, and hope, the choise has fallen upon a very good man. Indeed all the three are unexceptionable, but during my stay in Virga. from the 84. to the 90. I observed that all places of honour or Proffit in the gift of the assembly, were with one exception, conferred on one of their own Body.—The case I allude to was the late Governour, Beverley Randolph. I sincerely congratulate you on the rapid rise of your Funds. It shows clearly that the People in Europe begin to know you, and consequently must have the same degree of confidence in your Government, as they have in that of this or any other Country. I presume you will soon call in your Six Cent Stock, for I understand that Mr. Short has succeeded in negotiating a considerable Loan in Holland at 4 Cent.—which will do away the necessity of your paying so high an Interest as 6 Cent any longer— and will make a very capital difference upon the face of your expenditure and Income.—This Country abounds so much in money just now, that I would not be the least surprized to see our three Cent Consols at 100. before the expiration of this present year. I am much pleased also to find by my last advices from America that wheat and Flour were in demand, and consequently obtained good prices. I hope this will long be the case, for there has been too much Tobo. made for some years past. Such as was good, sold pretty well last Autumn. But mean is totally unsaleable. I will not presume to trouble you on the affairs of France as you will hear what is going on there through a much better Channel. In this Country however it is generally believed there will be a Counter Revolution. Their assignats are greatly fallen, and the Exchange between this and Paris is from 18. to 19, so that the Livre Tournois is worth only 7s. here.

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Constant Friend

I rejoiced when I heard of the appointment of Mr. Hammond to the Honourable Office of Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States of America. I expect now to see every thing in dispute adjusted, and a firm and lasting treaty of Peace and Commerce established between our Two Countries, both equally dear to me. I beg leave to assure you that I will ever be happy to recieve your Commands, and I promise to execute them to the best of my skill and Judgement.â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Wishing you many returns of this Season of Mirth and Festivityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;I remain with great consideration Dear Sir Your Faithful & obt. st., A Donald

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To Thomas Jefferson London, 5 January, 1792 Dear Sir Since writing you yesterday, it has occurr’d to me that as your National Bank has now come into opperation that it will require a House of Credit and Respectability to transact business for it in this place, and upon that Idea I have taken the Liberty of mentioning to you, and Mr. Hamilton, that Donald & Burton will be very happy in being appointed as Agents for the Bank in this place, and altho the usual commission on such business is half a Cent for paying, and the same for receiving all monies, we will in consideration of the magnitude of the business, accept of one quarter Cent. Knowing as I do from experience the certainty and warmth of your Friendship, I know it is sufficient for me to mention my wishes.—I remain with great esteem Dear Sir your faithful & Humbe: Servt., A Donald RC (DLC); in clerk’s hand, except for signature; at head of text: “Duple.”; endorsed by TJ as received 27 May 1792 but not recorded in SJL. Donald’s original letter of 5 Jan. 1792 is recorded in SJL as received 28 Mch. 1792 but has not been found and was probably forwarded to Hamilton as stated in TJ to Donald of 8 June 1792. Donald’s letter of yesterday was that of 3 Jan. 1791. The letter to Mr. Hamilton in which Donald suggested that his mercantile firm act as the London agent of the Bank of the United States has not been found. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-23-02-0017 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 23 (January–31 May 1792)

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To Thomas Jefferson

Constant Friend

London, 15 February, 1792

Dear Sir, I did myself the honor of writing you by the January New York Packet. The Principal intention of this letter is to hand you Mr. Lackington’s Bill for Books, which are now on board the Pigou, I do not yet know what the Freight of the Box comes to, but it will be added to the other charges before this letter is closed, I beg you will not give yourself any trouble about paying the amount, but make it perfectly convenient for yourself. It may either be paid to Mr. James Brown of Richmond or remitted to Donald & Burton here, as you think proper. By the last advices from America, I find the prices of your Stocks have had a great and rapid Rise. I presume as you can borrow money in Europe @ 4 ½ Cent, you will immediately turn your attention to paying off your Six Cent Stock as fast as you can consistent with good Faith to the Publick. People here are not a little astonished at the Conduct of the Fœderal Judges who met in Richmond in Virginia last Novemr. As the Courts are open in most, if not all of the other states, they cannot see any good reason for their not being opened in Virginia also. The British Creditors expect relief from your Executive, in which I dare say they will not be disapointed.—I am with great respect Dear Sir Your Faithful & obt. Sert., ADonald

RC (DLC); a note in another hand at foot of text reads: “We have not taken a Bill Lading but forward you the master Receipt to save you 2/6. We have not Insured it. D & B”; endorsed by TJ as received 27 May 1792 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Lackington’s bill for books to be shipped on the Pigou, dated London 31 Dec. 1791, was first made out to Messrs. Donald & Co., then crossed out and reassigned to “Mr. Jefferson—Bot of J. Lackington”; at foot of list, clearing and shipping charges and freight amounting to 6/ were added to the total cost of the books, £8–17–0, making a grand total of £9–3–0, which Donald apparently paid on 2 Jan. 1792, as noted at bottom of sheet. The list contained the catalogue numbers, a brief title (which TJ later amplified) and the cost of each (MS in DLC). For TJ’s full list and notes, see TJ to Alexander Donald, 23 Nov. 1791. Donald’s letters by the New York packet were dated 3 and 5 Jan. 1792. The British debt test case of Jones v. Walker had been presented in the U.S. Circuit Court before federal judges Cyrus Griffin, and John Blair and Thomas Johnson. This important issue is discussed in Charles F. Hobson, “The Recovery of British Debts in the Federal Circuit Court of Virginia, 1790 to 1797,” VMHB, xcii (1984), 187–8, but see also William Madison to James Madison, 3 Dec. 1791, Rutland, Madison, xiv, 136; and James Monroe to TJ, 1 May 1792. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-23-02-0117 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 23 (January–31 May 1792)

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Constant Friend

From Thomas Jefferson Philadelphia, 8 June, 1792

Dear Sir, I was going to acknolege th[e receipt of yours of Jany. 5th. and Feb.] 15. when I was seised with a yearning of [the heart, which] obliges me to stop till I could write the inclosed. He is a good man to whom it is addressed, and he is himself the bearer of it. I shall make it the subject of a conversation with him. I thought it would not be disagreeable to you to enter with him the claim we have on you. Your letter of Jan. 5. is put into the hands of the Secretary of the Treasury, with whom all money matters rest.—The books from Lackington are arrived. Having occasion to have a sum of about £26. or £27. sterl. paid to a Mr. Gautier of the house of Grand & co. in Paris, I inclose you a bill of exchange for £37–10 sterl. drawn by count Andreani on Messrs. Battier, Zornlin & co. Devonshire square 10. in favor of Mr. William B. Giles, endorsed to me, and now endorsed to you. It will suffice to cover Mr. Gautier’s draught and the £9-3 paid by you for my box of books from Lackington. I say nothing of news because it will be old before it gets to you, as Mr. Pinkney is not yet certain of the time of his departure. I shall only therefore repeat assurances of the esteem with which I am Dear Sir your friend & servt

PrC (DLC); upper right portion torn away; part of dateline and first sentence supplied from Tr. Tr (DLC); 19th-century copy; at foot of text: “A. Donald Esqr.” Enclosure: TJ to Thomas Pinckney, 8 June 1792. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-24-02-0034 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 24 (1 June–31 December 1792)

Enclosure: From Thomas Jefferson To Thomas Pinckney, Philadelphia, 8 June, 1792

Th: Jefferson takes the liberty of presenting Mr. Pinkney the bearer hereof Alexander Donald esq. one of his youthful friends and found a constant one, even unto the end. He long resided in Virginia, is now established in London, and Th: Jefferson will be responsible to Mr. Pinkney that any esteem he may honor him with, will be worthily placed.

PrC (MHi). Tr (DLC); 19th-century copy. Enclosed in TJ to Alexander Donald, 8 June 1792.

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To Thomas Jefferson

Constant Friend

Glasgow, 6 September 1792 Dear Sir

I had much pleasure in receiving your letter of the 8th. June, and I beg you will accept of my thanks for the warm and Friendly introduction to Mr. Pinckney. I shall certainly wait upon that Gentleman as soon as I return to London. Your letter for Paris is forwarded, and the money for the watch will be duly paid, but I am sorry to inform you that the Bill of Exchange for £37.10. Str. drawn by Count Andriani on Messrs. Battier & Co: Devonshire Square, has been noted for nonacceptance, and if not paid when due, will be returned you under protest. I am glad that the Books had been received. In Justice to our long acquaintance and Friendship, I shall expect that you will never apply to any other Person for any thing which you may want from this Country. The Secretary to the Treasury was so polite as write me by the Pigou, and I have by this Packet taken the Liberty of troubling him again in money negotiations; but knowing him to be compleatly master of such subjects, I have just touched upon them. Several People here have been making enquiries after you, especially your Old Friend Mr. Alexr. McCaul whom you will remember in Richmond many years before the Revolution. You will learn by this opportunity that the French have at last got clear of their monarchial Government. I am sorry to say that they do not appear capable of substituting any other in its place. At least they have not yet shewn any signs of being skilful Legislators, most People in this Country are friendly to the Revolution, but they lament exceedingly the vindictive and sanguinary measures which have been adopted for the bringing it about. A few months will probably determine the Fate of France. I am with sincere esteem & respect My Dear Sir Your Faithful & obt. A Donald RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 13 Nov. 1792 and so recorded in SJL. The letter for Paris was TJ to Jean Antoine Gautier, 8 June 1792. Glasgow: Word interlined in place of “London.” Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-24-02-0320 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 24 (1 June–31 December 1792)

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Constant Friend

From Thomas Jefferson Philadelphia, 11 October, 1792

To Alexander Donald Having determined to try my Bedford tobacco this year at the London market, I could have no hesitation to whom to consign it. I have therefore ordered it to be very carefully handled, and in some degree sorted, to be got down to Richmond as early as possible and there delivered to Mr. Brown to be shipped to you on my account. According to arrangements taken with Mr. Brown as to the sum I might draw on either Richmond or London, I make the following calls on you in London. viz. I have ordered a few books from M. la Motte at Havre and authorized him to draw on Dollars Messrs. Donald & Burton for the amount, 100. which I suppose will be about I have ordered some wine from Mr. Joseph Fenwick of Bordeaux, desiring him to draw on you in like manner for the amount, which   90. will be between 65. and I have ordered some wines from Messieurs John Bulkeley & son of Lisbon and have drawn on you in their favor @ 30. days sight 225. I inclose you an invoice of books to be bought in Ireland &c according to the directions thereon, and some additional articles to be sent me from London, which will be under 125 making probably something under the whole 540. Dol sum of My orders beforementioned in favor of M. la Motte, Fenwick and Bulkeleys, I pray you to honor. No letter of advice accompanied them. They will be presented probably soon after your receipt of this. With respect to the books, I wish them not to be shipped till the spring, on account of the danger of injury during a winter passage. They are to be shipped to Richmond. I am just returned from a visit of two months to Monticello. I recollect nothing new among your friends in that country but the death of Jerman Baker and George Webb.1 I am with great and sincere esteem Dear Sir your affectionate friend & servt Th: Jefferson PrC (MHi); at foot of first page: “A. Donald esq.” Of TJ’s orders, only his draft on Donald & Burton, 11 Oct. 1792, for $225 payable at thirty days’ sight to John Bulkeley & Son (PrC in MHi), has been found. 1 Preceding three words interlined. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-24-02-0431 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 24 (1 June–31 December 1792)

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Enclosure: Invoice of Books and Articles to be Bought in Dublin and London

Books to be purchased at Dublin, and shipped thence to Richmond in Virginia, to the care of James Brown. Precedents in Chancery. Peere Williams’ Reports Atkyn’s Reports Vezey’s Reports Wilson’s Reports Kaim’s principles of equity. These are all to be 8vo. editions and where they are Ld. Raymond’s not to be had in 8vo. they are not to be sent. The Irish Salkeld’s 8vos. are preferred to the English because cheaper. Strange’s Foster’s Burrow’s reports. Dunford & East’s Brown’s Ambler’s Blackstone’s Douglass’s Hinde’s practice in Chancery. Hale’s Pleas of the crown Barnes’s notes Buller’s nisi prius. Blackstone’s Commentaries. The Dublin edition in 4. vols. 12mo.     The above catalogue to be first ordered from Dublin, only directing the bookseller to give immediate notice to Messrs. Donald & Burton of such of the books as he cannot procure in 8vo. that they may order these from London.

}

TH: JEFFERSON l to be sent from London. l Middleton’s life of Cicero. The 8vo. edition and no other. l Atwood’s Analysis of lectures on Natural philosophy. l Whatever of Linnaeus’s works has been translated and published by the Litchfield society since the Systema Vegetablilium which I have. l a hand spy-ing glass, sufficiently perfect to shew Jupiter’s satellites. Dollond’s are generally the best: but the above proof is sufficient to ensure it’s being good, let who will make it. This article is pressingly wanted. Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

141


Constant Friend

To Thomas Jefferson London, 7 November, 1792

I think that I informed you from Glasgow that the bill you had sent me on Messrs. Battier Zorlin & Co: for ÂŁ 37.10.-Str. had been noted for non acceptance. This day it fell due, and I have the pleasure of informing you that the sum has been paid, and is Placed to your Credit with Donald & Burton. No bill has yet appeared on us from Paris or it would have been duly honoured, which will be the case whenever it appears. At this time I can only add, that I am with the most sincere respect & esteem Dear Sir Your obliged & obt. Sert. A Donald

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 8 Jan. 1793 and so recorded in SJL. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-24-02-0555 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 24 (1 Juneâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;31 December 1792)

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From Thomas Jefferson

Constant Friend

London, 11 November, 1792 To Alexander Donald

This accompanies a duplicate of my letter of Oct. 11. troubling you with some small commissions, to which I must add the having some window sashes made for me agreeable to the inclosed directions, and the sending them to Virginia in the ensuing spring.â&#x20AC;&#x201D;But there is another commission with which I trouble you with real reluctance. It is to procure for me from Glasgow or Edinburgh a mason acquainted with both the cutting and laying stone (these two trades being united there, thoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; separately followed in England) sober, industrious, goodhumored, and on moderate wages, his lodging, and board to be found him. I could wish him to be engaged for five years, or such shorter term as he will insist on. Nothing less than the importance to me of having such a workman should have induced me to give you the trouble which I know this must give to yourself or friends in finding such a man, stipulating with him, sending him &c. but being about to resume the finishing of my house, I cannot advance a step without a mason. They are hardly to be got here at all who can unite the two parts of the trade, and the wages asked are beyond all reason. The sooner in the spring I can receive him the better, and the moment he lands at Richmond, he should be sent off by your friend there to Monticello, or he will get corrupted. 24. hours conversation with our workmen in Richmond, would so turn his head as that I could never be able to keep him. Directions for Window Sashes 8. pair of Astragal and hollow, mahogany, window sashes, for windows 6. f. 6. I. high and 3 f. 3 I. wide in the clear of the architrave. The gobbets to be for panes 18. I. square. Both sashes to run up and down. The above are drawings of some sashes made by Adam Dennis. No. 13. St. Clementâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lane Lombard street, London, about the year 1774 for me. I should chuse those now desired to be made as nearly corresponding as the difference in the size of the glass will admit, and I would prefer their being made by the same man if living because his work was excellently done. Those he made were for panes of 12 I. square. Also, 10. circular sashes of mahogany astragal and hollow, for circular windows of 3. f. 3 I. diameter, in the clear of the architrave. 4. panes to each of 18 I. radius. Each pane a quadrant. Observe that the sashes alone are wanting, and not glass for them. TH: JEFFERSON Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

143


Constant Friend

To Thomas Jefferson

London, 12 December, 1792 Dear Sir, Your esteemed favour of the 11th. Octr. came duely to hand and also the Duplicate. I observe that you had been relaxing from the fatigues of business for a couple of months at Monticello, which is certainly very proper and necessary for you to do, and I hope you will not fail to do the same every August and September. I am much obliged to you for your intention of shipping your Crops of Tobacco to D. & B. You can rely my Dear Sir on every exertion in our power to promote your Interest in the sale. The order for your books is gone to Dublin, and will be shipped from thence by some vessel for James River, such as cannot be procured there will be sent from hence. I have been several times with Ramsden the Optician, who is pretty universally allowed to be the first in his Line, and who has made several for me, he assures me he will give me one that will please you and do Credit to himself. None of the small drafts you mention have appeared, but when they do, they will be duely honoured. The Politicks of France seem to be gaining ground fast in Europe, Even this Country, has been greatly agitated by the distribution of Paine’s, and other inflamatory writters, Ten days ago I was under very serious apprehensions of some mischief, But the wise and active measures adopted by Government, and by the Bulk of the People declaring their determination to support our present constitution, my fears are now done away. Our Parliment meets to morrow, when I trust they will be unanimous in their answers to the Kings Speech, and that they will promise to support the constitution with their lives and fortunes. We have plenty of Grain in this Kingdom, But in the Continent it will be in great demand, which will be of infinite advantage to our Friends in America, at which I always rejoice sincerely. I am Dear Sir Your obliged & obt. Sert. A Donald Your Glass will be sent by the first ship bound for Philadelphia.

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 9 Feb. 1793 and so recorded in SJL. The rapid distribution of the second part of Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man in early 1792, together with other tracts by various radical authors, prompted the British government to issue a proclamation in May prohibiting the publication of seditious libel. Paine was found guilty under the proclamation in December 1792, although by that time he had gone to France to take his seat in the National Convention (John Ehrman, The Younger Pitt: The Reluctant Transition [London, 1983], 113–21, 194, 225).

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To Thomas Jefferson London, 5 January, 1793 Dear Sir, This day I have recieved your much esteemed favour of the 11th. Novemr. I am sorry that you should think it necessary to offer any apology for commanding my services. I will only say once for all, that the oftner you do so, the more you will oblige me. The window sashes will be ordered tomorrow and sent to Virginia the ensueing Spring if possible. I will immediately apply to some of my Friends in Scotland to procure you if possible a good stone mason. There are plenty of them in that Country, but it is growing so rich that Fine Houses cannot be so fast built as they are wanted, nothing can induce a good workman therefore to leave his Country but some tempting offer. I wish you had given me some Idea of the wages you was willing to give. I shall be able to write you more fully on this subject by next Packet. Great Preparations are making here for War. I still hope that such an event will not take place. I am very confident that our Ministry will do every thing in their power consistent with the honor and dignity of the Nation to avoid it, but it is impossible to reason on the measures which the National Convention of France may think proper to adopt. I hope however they will provoke this Country to go to war.1 I have frequently been asked what part America would take in case of such an event. I have always said, that I am positive She will not take any part in it if she can possibly avoid it. She knows her own Interest better. I wish you most truely, the Compliments of the Season, & I remain with great consideration Dear Sir Your mo: obt. humb. St. A Donald

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 23 Feb. 1793 and so recorded in SJL. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-25-02-0023 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 25 (1 Januaryâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 May 1793)

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From Thomas Jefferson Philadelphia, 5 March, 1793

Dear Sir, My last to you was of Nov. 11. since which I have received your several favors of Sep. 6. Nov. 7. Dec. 12. and Jan. 5. by all of which I see proofs of your friendly dispositions in your attention to the smallstuff commissions I trouble you with. The bill for £37–10 drawn by Count Andriani in favor of Mr. William B. Giles was to answer for a watch which the latter gentleman desired me to order for him from Paris. When I lodged the bill in your hands, I at the same time wrote to a friend in Paris to have the watch made and to draw on you. A change in the circumstance of price occasioned him to write back to me for new instructions: in the mean time Mr. Giles provided himself here, so that the object came to an end, and I have now to desire you to hold the proceeds of his bill subject to his order.—The winter has been remarkeably mild, and as remarkeably dry through the first half of it, insomuch that the rivers did not fill sufficiently for navigation, and I began to fear that my Bedford tobacco would not be brought down. However for 6. weeks past we have had uncommonly great rains so as to fill the rivers abundantly. A great want of cash has been experienced lately at this place. Perhaps a greater was never known. The banks have for a considerable time stopt discounts, and nothing but the generality of the distress producing a generality of indulgence has prevented a number of stoppages of payment being formally declared. This distress has occasioned a great deal of public paper to be brought to market, and a consequent depression of it’s price, insomuch that the 6. per cents are now at 18/3 and as yet falling. This need not affect the confidence of those who hold the public paper. There is not upon earth a more solid property: and tho’ one party here affect to charge the other with unfriendly dispositions towards the public debt, yet I believe there is not a man scarcely in the United states who is not sacredly determined to pay it; and the only difference which I can see between the two parties is that the republican one wish it could be paid tomorrow, the fiscal party wish it to be perpetual, because they find in it an engine for corrupting the legislature. Bank property stands on very different ground; as that institution is strongly conceived to be unauthorised by the constitution, it may therefore be liable to shocks.—We expect that by this time you are at loggerheads with your neighbors. The more you fight, the more you will eat and waste, and the less you will make. Fight on then; leave us at peace, and let us feed you while you clothe us. Adieu my Dear Sir your affectionate friend Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of first page: “A. Donald esq.” Tr (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); 19th-century copy. TJ enclosed this letter in a brief note to Henry Remsen of the same date asking him to put it “into the mail for the British packet” (RC, Bank of Manhattan Company, New York City, 1945; addressed: “Mr. Henry Remsen New York”; stamped, franked, and postmarked; not recorded in SJL; endorsed by Remsen: “N.B. put the enclosed Letter in British Mail”). The friend in paris was Jean Antoine Gautier (TJ to Gautier, 8 June 1792). Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-25-02-0285 [accessed 28 Jul 2009]

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Constant Friend

London, 10 March, 1793

Dear Sir, I have no doubt but you will hear before this letter reaches you, that the House of D. & Burton have been obliged to stop payment. Several causes combined to bring upon us this misfortune, and none more than the rash and ill judged Speculation of my Partner in wheat and flour in the Winter of 89. 90. My mind for some months past has been in great distress, but I have the consolation to find that altho I have lost my Fortune, I still retain what is infinitely more valuable, my Character is unimpeached. This gives me firm hopes of being able very soon to go on again in a [smug?] business entirely under my own direction, for I am determined never to put it in the power of any man to bring me to ruin again. It is impossible for me to say how the business of D. & B. will be settled. The Creditors have been proposing to accept of a composition, and to give time for collecting our debts, But in whatever way it is settled, I mean in future to do business on my own account. And being perswaded that you and my other Friends in Virga. are incapable of deserting me in my distress, I must request the favour of you to consign your Tobacco this year to Mr. John Younger, He is one of our Clerks who has been with us ever since the commencement of our Partnership, He will receive it for me in Trust, but you may depend that I will have the sole disposal of it, and the money received for it will be at yours. It gives me pain however to mention, that you will not trust to Mr. James Brown for shipping your Tobacco to me, for since I left the Country he has shewn a decided preference to Mr. Burton, notwithstanding all my kindness to him. I know Brownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s disposition so well, that I have no doubt of his doing every thing he can to hurt my Interest, but he will find it is too strongly founded to be shaken by his ingratitude. I have a Nephew living in Richmond, but he is too young to take the charge of my business. He is a very fine young man, when he gets more experience, and a few more years, he will do very well. Capt. Ay. Singleton is a man in whose honour and integrity I have always had the most unbounded Confidence. To him I have written freely, and I am much mistaken if he will not do every thing he can to serve me. If you will have the goodness to order your Tobacco to be delivered to him, I am confident he will take the trouble of shipping it to me. You will very much oblige me by mentioning me to the notice of your Friends. I will send you a letter from D. & B. by this same opportunity of Mr. Marshall, in which you will find an Invoice of the few Books you ordered sometime ago. That Blackguard Ramsden has disapointed me in not having gotten ready the Telescope, which he faithfully promised would be ready two months ago. I must get one from Dolland. A mathematical Instrument maker in Holborne came to me and produced a letter from you, ordering some thing in his line and which you had desired him to call upon me for payment. He accordingly went to the Counting House, where he was told by the Clerks, that in our situation the money would not be paid, but they gave him my direction and desired him to call upon me. He accordingly did so, when I ordered him to get the thing ready and that I would pay the money for it, which I have borrowed to prevent your being disapointed. I expect the bill will be presented to morrow. If it is, I shall inclose it herein. I remain with great consideration Dear Sir Your Faithful & obd. Sert A Donald Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thos. Jefferson Esqr.”; endorsed by TJ as received 6 May 1793 and so recorded in SJL. Donald & Burton’s letter to TJ of 9 Mch. 1793, recorded in SJL as received from London on 6 May 1793, has not been found, but for the invoice see TJ to John Wayles Eppes, 12 May 1793, and note. The arrangements for transporting the telescope were given in Donald’s letter of 30 Aug. 1793, which has not been found; next to the SJL entry for that letter, which was received from London on 12 Nov. 1793, TJ wrote “telescope.” The mathematical instrument maker in Holborn was either William or Samuel Jones (William & Samuel Jones to TJ, 9 Mch. 1793). In 1795 TJ had still not received the bill for the orrery he purchased from them or for the telescope Donald sent (TJ to Donald, 30 May 1795). Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-25-02-0313 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 25 (1 January–10 May 1793)

From Thomas Jefferson to James Brown, 10 April 1793 Extract: I cannot express to you the grief with which I learned yesterday the calamity of the house of my friend Mr. Donald. It was announced here by Mr. Morris’s attaching their property wherever he could find it. I do not know your exact degree of connection with that house. But I sincerely wish it to be such as may make you feel the shock as little as possible. From Thomas Jefferson to James Brown, 23 May 1793 Extract: To whom do you consign my tobacco? I have so much confidence in my friend Mr. Donald that I would rather he should have the selling it than any body, and I learn that this would be the case if consigned to a Mr. John Younger, heretofore a clerk in the house of D. & B. I also understand that Havre is a fine market for tobacco at present. I shall leave this to your decision, but shall be glad to hear from you on the subject, as also to recieve the line promised for Mr. Short, when you shall have a little leisure. He cannot but be under the greatest anxiety on the accident which has happened. I am with great esteem Dr. Sir Your friend & servt From James Brown to Thomas Jefferson, 3 June 1793: Extract: As to your Tobacco I shall hold it Subject to your Orders. For the Present no Ships can be had to Any Port. The confidence You are Pleased to place in me on this Score shall not be misapplied. Donald & Burton have Settled Matters With their Creditors and obtained time to pay. When I hear that matters are fully adjusted I will conclude on future arrangements for their Joint Interest. I am sorry to discover Mr. Donald has Personal Views, that to enforce them he exculpates himself from all Blame of course Rests the failure on his Partners without giving them an oportunity to clear themselves from censure. This conduct every generous Mind will condemn and Suspend Opinions till both Sides are heard. Mr. Donald is also pleased to find fault with my conduct to some of his confidential friends, Without Writing me a Single line on the Subject, however I feel perfectly easy under the charge’s, as I can Satisfy every liberal mind that they are groundless, and this manner of attack below the character of a Man.

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Constant Friend

London, 4 April, 1793 Dear Sir,

My last respects to you were under date of the 10th. Ultimo, to which I beg you to refer. On the 14th. there was a meeting of D. & B.’s Creditors, when it appeared to be the general opinion that they should be allowed time to wind up their business, to collect their debts, and to pay off the Creditors as quickly as possible. An Instrument for this purpose has been drawn out, and is now in the progress of signing. Whether it will be carried into effect I cannot positively say—but I am still determined to do business for myself in future, and I therefore repeat the request made to you in my last that your Tobacco should be put into the hands of my nephew to ship for you, and not into Mr. Brown’s, who I suspect will rather attach himself to Mr. Burton. The Orrery you ordered from Jones is gone by the Camilla, Service into James River, and I trust it will get safe to hand, The order for venetian blinds &ca. were given in agreeable to your directions, but were not shipped on account of our situation. I hope to be able to send every thing to you in the course of this summer. It requires a considerable strength of mind to enable me to bear up under what has lately happened to me. Well Born, Genteely brought up and educated, and left a Fortune by my Father when I was only fourteen years of age of upwards of Five Thousand Pounds Stg., having always been industrious, Free from gameing and every kind of extravagance, and at a time when I thought my self independent, and in a fair way of making a Fortune, to be brought to distress and ruin by improper conduct in my Partner, and at my time of Life is what does not fall to the Lot of many People. My dependence on my Friends in America has enabled me to consider my misfortunes as an aweful lesson, from which I hope to derive great advantages in future. Was you to desert me I would indeed dispair, but this I know you cannot do, Because it is contrary to your nature. I will always be proud to receive your commands and I remain Dear Sir Your Faithful & obt. Sert. A Donald

RC (MHi); at head of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr.”; endorsed by TJ as received 20 May 1793 and so recorded in SJL. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-25-02-0455 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 25 (1 January–10 May 1793)

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Constant Friend

Philadelphia, 22 August, 1793 My Dear Sir,

I have yet to acknolege your favors of Mar. 10. and Apr. 4. Just before their receipt I had heard of the calamity which had befallen you and which has since befallen so many on your side the water. I heard it with poignant distress, for however it may be with others, I find that my earliest affections are my strongest. I have delayed answering your letter because I wished to be able to say something to you about my tobacco. But it is still out of my power to do it with certainty. I have occasion here for 6. or 800. Dollars, and have been expecting to receive it under an execution I have for between 4. and 5000 dollars, ever since February last. I still expect it, and if I get only so much, my tobacco will be free for me to dispose of, and tho’ I had not intended to ship it myself (because I can always get a guinea for it here) yet I will certainly do it, and under the address you recommend. I understood from Mr. Brown that my last year’s crop was still unshipped some time ago. I shall leave this place the 1st. day of January to reestablish myself at Monticello. I shall certainly there render you any services which may be in my power: and shall have more leisure to attend to my friendships. I am with very great & sincere affection Dear Sir Your friend & servt Th: Jefferson P.S. The books from Ireland and those by Mr. Marshal are come safely to hand. PrC (DLC); unaddressed. Tr (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); 19th-century copy. Recorded in SJL as sent “by Mr Vaughan.” Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-26-02-0656 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 26 (11 May–31 August 1793)

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From Thomas Jefferson Monticello, 30 May, 1795

My Dear Sir, When I left public office I expected to be so much at leisure that I should keep up a very animated correspondence with my friends. On my return home I found my farms in a ruinous condition, which made it necessary for me to undertake their recovery and culture myself. Forced to make myself acquainted both with the theory and practice, I at length became so fascinated with the occupation that I am now the most ardent farmer in the state. I live on my horse nearly the whole day, and when in the house it is in a state of fatigue which admits neither thought nor action. I rarely take up a book, and never a pen if I can help it. Hence instead of the animated correspondence I had calculated on, I have kept no correspondence but where pressing business called for it. The proof is that I have not written a line to Monroe since he left this country nor to Short or yourself since I came home to live. Yet certainly my affection for you all is not abated. And the truth is that thro the whole time I have constantly believed I should write to you within 10. days or a fortnight, till more than a year has slipped off. I have at length cut short the procrastination and am writing to you all, and take the liberty of putting Mr. Short’s letter under your cover. Monroe’s I must send otherwise, your country having undertaken the Quixotical task of forcing mankind by war to govern themselves reasonably, assuming her own notions too to be the true measure and standard of reason. But if she would bestow the same care and expence on her own island she would make her own people happier; and I doubt whether France is sensible of the felicities forced upon her. The money spent by Great Britain to force France to take care of herself, if applied to the improvement of her own soil and advantages, would have opened every stream for navigation to it’s source, would have conducted every drop of running water in the kingdom over every farm it was capable of irrigating, and would have carried a market road to every arable acre of the mountains of Scotland and Wales. This would probably have added one fourth to the means of subsistence in that country, and consequently to it’s population. However to provide for an increased population by new means of subsistence is more troublesome than to cut their throats, and especially when by the same operation you can oblige a neighbor in the same way by cutting the throats of a million or two for them. Your government seemed very desirous of administering to us also, and certainly at one time had ordered their surgeons to commence work upon us. By the help of a little quakerism on our part, and a turn of fortune on theirs, we are permitted to go on cultivating our fields in peace, and still feeding and employing their weavers and mechanics. Oh! shame on such a government! The crop of tobacco which I had destined for you was put in to Mr. Brown’s hands to be shipped to D. & B. I do not now recollect what accident detained it here longer than it should have been, but before it was shipped the misfortune of that house was known. Mr. Brown then shipped it to some other house, I know not to whom. The prices he got were unusually high, to wit for one parcel £16 sterl. a hhd, and £12–7– 6 for another. Yet when we consider the weight of the tobacco, about 1300. each hogshead, the former comes to 32/7 and the latter 25/4 pr. hundred currency. Tobacco is now here at 33/ which price

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is not more uncommon than £16. a hogshead to the shipper. With respect to myself I have a constant offer of 5. dollars at Philadelphia, and the top of the market if higher. I should always be a loser then when I should get less than £15. sterl. a hogshead, a price which no experience would justify any body in expecting for their shipments. Hence it is that I never was a shipper of tobacco, and the crop I had ordered to you was the only one I ever shipped in my life.

Certainly were I to ship, and should I ever ship, it should be to you, since the maxim of ‘no favor in trade’ which is a true and just one, ensuring equal favor in the hands of a friend, leaves us free to indulge our friendship with a preference. At this place I make no tobacco. I still pursue it in Bedford, but am not sure how long I may find it my interest to do so. The town of Lynchburg in that neighborhood ensures a good market for wheat there, as that of Milton two miles below me does here. It is lately only that I have recieved my account from Mr. Brown, and was sorry to see that some of the items of the London account were not in it. Particularly the telescope and orrery, and you have never mentioned to me what they cost. Pray do this in your next that I may either make remittance for it or payment to Mr. Strange. Perhaps I may ere long send a bill of exchange for some books so as to include it with them.—Public news you do not expect from us. Of private there is not much. Your old friend Dr. Walker is dead, and Frank is universal legatee, which was contrary to the expectations of the rest of the family. Our friend Mr. Madison of Orange is married. In one of your letters you flatter us with the idea that you may one day visit us at Monticello. I love to believe whatever I ardently wish. You even talk of laying your bones in America, and I, like other people, am so much the dupe of the fondness for the natale solum as to believe seriously there is no quarter of the globe so desireable as America, no state in America so desireable as Virginia, no county in Virginia equal to Albemarle, and no spot in Albemarle to compare to Monticello. Come then, since you cannot have Monticello, and fix yourself along side of it, and let us take our soupe and wine together every day, and talk over the stories of our youth, and the tales of other times. We shall never see better. Only do not be too long in thinking yourself rich enough for retirement; otherwise we may both first make our great retirement to where there is neither soupe nor wine, and where we are told that neither moth nor rust doth corrupt. From this the lord preserve us both for many good years, and have us always in his holy keeping. Adieu. Your’s affectionately Th: Jefferson PrC (MHi); at foot of first page: “A. Donald esqr”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso. Enclosure: Dupl, now missing, of TJ to William Short, 25 May 1795 (acknowledged in Short to Donald, 30 Sep. 1795, in DLC: Short Papers). Enclosed in TJ to James Brown, 30 May 1795. TJ had requested Donald to market his Bedford crop of tobacco in London in a letter of 11 Oct. 1792. D. & B.: the London mercantile firm of Donald & Burton, whose misfortune is described in Donald to TJ, 10 Mch. 1793. TJ’s account from Mr. Brown has not been found, but see TJ to Brown, 7 May 1795, and note. For the telescope and orrery, see TJ to John Jones, 26 Dec. 1792, and note to Donald to TJ, 10 Mch. 1793. Natale Solum: “native country.” Donald closed his correspondence with TJ with a letter of 22 Feb. 1796, recorded in SJL as received from London 14 May 1796, but not found. Cite as: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition, ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu:8080/founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJN-print-01-28-02-0279 [accessed 28 Jul 2009] Original source: Main Series, Volume 28 (1 January 1794–29 February 1796)

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From William Short

Extracts of letters to Thomas Jefferson DEAR SIR Aranjuez April 2. 1793 ... I was preparing this business in a very agitated and enraged state of mind when I received on the 29th. a letter informing me that the house of Donald & Burton had failed more than a month ago for £150,000 stlg. As you know that they had almost the whole of my fortune in their hands, you will readily concieve what an effect that had produced on me. It seems as if all the misfortunes that can befall the human lot were reserved for me and to be crowded on me at once. This has forced me to abandon the painful and provoking subject I was engaged in to take up another still more painful and distressing. The three days which have passed since I have recieved that information are such as I have never passed before. Although little in a condition to write or do any thing else, I set down to communicate to you this disquieting event, and under the authority of your former friendly offer to ask your aid and assistance. In a few days I will forward to you the state of the other business mentioned in the postscript of your letter—and you may rest assured beforehand that it will be such as must be approved by every body. I do not mean to say that either of the other persons in question is culpable—but this I will venture to affirm that the most prejudiced will agree I was not in fault—and indeed could not have acted otherwise whatever my dispositions might have been. I will then answer the other parts of your letter also begging you to be assured also in the mean time that you are very right in your opinion as to my principles of government—whatever I may think of the means made use of to set up and pull down governments employed in another country, and of which it appears my opinions or expressions have been dissatisfactory. I proceed now to state my situation with respect to Donald & Burton. Tied down as I am here by public duty I can do nothing but write, both to London and America, fearing too much however it will be of little avail. I have written there to M. Donald begging him to let me know in what situation I am—and how much I count on his personal honor and friendship—and to let me know also whether Mr. Browne will be involved, and in general what I am to expect. M. Donald’s having never written to me to inform me of this disaster, seems an extraordinary and an alarming circumstance. In my private letter to you from the Hague of Nov. 30—I stated to you how my affairs stood in the hands both of M. Browne and M. Donald—and left it to you [to]5 decide on the propriety of having them placed in my name. In my letter of Dec. 18—I repeated the same subject to you and enclosed a letter open for Mr. Browne with the proper power of attorney to be used in the case you should have the funds then standing in his name converted and placed in mine. These letters give me some glimmering of hope that that part may have been rescued—as I hope you recieved my letters in time. Yet as the business was there left optional, I fear that Mr. Browne may if he desired it have found means to delay it. I now inclose you a general power of attorney asking the favor of you to take whatever measures you may judge best for me in my affairs, which however may perhaps be already desperate. I have already on former occasions informed you how these funds had passed into Mr. Browne’s hands—and what kind of stupid false delicacy, which I shall rue as long as I live, had prevented my

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having them placed in my own name. I will now briefly repeat it. When M. Donald was in Richmond Colo. Skipwith placed a certain sum in certificates belonging to me, in his hands—these certificates as you know proceeded from the sale of my patrimonial estate. When M. Donald left Richmond he left them in M. Browne’s hands and informed me of it. I afterwards corresponded with Mr. Browne on the subject, so that he alone I suppose became answerable for them. Still I fear he will be involved of course by Messrs. D. & B. He wrote me in the year 1791. that he had subscribed them being state certificates to the federal loan—and had kept them in his name for the convenience of recieving the interest—their amount as he stated them to me was 15000 dollars 6. per cts. 11,256. do. 3. per cts. and 7500 do. deferred. I know not what more to add on this distressing and distracting subject than to beg you my dear Sir to be so good as to secure me if you can. If Mr. Browne is a man of honor or delicacy he will certainly have kept this deposit inviolate and sacred. It seems to me now I must have been infatuated not to have had them placed in my name. Nothing but a false delicacy arising from my having the misfortune to be in public employment (for I shall ever consider it the greatest misfortune that has ever befallen me, and which now perhaps the total ruin of my fortune may force me to desire the continuance of ) prevented my doing it. How differently I should now be situated! how much pain and anxiety I should have saved myself! These are sensations that no person can judge of who has not felt himself as I now do, almost under the certainty of ruin, with all his prospects for a settlement in life, blasted. Besides this sum M. Donald kept in his hands a part of that which had been saved as I have already informed you from Mr. Parker’s. This arose as you know from money which I had in Paris, that had been remitted to me from home, and which I had entrusted to Mr. Parker to lay out for me. It seems as if it was destined to run the gauntlet. I have great confidence in Mr. Donald’s honor—and it seems to me if he deserves it he will have kept this deposit sacred and untouched by his disaster—but his having not written to me since it has befallen him, staggers me much. The sum in his hands was about 6000 dollars of the several descriptions of 6. per ct. 3. per ct. and deferred. W SHORT DEAR SIR Aranjuez April 5 1793 I wrote you two letters on the 2d. inst. via Cadiz and Lisbon, each inclosing a power of attorney to you and asking the favor of you to do what you could for me in a case where I may be perhaps totally ruined—I mean the bankruptcy of Donald & Burton and consequently I fear of Mr. Browne. I was about answering your letter of Jan. 3d. and postscript 15th. in a disordered state both of body and mind when I recieved this alarming intelligence, which forced me to postpone it in order to trouble you with the letters abovementioned. I will say no more respecting them at present, but proceed to the answer of your letter recieved here, from the Duke de la Alcudia’s office, the 25th. ulto. ... FROM THOMAS JEFFERSON TO SHORT, 11 JULY 1793 Your two favors dated Aranjuez, Apr. 2 (Private) have been duly received. Your letter of Dec. 18 inclosing one open to Mr. Brown had been before received, & his forwarded, but no answer come to hand when I heard of the failure of Donald & Burton. I was told it in the street, and went instantly to the Treasury office & entered a caveat against the transfer of your property by the best general description I could. I wrote to Mr. Brown by the same post which carried him the news of the failure, as also the caveat. I likewise wrote to Mr. Skipwith to beg he would go down to Richmond & use his Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend

personal influence with Brown to get your property out of his hands. I have never got an answer from him, but I inclose you an extract from Brown’s dated Apr. 15. As the letter he therein promised did not come, I wrote again. You have inclosed an extract from his second answer June 3. In the mean time yours of Apr. 2 came, covering a power of attorney to me. I went with this instrument to the Treasury, to shew that I was authorized to enquire after your property. No trace of it could be found here. However one of the officers very soon after informed me that in consequence of the caveat I first entered, a letter had come from the deputy in Richmond informing them that that property was all transferred to your name. I have waited till the last moment by the present opportunity to have the letter found: but the researches for it have been fruitless, tho’ their recollection of having recieved such a letter seems perfect. They have written to Richmond a second time for information, but this will not be in time to send you now. In the mean while you may be assured of two facts. 1. that putting together this recollection of the letter, & Brown’s information of June 3. it is quite certain that all your property now stands in your own name. 2. that the American effects of Donald & Burton will pay every American creditor, preferred as they are by our laws to all others. I do not know whether it might not be practicable to save, under this privilege, what you had in Donald’s hands in London, if we had evidence of it. I shall leave this place the 1st day of October, that ending the quarter at which the accounts of my department are settled, no more to return. I will employ some broker (they are most to be relied on) to recieve your interest quarterly & invest it, when prices are proper, in new paper, till you direct what shall be done with it. We are beginning in Virginia to think of tenanting our lands, and I believe it will be practicable at a rent of 5 per cent on the value. It will still however be a troublesome revenue, but an increasing capital. Never did mortal long so much for an object as I do for the 1st of Oct. No conjecture can be formed who will be my successor. It is not in my power to say a word about your future destiny, not a word having been said to me on the subject since what I first communicated to you. I presume that will take place. Direct all your future letters to ‘the Secretary of state for the US.’ I inclose you a letter from your brother, which will doubtless give you your family news. I recollect not death nor other article of private intelligence which can interest you, and a throng of business obliges me here to conclude with the assurances of the sincere esteem & constant attachment of Dear Sir your affectionate friend & servt. ... Th: Jefferson

158

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808


To James Watt

Constant Friend

London, 8 September, 1795 Sir, I am much obliged by your letter of the 29th ultimo. You will be surprised at not having received any answer thus far. The reason is shortly this – I have a vessel which sailed from Virga the 6 July & I have been expecting to hear something of her every day for two weeks past, but I am still left in anxious suspense concerning her & as I cannot leave town till I do here from her, It is impossible for me to appoint my time for my being at Nuneaton – I observe that you have found out a Person that will answer my purposes, I am very thankful to your Father as well as yourself for the trouble you have taken. Will you be as good as inquire which consideration he will expect for going to Nuneaton and examining the colliery there, if his charge is reasonable and if he write you the day I have this, if my ships casts up tomorrow or next day, I will be at the colliery on Friday or Saturday – I shall stay there ?? 3 days – May let me hear from you in ?? ???? to be. Your most obt Sert. ADonald When you direct for me, Do me the favour to leave Donald & Burton out of it, Alexr Donald London being quite sufficient.

The James Watt letters that follow have been transcribed from copies of the originals, held by Birmingham Libraries. The originals are going to be studied to fill in the blanks, marked with ????

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend

Map of Warwickshire, England, showing Haunchwood House, where Alexander died and Chilvers Coton, just south of Nuneaton, where he was buried

160

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808


To James Watt

Constant Friend

Nuneaton, 3 February, 1797 Dear Sir, Having some intention of erecting another five engines on my Colliery, I would like much to have your opinion on the ???ity of it. I am alarmed at the expense of it, being at present incapable of advancing much money, were upon so material, and so necessary a plan as I conceive this to be, the distance from your place to this is under thirty miles. If you could spare the time I would be very glad to see you at the end of this week, but if you cannot do this, I will wait upon you, there being a coach between Birmingham and Leicester which passes through this place three times a week â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you will be so good as let me hear from you in course and in order than I may get your letter as soon as possible, you will please direct it to the care of Mr James Grymes at Coventry Wharf, With best Comps to Mrs Watt I ???? Dear Sir, Your faithful humble st ADonald

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend

To James Watt

Nuneaton, 12 November, 1797 Dear Sir, Soon after I had the pleasure of seeing you at Heathfield, meeting on the 23rd Feb I recd a letter from Mr Smithers?? with an estimate of a Steam Engine capable of working at 14 Inch ?? 100 yds, 12 ??? stroke p minute. The whole of your materials was £1,900 – and £220 for a boiler. It is impossible that I am having any doubt but this estimate was as low as you would go, but the money was far beyond my abilities to raise, I was therefore obliged to give up all ??? of gaining a new foundation. But in the course of the summer, I found the demand for my coals so small, that I was concerned I must I must either gain the new foundations ???? the works sometime. About this time I heard of an engine at the Bog Mine?? which was for sale upon very reasonable terms. Upon making further enquiry I had the pleasure to find that it was one of your construction, which you may be assured made me the more anxious to purchase it – After a few weeks negotiations, I concluded a bargain for it as it now stands for £500 ready money – of course I am to be at the expense of taking it down, raising the Pump ??? & bringing it here. When I was lately in London the Engineer at the Place told me there was 120 yards of Pumps but that ??? must expect that more than 40 yards of them would be raised, the most being under water – But since I have been down here, some of my People?? & John Batty who is in this neighbourhood, seems to think that there will not be much difficulty in raising the whole, if this could be effected at my moderate expense it would be a ??? saving for me – John Batty tells me he has a Brother named Robert who works with you and who he says he is willing to go to the Bog mine to make the expense out, provided his Brother Robert would be engaged to go with him. ??? My Dear Sir, if you can spare him for a few days or a fortnight you will ??? a particular obligation on me – And if I am asking anything unreasonable, I hope you will have the goodness to impute it to my ignorance as I understand the engine has not been moved??? Since erected, it is probable that some of the People who were employed at the erection may still be about you, who may be able to give information how the ??? are fastened which will accelerate the undertaking much – I am in great want of the Engine not being able to sink my Pit Tower on account of water, till it is ??? I am down near 60 yards and I wish to get down about 30 or 35 years lower, when I will have the best coal works in this county. I am persuaded that the Bog Mine Engine will be fully adequate to draw away my water, but in case I am mistaken in this, I intend to keep my present ???? till this point is perfectly ascertained. Mr Gregory the Engineer at the Bog Mine has furnished me with the dimensions of the House, the length of the lower ????? which corresponds pretty nearly with what Mr ??? wrote me, excepting the shafts of the walls, at the Bog Mine the lower wall is five feet four inches thick, the back and side walls four feet four inches. ??? there cannot be any necessity for such thick walls, especially as I understand in his letter that this lower wall must be three foot ?? inches and the others Two foot three. If you are of opinion that the walls of the last Dimensions were sufficiently strong I certainly will not exceed them, I can safely say that there are not better bricks in the Kingdom than mine are.

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Constant Friend

I sent my carpenter yesterday to see how the beams are placed, and to make such other observations as may be necessary, I expect him back on Wednesday, but which time I flatter mywelf with your answer to this letter and I hope you will be able to spare Robert Batty to go to the Bog mine – His brother I ? will go next Saturday provided Robert will be ready to go at sometime. The late Proprietiers of the Engine tell me that they had given you £1150 in full of all your claims upon her. I beg to be remembered respectfully to Mrs Watt – & I remain Dear Sir Your mo: obt Sert ADonald Please direct ????? in Coventry.

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend

To Boulton & Watt

Coventry, 20 November, 1797 Gentlemen Your Mr Watt’s very obliging letter of the 19th came duly to hand, and would have been answered sooner, had I not delayed this till the return of my Carpenter from the Bog mine, I find from him that the first life of Pumps are gotten out of that pit, but both he & Mr Gregory the engineer at the place, seem to think it will not be practicable to get up the other two lifts, because the water is nearly up to the Top of the Pit, & consequently the Pump now nearest to the surface is about Thirty Nine Yards under water – but still I find some People (who should know something of the matter) are of opinion that the stays may be broken and the other two lifts got up – I freely confess myself incompetent to judge correctly upon this business, I will therefore take the liberty of mentioning to you that I must pay for all the Pumps or ???? whether I get them out or not, and then I must beg the favour of you to give me your opinions as to the Practicability of getting the other two lifts and whether it would be prudent for me to spend £10 or £20 in the attempt. If they can be gotten out it will save me buying 50 or 60 yards of Pumps, which would cost me from £150 to £200 – I will be glad to have a drawing of the Engine House at the Bog, I understand that the Boilers are at present fixed one on each side of the House & my Engine house will stand on an ???? about 20 or 25 yards from it, there is a small ??? of water, from the House to the said stand is a regular ??? of about 25 foot – I don’t propose brining the water to the surface, but to have a ??? from the said mine to my engine shaft into which I shall throw the water. This will save me ???? ????? Pumps and will be ?? ??? to the Engine – Perhaps you will do me the favour to allow some of your men conversant in such business to go to the Bog and ?? mine ???? into the probability of raising the other two lifts, Some People about me who knows Robt Batty have insinuated to me lately that they do not think him quite up to this business, but of this you will be the best judges – I leave this matter entirely to you, & I will be determined by your opinion – can you spare one of your men to put up the Engine for me when she comes here? I am very much obliged to Mr Watts for his Friendly invitation, which I will endeavour to avail myself of before the winter is over. I remain with great consideration, Gentlemen Your mo: ob. Sert ADonald

164

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808


To Boulton & Watt

Constant Friend

Coventry, 8 December, 1797 Gentlemen Your Favour of the 27th Ultimo comes regularly to hand. I am obliged by your sending Robert Batty to the Bog Mine â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but I have not heard from Mr Gregory the engineer there since he had measure it which I am a good deal surprised at â&#x20AC;&#x201C; In your letter you said you would immediately send more drawing of the House at the Bog. Eleven days has since elapsed & I have not yet received it. The masons have been at work some time upon my engine house which makes me suppose that unless the drawing of the House is sent soon, it will be unnecessary for you to bother yourselves to send it at all. Being quite unacquainted with the state of forwardness in which matters are at the Bog, it is impossible for me to say at present when the Engine may be brought to this place, but if the Canals keep open, it will surely be in all next month, but whenever I find that the whole is shipped from Shrewsbury, I will then inform you when it will be necessary for your man to be here to superintend the putting of it together â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I remain respectfully Gentlemen Your most obt st A Donald

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Constant Friend

To Boulton & Watt

Nuneaton, 9 December, 1797 Gentlemen I have this day seen a letter from Robert Batty to his Brother John dated the 2nd Cur. from which I see he had returned from the Bog mine. I am much surprised that you have not written me his opinion of the Practicability of raising the other two lifts of the pumps. If I am to pay Robert Batty for going there I am persuaded you will think that I had a good right to expect that either you or he should have written me as soon as he returned, your silence has put me to the expense of sending John Batty to Birmingham. To learn the particulars from his Brother â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I submit it to your whether I should have been put to this expense, & this is not the worst consequence that may happen from your silence. Mr Gregory may conclude from not hearing from me that I have given up all ???? of raising the remainder of the hoses & may therefore have sent off the Capstain Ropes & other things necessary for attempting to do so. If I do not hear from the Bog mine, I shall be reduced to the necessity of going there myself â&#x20AC;&#x201C; about Thursday next week. Please send me the Plans of the Houses by John Batty I am your most obt sert ADonald

166

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808


To Boulton & Watt

Constant Friend

Nuneaton, 13 December, 1797 Dear Sir Your favour of the 10th ??? last night. It gives me pain to see by it that you have been hurt by ?? ??? ???? J Batty. I am very sorry for it, but I can say with truth that I had not the most distant ??? of giving affront to Mssrs Boulton and Watt and I trust you cannot think so ???? of me as to suppose ??? ???? of intending to offend you personally – When I wrote on Saturday I certainly was not in the best humour, John Batty had just shown me a letter he had received from his brother dated a week before mentioning his having been at the Bog mine & that Mr Gregory the Engineer then had said that if I had not right to the two lower lifts of Pumps, without ?????????? Receiving such a report not having been able to procure an answer from Gregory to any of my letters having been kept in a state of anxciety for five days from not being informed by Mssrs B & W the situation in which R Batty had found matters at the Bog & ???? that they should have advised me of this upon his return might have occasioned me to be off my guard, & to say some things improper, for which I beg your Pardon. If I can recollect my ??? & views at the time of writing that letter, I thought my self not well used, but rather neglected, not only in this transaction, but in not being favoured with a drawing of the House at the Bog Mine, which had been kindly offered me never cometh before, I thought you would have felt in some measure as I did, & would have condemned the delay in both cases – On Sunday last ?? the drawings of the House, after having wanted long for them, I was obliged to begin my house on the dimensions which Gregory had sent me, & which I now find do not exactly agree with the Plans your have sent me, as I chose ???? ????? on your drawings that on Gregory’s dimensions, I must make alterations in one of my walls which will be attended with another expense, I find besides that I have not gone deep enough with the foundations by four inches, but I hope this is not ??? material, as it can be rectified by raising it so much higher above the surface – I am not at all pleased with Gregory’s conduct, He knows as well as I do that they whole Pump ??? were included in my agreement for when I was upon terms for the Engine, I asked him expressly if he thought the whole three lifts would be gotten out, he said he had no ??? of it, that they first lift he thought could, not even that he would not engage for – but to satisfy you fully upon this matter I will give you an extract from the agreement Viz The Said Samuel Pepys Cockerell Doth Herby agree to sell unto the Said Alexr Donald the Steam Engine Pumps Capstain Ropes Sheers & other things belonging to the Engine as the ??? ??? standing upoin the Premises of the said Proprietors called the Bog Mine in the County of ??? at or for the Price or sum of Two Hundred Pounds to be paid in manner hereinafter mentioned” – If I understand the meaning of the forgoing, I certainly have a right not only to all the Pumps, but to every article belonging to the Engine, & it is expressly stipulated in our agreement, that she is to be taken down by ??? Gregorie, or any other Person employed by the Proprietors ?? ??? ???? & to be sent to Shrewsbury & there to remain in custody of said Gregory, till such time as the moneys is paid, the expense of taking down & conveying to Shrewsbury & all expenses there, I am to pay for, & Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

167


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168

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808


Constant Friend I sent by my Carpenter £30 to Gregory for this purpose – If the money is not paid for the Engine by the 28 July net, The present Proprietors are then at liberty to resell her to any person they please, without being obliged to repay me the money for taking her down, & conveying her there. There is another clause in the agreement stipulating that if I pay the £200 on or before Xmass, that in that case I am to have a weighing machine into the bargain, This machine I am told is a very good one, & cost the Proprietors 50£ or 50l? – My intention at present is to pay them this money immediately, & to write to Gregory to inform me when the materials are lodged at Shrewsbury, & to fix a day for the delivery of them, I will then get the favour of you to send some person to meet him, & to take an exact inventory of everything delivered, & if there are any parts of her not brought forward, I shall endeavour to make the present Proprietors pay me the expense of replacing them. I am sure you must have been much hurt by my letter, or you would not have done me so much injustice as for a moment to suppose that I would object to paying R Batty’s expenses – I certainly did not even hint at such a thing in my letter, I did not keep a copy of it, but to the best of my recollection I said “that if I am to pay R Batty’s expenses, I had a right to be informed upon his return as to what state he found things at the Bog mine” or words nearly to that effect. This was meant as an apology for my finding fault at Mssrs B & Watt’s silence, for if I had not had my account with paying not only his expenses but for his time, I had no right to find fault – I must insist upon being B & W’s debtor for this sum, or to be allowed to repay you – I am extremely concerned to hear that your health is so indifferent, and I sincerely pray for the ???? ??? of it for your own sake, for the sake of your Family & Friends, & for the benefit of Society – I will make a point of taking a ??? over to see you when the days get a little longer, & the roads better, In the mean time I beg you to present me respectfully to Mrs Watts, and that you will believe me to be with great sincerity, Dear Sir Your obliged & obt Sert ADonald

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend

To Boulton & Watt

Coventry, 17 December, 1797 Gentlemen It gives me great concern to hear from my Respected Friend Mr Watt that some umbrage had been taken at the contents of my letter to you by John Batty, I am very sorry for it & I beg you will believe that I certainly had not the most distant intention of giving you any offence â&#x20AC;&#x201C; yesterday I received a letter from Gregory at the Bog mine informing me that the Engine and everything included in my bargain will be at Shrewsbury by the 25th present â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I must send a some person to meet him there to take an inventory of the different articles, & to see that everything belonging to the Engine is delivered as I expect you will send some Person to see her put up when she arrives here. I hope it will be convenient for you to send the same person to measure her at Shrewsbury, after I am informed by Gregory what day he will be there, of which you shall have due notice. I am informed it was a Mr Taylor who erected her at the Bog mine. Perhaps he would be the most proper person to superintend the Erection of her here, but of this you are the best judges. As soon as I hear from Gregory to whom I write by this Post, I will inform you if he appoints a day for the delivery of the Engine at Shrewsbury. I remain Gentlemen, Your mos obt Sert ADonald

170

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808


To Boulton & Watt

Constant Friend

Nuneaton, 21 December, 1797 Gentlemen Since I did myself the pleasure of writing you a few days ago, I have a letter from Mr Gregory at the Bog mine, So far from insinuating that the two lower lifts of hoses did not belong to me, as Robt Batty imparted on his return from there that he has left the sheers & Capstain standing till he hears further from me as to my intentions of endeavouring to raise them, & assures me that he will do everything in his power to accomplish the business if I choose to make the attempt – He does not speak highly of Robert Batty’s conduct, & in excuse for not writing me, he informs me he had written you by R.B & that he ??? ???? have communicated to me the contents of his letter – I will give you his own word upon these points – “At the same time I wish you to send some person here to take upon him the whole affair, as you don’t consider me a competent judge – I hope he will be a soberer man that Rt Batty who was sent by Mssrs Boulton & Watt, the day Batty arrived at the Bog he was shamefully Drunk, and during the part of two days he stayed in the neighbourhood, never saw him sober – It ??? be expected that I was so very weak as to listen to ??? of that ??? who brought with him no letter from you, not any kind of directions in writing from his masters, on Batty’s return I wrote Mr Boulton and trusted the contents of my letters would have been communicated to you.” So much for Mr Batty’s good conduct on the business – Your Mr Watt has the candour to allow that he ought not to have gone without his Brother, most certainly I never intended he should, my letter only asked if you would allow him to attend his Brother John when he called upon him – Soon after that letter was written, I learned Roberts real character, upon which I gave up all thought of sending either him or his Brother, but wrote to Mr John Stand at Brackley Iron works in your neighbourhood, to go to the Bog & to endeavour to raise the lower Lifts of ???, I understand that he was perfectly acquainted with such operations, as my bad fortune would have it, R Batty called upon him on his way to the Bog, & told him his errand, upon which Mr Stand gave him his best advice, & mentioned t o him the Instruments he made use of for such purposes, He then goes on to state – “I write this as believing from the Tenor of thy letter, there must not have been informed that Boulton & Watt had send RB as ???? ??? they have ???? in it, would it not be better for them to finish if not already done, of which I expect both thyself & I must have information ?? ???, I would be loath to do anything that might cause offence to B & W tho I never have done business for them, They have had much experience with a large Fund of mechanical knowledge” – From the forgoing quotations you will see how extremely unfortunate it has turned out for me, that Batty was sent to the Bog – most certainly it never was my intention he should go by himself – I have written to ??? Stand yesterday begging he would do me the favour to go to the Bog & try to lift the ?? still remaining and as it may not be convenient for you to spare Mr Taylor to go to Shrewsbury to take an inventory of the different article delivered there by Gregory, I intend to get Mr Stand to do this also, Gregory writes to me that everything will be sent off from the Boy upoin Friday, except the sheers & the Capstain & Rope, I have ??? Mr Stand to ??? the Bog on Monday or Tuesday next, & after accomplishing or failing in lifting the ???, as he must return through Shrewsbury, It strikes me it will be as well to employ him for Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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Constant Friend receiving the Engine & materials from Gregory, as to give you the trouble of sending a person so far, & one perhaps that you cannot well spare – I am gentlemen, Your obliged humble st A Donald Thursday evening –Since writing the forgoing I am favoured with Mr Watt’s letter of the 18th and I am very thankful for his good advice, which shall be attended to, and it confirmed me in the ???? of not troubling you for a Person to receive the Engine from Gregory at Shrewsbury if I can possibly do without – I beg Mr Watt will be assured that I put much ?? account of his indispursition????

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Alexander Donald, 1745-1808


To Boulton & Watt

Constant Friend

Nuneaton, 23 March, 1798 Gentlemen

All the materials of my engine being now come to hand /excepting the Cylinder & large Boiler, the former I expect today) I beg you will be so good as send me a Proper Person for putting it together & the sooner he comes the more I shall be obliged to you – The House is now finished & I am anxious to get up the Engine that I may be enabled to go on with the sinking of the shaft, & the other necessary work under ground – And which I cannot go on with till the Engine is set to work – I was worry to heard yesterday from Mr ???? that my very respected friend Mr Watt had lately met with an accident which had hurt his leg – But I had the pleasure of hearing last night from the young ??????? ???? ???? ?????? ????? He will be so good as accept of my thanks for his Civility to Mr Dorsey. I remain very truely, Gentlemen Your mo: obt Sert ADonald

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

173


Constant Friend

To Boulton & Watt Coventry, 30 March, 1798 Gentlemen I did myself the pleasure of informing you a week ago that I had gotten all the materials of the Engine on the Ground except the Cylinder & then Top of the large Boiler. The former came the day following & the other will be ready long before it is wanted â&#x20AC;&#x201C; In short I am at a complete stand for want of a proper person to put the works together, You will therefore oblige me much by sending one immediately â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I must also by the favour of you to send some person to inquire whether there is any risk of the Boiler not getting through the Locks between this & your place, I apprehend there is none, or she would not have been brought from Herefrd To your place, where it now is, & I suppose at the Public Wharf whenever the other lift of ??? are ready (which I expect is by this time) I shall send one of my boats for them, & I intend that she shall at sometime bring up the boiler. I am gentlemen Your mo: obt Sert ADonald

174

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808


To Boulton & Watt

Constant Friend

Nuneaton, 22 April, 1798 Gentlemen

I was sorry to find by your last letter that the Box with the ??? had been so long of reaching you, I pray you to return it & the Cement as soon as you can directed to Mr James Grimes Coventry, John Price tells me that he is ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I employed a young man who said he had ben sent here by you & that he had ???? for you, I did not give much Credit to this as he did not bring any letter with him, I Judged however that there could not be any harm in employing him, and as he has behaved himself very well I shall continue him till the Engine is Erected, his name is Thomas ??? I hope we are getting on pretty well. The Sheer Legs are up, & the Cylinder in the House, but not in its place and not can be till the Cement comes to hand, I have gotten two hundred weight of ???? dust from ???????? Iron Works but Price says he will not use any of it, as your instructions to him were to use the cement â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Some part of the machinery wants repairs and the whole requires to be taken to pieces & cleaned, Besides the Engineers I have three Carpenters & five Blacksmiths constantly employed, If Price thinks that more are necessary for expediding??? The business I shall ??? them. I am Gentlemen, Your mo: obt Sert ADonald

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

175


Constant Friend

To Boulton & Watt

London Nuneaton, 6 November, 1798 Gentlemen Your favour of the 23rd ultimo I received in London – They letter you was pleased to address to me the 16th August last came duely to hand, but ???? giving that it was intended to had me your account, I did not conceive it was of any consequence whether I answered it, As I never had any ???? that you would have called for payment of it so soon – Having always been used to twelve months Credit, I expected the same from you – But should this be longer that you generally give, I hope it will not be inconvenient for you to extend it at least as five months longer – Your Mr Watt knows that I have not much money in the Stocks, the Erection of my Steam Engine has drained me exceedingly, & I have not yet begun to raise the coal from my new Depth, which is a remarkable ???? In the course of next week I expect to have two pits at work – which in the course of this winter will bring me a great deal of money – I pray you to accept of my best respects, & to believe that I am, Gentlemen Your mo: Obt Sert ADonald

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Alexander Donald, 1745-1808


To James Watt

Constant Friend

Coventry, 23 November, 1798 Dear Sir I have Mssrs Boulton & Watts favour of the 6th Current. I did not expect that I would have been so soon called upon for payment of my account to them. The credit I have always been accustomed to in my commercial pursuits was 12 months – Believe me I expected the same from you – But I find that I am wrong – The sum is not large, but I am very much drained by my great outlay last summer – An indulgence of a few months longer would therefore be very convenient for me, & I hope it will not be inconvenient for you to grant it, I have no objection to allowing Interest from this time, or any other, till paid, I mention this to you individually, I would rather have discharged the Debt than taken the liberty of asking Mssrs B & W a second time to postpone the Payment longer. I persuade myself you will rejoice with me when I inform you that my operations has been crowned??? with the most complete success, I have gotten down to the Depth which I wanted, & it proves of most excellent quality, I have raised the price of it a £ per Ton, & not withstanding of that I am not able to satisfy the demand, & I persuade myself that I shall be able to do a great deal of business, & that it will yield me a very handsome income – my Engine answers vastly well, she hasn’t had occasion to work more than two hours in the 24 – I hope you enjoy a tolerable share of health yourself, & that Mrs Watt is in good health – to whom I beg to be remembered. I am Dear Sir Your mo; obt Sert A Donald

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808

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1773

1787

Profile for James

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808  

Life and letters of Alexander Donald

Alexander Donald, 1745-1808  

Life and letters of Alexander Donald

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