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Entebbd, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, 


In the Clerk's OfEice of the District Court of the United States, for the 
Southern District of New York. 


48 ft 60 Greene Street, 
New York. 




















This volume has been prepared firom entirely new ma- 
terials, derived from sources hitherto unexplored. It was 
the author's rare good fortune, some months since, to 
make the acquaintance of Capt. Edmund Bacon, a now 
aged and wealthy citizen of Kentucky, who was for 
twenty years the chief overseer and business manager of 
Mr. Jefferson's estate at Monticello. He obtained firom 
him a large mass of letters and other documents in Mr. 
Jefferson's own handwriting, giving directions as to his 
farm, grounds, garden, stock of different kinds, and all 
the various matters connected with his farm at Monti- 
ceUo. He also spent several weeks in writing out, in 
detail, Capt. Bacon's reminiscences of his venerated 
employer. This work has been prepared exclusively 
from the materials thus acquired. It is not therefore a 
rearrangement of historical facts in regard to Mr Jeffer- 
son, that were already known and accessible to the pub- 
lic, but a presentation of those that are entirely new. 

It does not come within the scope or design of this 
work, to attempt any sketch of Mr. Jefferson's public life, 
or any discussion of his political or religious opinions. Its 
simple purpose is, so to describe his home, his personal ap- 








<^rom inihilTi ntw Paintats. 








12 005TE5T9L 

Oeen with Ifnia Jcffienon— Tlidr Sti^ in LandoB with MrsL 
Adams— MrsL Adam^ Letlen— Unak» John TT#«Mf^ Joe 
Foaset— A Fo^tire ShiTe— Senranis Freed hj Mr. Jeffienoo 
— HisYiewBQf Shrrerj, 103 



Capt BaooD^a Yinta to Mr. Jefferson in Washington— Aj^iear- 
snce of the Citj— The Prendent's Hoose—Its Domestic Ar- 
rangements— SenranU from MoDticeIk>— Steward— Cook- 
Carriage Drirer — ^Viritors — Dinners — Market — Expoise— 
Horkig Borne Mr. Jeflferson's Goods and Servants— Snow- 
Btorm— Ci^. Bacon lOstaken for the Preadent— Mr. Jeffer- 
»(»^» Keeeiytion on the Way— Anxiety to See " Old Tom"— 
His Reception at Home — His lihrary — Sale to Congress — 
R^mortid to Washington— Sixteen Wagon Loads— His Lonnge 
—WriOng-Tsble—Bible-Eeadmg— Chancellor Wythe's li- 
hrary, 112 



His Visitors— Mr. Madison— His Appearance and Character— Mr, 
Monroe— His Ability— Letters— A Bad Manager— What Made 
him President— The Three Ex-Presidents Together— Other 
Visitors Came in Gangs— Their Horses, and what they 
Consumed— Mrs. Eandolph's Trouble to Entertain Them— 
Mr. Jefferson's Eeason for Going to Poplar Forest— Reasons 
of his Failure— Gov. Wilson C. Nicholas— Thomas J. Ran- 
dolph — ^Reasons for Leaving Mr. Jefferson— The Parting- 
Subsequent Correspondence — Capt. Bacon's Opinion of Mr. 
Jefferson — Conclusion, 121 

Afpxkdix, 183 





"Thomas Jefferson still sukvives!" were the 
dying words of the elder Adams. At that mo- 
ment the devoted family and friends, at Monticello 
and at Quincy, were moving with the same noise- 
less tread, and watching with the same breathless 
interest, the closing scenes in the lives of those 
illustrious men. Adams and Jefferson breathed 
their last, July 4th, 1826 ; and the waves of grief 


fipom Quincy and Monticello soon intermingled and 
overspread tlie land. The nation was in tears. 
Adams and Jefferson were no more. The one by 
his tongue, the other by his pen, had done more 
than any others, by these means, to secure the lib- 
erty, and independence of their country. That 
country had lavished upon each her highest hon- 
ors; and, as if in approval of their life-work, 
Heaven had kindly ordained that both should die 
upon the anniversary of that day that they had 
done so much to make immortal 

These pages are devoted especially to the mem- 
ory of Jefferson. The dying utterance of the sage 
of Quincy was not less the statement of a fact, 
than a prophecy. Thomas Jefferson still survives. 
Thomas Jefferson will survive so long as our coun- 
try or its history endures. That he was the au- 
thor of the Declaration of Independence ; that he 
filled the highest posts of public trust at home and 
abroad; that his name and influence are inter- 
woven with the early history of his State and 
country; that hc?%ras the founder of the Univer- 
sity of Virginia; — ^these facts, and such as these, 
are well known to all. In all these relations, 
Thomas Jefferson stiU survives in history and in 
the universal knowledge of his countrymen. 

But it wiU doubtless be new to most of my 
readers, that Thomas Jefferson stiU survives in all 


the mintitest details of his every-day home life at 
Montioello ; as a &rmer, maTiTifacturer, and master ; 
as a lover of fine horses, l^ogs^ and sheep ; as the 
enthusiastic cultivator of fruits and flowers; as 
the kind neighbor, the liberal benefactor of the 
poor, the participator in the childish sports of his 
grandchildren, the hospitable entertainer of swarms 
of visitors that well-nigh ate up all his substance, 
and consumed his life ; — ^in all these, and numerous 
other relations, Thomas Jeflferson still survives in 
the iron memory, and in the most devoted and ten- 
der affection and veneration of a now aged man, 
who was for twenty years the chief overseer and 
business manager of his estate at Monticello. Such 
is the fact 

On a visit, some months since, with one of my 
associates^ to a neighborhood in Trigg County, Ky., 
about twenty miles from my own home, our host, 
Capt C. W. Boach, remarked: "I have a near 
neighbor, Capt Edmund Bacon, who lived with 
Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, as overseer, for 
twenty years." 

"We should be most happy to go and see him," 
was our response ; and very soon we were on our 
way. Most naturally, as we rode on, our conversa- 
tion turned on the distinguished men that Virginia 
had given to the country and the world. Though 
I doubt not my readers are as impatient for the 


introduction that was before us as we were, I am 
sure they will pardon me for detaining them with 
some of the details of that conversation, 

Capt. Boach was a native of Charlotte County, 
Va., the home of John BandolpL He had been 
familiar with his appearance &om childhood, had 
frequently heard him speak, had often seen him 
driving about the country with four magnificent 
blooded horses to his carriage, and his servants 
following him with perhaps a dozen more equally 
"high-bred" and fiery. He gave us a number of 
anecdotes illustrating his eccentricities. One of 
these was so very characteristic of the man, that I 
must repeat it. 

A Baptist clergyman, the Bev. Abner W. Clop- 
ton, took charge of some Baptist churches in Char- 
lotte County, and attracted unusual attention as 
a preacher. He had been a Professor in the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, and the 
fame of his learning and eloquence drew large 
crowds to hear him. Mr. Bandolph, whose solici- 
tude for his servants is well known, employed 
Mr. Clopton to preach to them, and generally at- 
tended these services. On one occasion, having 
been particularly moved by the sermon, he arose 
at its dose and commenced an address to his sable 
audience. As he proceeded, his feelings became 
deeply enlisted, and in the most appropriate, beau- 


tiful, and eloquent manner, lie urged upon them 
tlie importance of the great moral trutlis that the 
preacher had presented to them. Mi\ Clopton told 
Capt. Roach, a few days after, that no clergyman 
could have spoken more appropriately or beauti- 
fully. In conclusion, he expressed his great gratifi- 
cation at seeing them there, said he was very glad 
to provide preaching for them, was willing and 
anxious to afford them all the religious privileges 
they could desire, except night meetings. He could 
not and would not tolerate them. He grew indig- 
nant and bitter as he went on to speak of their evil 
effects, and said there was nothing that he hated 
worse, unless it was a mean, thieving overseer, to 
whom, in his indignation, he applied another and 
much stronger epithet, not at all in keeping with 
the moral lecture he had just given. As quick as 
thought he set about ^.extricating himself from the 
awkward condition into which he had been led 
by his passions, and very deliberately went on to 
say, " Now if there were any common, vulgar peo- 
ple here, they would perhaps go away and say 
that I had used profane language ; but my clerical 
friend here, who is a fine classical scholar, knows 
that ^damned' means condemned; and therefore 
I simply mean to say, an overseer that everybody 

As we approached our destination, I remarked 


to Capt. Eoach, that as it was so late in the after- 
noon, we should have but a short time to stay, and 
I Wiis anxious to spend as little time as possible in 
general conversation, so that we might hear as 
much as possible of Mr. Jefterson fi*om one who 
had been with him so many years, and must have 
known him so well. 

" Give yourself no uneasiness about that," said 
he. " Capt. Bacon is enthusiastic and entirely at 
home on two subjects, and he never tires of talk- 
ing about either. One is Thomas Jefferson, and 
the other is fine horses ; and he easily passes from 
one to the otlier. We shall not be in the house 
many minutes before you will be certain to hear 
something of Mr. Jefferson." 

We entered the house, and were introduced to 
Capt. Bacon as connected with the College at 
Pidnceton. The form of our introduction was most 
fortunate. It was pivotal. To Capt. Bacon's mind 
the mention of a College most naturally suggest- 
ed the University of Virginia, and Mr. Jefferson's 
labors and solicitude in its behalf. He began at 
oQce to give the early history of the institution, 
and we soon found not only that he could talk 
Mr. Jefferson, but that he was an uncom- 
:iBKWsting talker, as the reader shall have 
•» see for my pencil was soon in requi- 


" You know," said he, " that Mr. Jeflferson was 
the founder of the University of Virginia. Let 
me see if I can remember all the Commissioners. 
There were Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Madison, Mr. Mon- 
roe, Chapman Johnson, John H. Cocke, and some 
others. They are all that I now remember. The 
act of the Legislature, if I mistake not, made it 
their duty to establish the University within a 
mile of the Court House at Charlottesville. They 
advertised for proposals for a site. Three men 
offered sites, — ^Nicholas Lewis, John H. Craven, 
and John M. Perry. The Commissioners had a 
meeting at Monticello, and then went and looked 
at all these sites. After they had made this ex- 
amination, Mr. Jefferson sent me to each of them, 
to request them to send by me their price, which 
was to be sealed up." 

"Do you remember the different prices?" 
said L 

"I think I do. Lewis and Craven each asked 
$17 per acre, and Perry $12. That was a mighty 
big price in those days. I went to Craven and 
Lewis first. When I went to Perry, he inquired 
of me if I knew what price the others had asked. 
I told him I did, but I did not think it would be 
right for me to tell him. They had both talked 
the matter over with me, and told me what they 
were a-going to ask. But I told Perry that if he 


asked about $10 or $12 per acre, I thought he 
would be mighty apt to succeed. They took 
Perry's forty acres, at $12 per acre. It was a 
poor old turned-out field, though it was finely situ- 
ated. Ml'. Jefferson wrote the deed himself, and I 
carried it to Mr. Perry, and he signed it. After- 
wards Mr. Jefferson bought a large tract near it 
from a man named Avery. It had a great deal of 
fine timber and rock on it, which was used in 
building the University. 

"My next instruction was to get ten able- 
bodied hands to commence the work. I soon got 
them, and Mr. Jefferson started from MonticeUo to 
lay off the foundation, and see the work com- 
menced. An Irishman named Dinsmore, and I, 
went along with him. As we passed through 
Charlottesville, I went to old Davy Isaacs' store, 
and got a ball of twine, and Dinsmore found some 
shingles and made some pegs, and we all went on 
to the old field together. Mr. Jefferson looked 
over the ground some time, and then stuck down a 
peg. He stuck the very first peg in that building, 
and then directed me where to carry the line, and 
I stuck the second. He carried one end of the 
line, and I the other, in laying off the foundation 
of the University. He had a little rule in his 
pocket that he always carried with him, and with 
this he measured off the ground, and laid off the 


entire foundation, and then set tlie men at work 
I have that rule now, and here it is," said Capt. 
Bacon, taking it from a drawer in his secretary 
that he unlocked, to show it to us. It was a small 
twelve-inch rule, so made as to be but three inches 
long when folded up. " Mr. Jeflferson and I were 
once going along the bank of the canal," said he, 
" and in crawling through some bushes and vines, 
it fell out of his pocket and slid down the bank 
into the river. Some time after that, when the 
water had fallen, I went and found it, and carried 
it to Mr. Jefferson. He told me I had had a great 
deal of trouble to get it, and as he had provided 
himself with another, I could keep it. I intend to 
keep it as long as I live ; and when I die, that rule 
can be found locked up in that drawer. 

"After the foundation was nearly completed, 
they had a great time laying the comer-stone. 
The old field was covered with carriages and peo- 
ple. There was an immense crowd there. Mr. 
Monroe laid the comer-stone. .He was President 
at that time. He held the instruments, and pro- 
nounced it square. He only made a few remarks, 
and Chapman Johnson and several others made 
speeches. Mr. Jefferson — ^poor old man! — ^I can 
see his white head just as he stood there and 
looked on. 

" After this he rode there from Monticello every 


day while the University was bniidingy unless the 
weather was verj' stormy. I don t think he ever 
missed a day unless the weather was very bad. 
Company never made any difference. When he 
could not go on account of the weather, he would 
send me, if there was any thing that he wanted to 
know. He looked after all the materials, and 
would not allow any poor materials to go into the 
building if he could help it. He took as much 
pains in seeing that every thing was done right, as 
if it had been his own house.^ 

After answering a great many questions in re- 
gard to Mr. Jefferson, Capt. Bacon said he had a 
great many of his letters, and proposed to show us 
a specimen of his handwriting. He unlocked a 
drawer, and brought us a paper, which most natu- 
rally he prizes very highly, of which the following 
is a copy : 

"Wabm Springs, Aug. 18, 1818. 

"The bearer, Mr. Edmund Bacon, has lived 
with me twelve years as manager of my farm at 
Monticello. He goes to the Missouri to look out 
for lands to which he means to remove. He is an 
honest, correct man in his conduct, and worthy of 
confidence in his engagements. Any information 
or instruction which any person msiy give him, 
will be worthily bestowed ; and if he should apply 
particularly to Gov. Clarke on his way, the Gov- 



emor will especially oblige me by imparting to 
him his information and advice. 

"Thomas Jefferson." 

"Mr. Bacon has continued to possess the es- 
teem, confidence, and good-will of his neighbors, 
and of the family in which he has lived, without 
any interruption to this day. 

"Th. M. Eakdolph." 

''September 14, 1820." ' 

I will here add, that Capt. Bacon has now re- 
sided in Kentucky about forty years, and his neigh- 
bors, who have known him during all that time, 
would vouch as strongly for his character as Mr. 
Jefferson and his son-in-law, Gov. Randolph, have 
done. He is a man of wealth and character. 

Our time was exhausted, and expressing our 
great gratification at our visit, we arose to leave ; 
but Capt. Bacon insisted that we should go to his 
stable and see his horses. He had two of them 
brought out and exhibited for our gratification. 
They were magnificent specimens of that noble 
animal. Their pedigrees for an indefinite period 
backward were at his tongue's end, and he showed 
a knowledge of blooded horses that I think would 
have astonished any old Virginia connoisseur in 
that line. He was certainly thoroughly Jefferso- 
nian in his love for fine horses. He had taken the 


leading stock journals of the country for more tlian 
fifty years, and seemed to know all about all the 
most noted horses there had been in the country in 
all that time. Like Mr. Jefferson, he has never 
patronized nor in any way encouraged horse-racing. 
He says, that though John Kandolph had some- 
times a hundred* blooded horses, — the finest stable 
of horses in Virginia, — he never trained them for 
the turf — never allowed them to race. 

On leaving, I told Capt. Bacon, that if my life 
was spared, that would not be my last visit to 
him. I felt that I had found a rich historical 
placer^ that I was determined to thoroughly work, 
as soon as I could find time to do so. 

♦ « Charlotte Couxtt, Va., May 19, 1828. 
^ :»:»«« 4c i( jjr^ Randolph is the Magnus Apollo of tliis 
county. Every one knows and fears him. His power of sarcasm 
and invective is such, that no one pretends to contradict him. He 
has throo several plantations in this county, all of them extensive. 
nU horses (I mean those which are never used) are worth, I suppose, 
about $8,000." 

" Charlotte, April 10, 1827. 

♦ ««♦»* "This part of Virginia has long heen cele- 
Wtled fi* its breed of horses. There is a scrupulous attention paid 
la U# pwservation of the immaculate English blood. Among the 
BM)«^ <tt ihU day were snorting and rearing fourteen or fifteen stal- 
^ C^ ifldoh were indeed fine specimens of that noble crea- 
iho rest, Mr. Randolph's celebrated English horse 
, |» nine years old, and has never been ' backed.' " — 
^ j^^ ^l^0Hgi» Letters of James W. Alexander, D,D. NeiD 
/S*fcAf««r. 1860, Pp. 95, 101. 


I liave recently been able to accomplish that 
determination. I have spent several weeks with 
my host, to whom I was indebted for this intro- 
duction, and day after day I have gone to Capt. 
Bacon's, and listened to his reminiscences of his 
venerated employer. He was never weary of talk- 
ing on this theme, nor I of listening. At his fire- 
side, around his hospitable table, strolling among 
his blooded stock, and riding over his immense 
plantation, he poured forth from the inexhaustible 
storehouse of his wonderful memory the accumu- 
lations of a score of the best years of his life, that 
were spent at Monticello. It will be my object in 
the pages that follow, to give the results of these 
conversations. I shall not trouble the reader with 
the thousand questions I have asked, but will give 
the answers in narrative form, as nearly as possible 
in Capt. Bacon's own language. He has frequently 
remarked to me, that when he was a boy, there 
were no such opportunities for education as now ; 
that he had only an "old-field-school, picked-up 
education ; " but the reader will see that he has 
"picked up" a very terse, vigorous use of lan- 
guage. This is no doubt largely due to the un- 
conscious influence of Mr. Jefferson, for whom his 
admiration is most profound, and was acquired in - 
his twenty years' correspondence and conversations 
with him in regard to his business affairs. 




In my visits to Capt. Bacon, I took notes of all 
that he said of Mr. Jefferson. Sometimes he would 
talk at length upon one subject, and at others 
his conversation was perfectly discursive. But 
wherever he went I followed him with my " notes," 
asking him questions and drawing him out when- 
ever his mind* seemed most excited by his own 
reminiscences upon particular themes. In this 
manner we talked, and I wrote day after day, until 
I had gained from him all the information I could 
possibly acquire in regard to Mr. Jefferson. Hav- 
ing in this manner filled a blank book with " notes," 
and having carefully looked over Capt. Bacon's 
papers, and selected, by his permission, all those in 
the handwriting of Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Monroe, Mr. 
Randolph, and some others, I returned home with 
my historical treasures. 

In writing this volume, I have done very little 
" editing," except that the results of these conversa- 
tions are arranged, as far as possible, under the sub- 
jects to which they appropriately belong. The 
reader will bear in mind, that these reminiscences 
go back over a period of from forty to sixty years ; 
yet in no instance has Capt. Bacon referred to a 
manuscript or written memorandum in regard to 
any of the facts communicated. They are literally 
"reminiscences." It is therefore well-nigh impos- 
sible that there should be no inaccuracies in any 




of the statements. Should any reader make such 
a discovery, I am sure that in the circumstances he 
will need no exhortation from me, in behalf of my 
aged friend, to 

" Be to his faults a little blind; 
Be to his virtues very kind." 

Before proceeding with these renainiscences of 
Mr. Jefferson, it will be proper for me more fuUy 
to introduce Capt. Bacon to my readers. This I 
shall do in the next chapter. 


CAPT. bacon's autobiography. 




" I AM now seventy-six years old. I was bom 
Maxell 28, 1785, within two or three miles of Mon- 
ticello, so that I recollect Mr. Jefferson as far back 
as I can remember anybody. My father and he 
were raised together, and went to school together. 
My oldest brother, William Bacon, had charge of 
his estate during the four years he was Minister to 
France. After he was elected President, he told 
my father he wanted an overseer, and he wished to 
employ my brother William again. But he was 
then quite an old man, and very well off, and did 
not wish to go. He then inquired of my father if 


lie could not spare me. He replied that lie thought 
I was too young, I was his youngest son, and not 
of age yet. Mr. Jeflferson requested him to send 
me to see him about it. My father was a com- 
fortable farmer; had ten or twelve hands. He 
was very industrious, and taught all his children to 
work. Mr. Jefferson knew this. That was why 
he wanted one of my father's sons. He was the 
most industrious man I ever knew. When my 
father told me Mr. Jefferson wanted to employ me, 
I was keen to go ; and I determined that if he em- 
ployed me, I would please him, if there was any 
such thing. "When I went to see him, he told me 
what he wanted me to do, gave me good advice, 
and said he would try me, and see how I would 
get along. I went to live with him the 2'7th of 
the December before he was inaugurated as Presi- 
dent ; and if I had remained with him from the 
8th of October to the 27th of December, the year 
that I left him, I should have been with him pre- 
cisely twenty years. 

" Some time before I left him, I determined to 
go West and buy land upon which to settle, and 
Mr. Jefferson recommended me to go to the Mis- 
souri. It was a territory then, and there was a 
great deal of talk about it. At the time that we 
had arranged that I should go and look at the 
country, Mr. Jefferson was at the Warm Springs. 


In going to Lis Bedford farm, lie had somehow 
caught the itch, and it troubled him a great deal, 
and he went to the Springs to see if he could not 
get rid of it. But he wrote me not to let his ab- 
sence interrupt my plans, and said that in going, I 
would pass directly through the yard where he 
was staying, and he would see me there. That is 
why that letter of his, that I showed you, is dated 
at the Warm Springs. 

"There were six of us started together on 
horseback from Charlottesville for the Missouri, — 
John D. Coles, Absalom Johnson, James Gamett, 

William Bacon, and Jones — ^I forget his given 

name ; he was as good company as ever lived. We 
went by the Warm Springs, Hot Springs, Guyan- 
dotte, and crossed the Big Sandy at its mouth ; 
and then went on by Flemingsburg, Mt. Sterling, 
Lexington, and Shelbyville, to Louisville. It was 
a little settlement then, and the people were very 
anxious we should settle there. When we crossed 
the Ohio into Indiana, there was no road at all. 
We took a pilot, and went to Vincennes. We had 
no road, only a bridle path. From there we went 
to Edwardswille, 111., where Edward Coles, after- 
wards Governor of the State, then lived. I had 
known him well in Albemarle County; we were 
raised together. He was veiy anxious for us to 
buy land there. He had bought a great deal. He 


had taken about twenty negroes witli him from 
Vii'ginia, who worked for him for a time, and made 
improvements on his land. He finally sold his land 
for a gi*eat profit, freed his negroes, and went back 
to Virginia. From here we went on to St. Louis. 

" There were no bridges on our route, and only 
the large rivers, like the Ohio and Mississippi, 
had ferry-boats. We had to swim all the smaller 
streams. Some of the more difficult streams had 
dug-out canoes, in which we rowed over, and swam 
our horses behind and beside us. My mare was 
one of the best animals ever backed. She was a 
granddaughter of imported Diomede. She would 
swim almost like a fish. She would seldom wet 
me above the knees. Gamett's horse was a poor 
swimmer — swam very deep. He called him Henry. 
When we crossed a river, you could only see his 
head out of the water, and Garnett would be wet 
almost to the armpits. On our way we saw a 
great deal of game, — ^gangs of deer, fowls, and 
wolves. At one house where we stayed all night, 
the wolves came about the house and howled so 
terribly, that the dogs were afi-aid of them — ^^vould 
not go out and attack them. They took several 
pigs out of the pen, and we had to go out and 
throw brands of fire at them to drive them away. 
We saw no bears except some tame ones that had 
been caught by the people when they were young. 



'' When we got to St. Louis, I called on Gov. 
Clarke, and showed him the letter from Mr. JeflFer- 
son, and I never was more kindly treated. There 
was a small tavern near the ferry, but he insisted 
that I should stay ^vith him. He knew a great 
deal about the Western countr}\ He and Merri- 
wether Lewis had explored the Missouri River. 
St. Louis was a dingy little settlement, not much 
larger than a good negro quarter. There was only 
one narrow street three or four himdred yards 
long. The houses were mostly old-looking, built 
of rock in the roughest manner possible. A few 
of them were plastered houses. They were all one 
story. Gov. Clarke lived in a one-story plastered 
house with two rooms. The fences around theii* 
truck patches (gardens) were a kind of wicker- 
work made of posts stuck into the ground, and 
brush wattled into them. For miles around it was 
a prairie countrj^ Back from the river some two 
or three miles, there was a large spring, and near it 
a windmill that did most of the grinding for the 
settlement. I went out there several times. When 
the wind blewTiard, it ground very fast. Most of 
the people were French. Even the negroes spoke 
French. Gov. Clarke was very anxious that I 
should buy there. He advised me to look no far- 
ther. He said that with so many large rivers com- 
ing in near there^ and such a rich, fertile country, 


it must some day be a large place. He told me 
there was a Frenchman named Chouteau who had 
a great deal of land there, and was very anxious 
to sell a thousand acres. He said the Frenchman 
needed every thing but land. I went to see him, 
and Clarke sent his clerk along with me to inter- 
pret. He was almost as black as a negro, lived in 
a low, squatty brick house, almost without furni- 
ture. It had benches in place of chairs. He was 
very anxious to sell, and only asked me three dol- 
lars an acre for a thousand acres. I concluded to 
look further over the Territory. We got a pilot, 
and travelled several hundred miles over the coun- 
try north and south of the Missouri River, and 
returned to St. Louis. Chouteau sent to me sev- 
eral times to urge me to buy of him, and Clarke 
persuaded me to it very strongly. If I had only 
taken his advice ! I had $3,000 in a belt around 
me ; but by this time I had concluded I would not 
take off my belt and pay out my money for all the 
land in the Territory. You could raise abundance 
of every thing, but could get nothing for it. There 
was no such thing as a steamboat on any Western 
river. Such a thing wasn't thought of then. Keel 
and flat-boats were the only kind of navigation. 
The people told me how they did. When they 
had a surplus of bacon, flour, and venison, they 
would load up a flat-boat and take it to New Or- 


leans. It took four or five months to make the 
trip, and they got very little for their load. It was 
a solemn sight to see a boat start ofL The people 
would assemble on the bank of the river, and 
bid their friends fiirewelL It was very uncertain 
whether they would ever see them again, for they 
were going into a dead, sickly place, and they 
had to walk aU the way back through an Indian 

"I returned to Virginia without making any 
pmtjhase, remained a few years longer with Mr. 
Jefferson, and then removed my family to Ken- 
tucky, and rented a farm until I could look over 
the country and satisfy mysel£ I went to St. 
Louis and looked over the State again, but could 
not make up my mind to settle there. Chouteau 
was still anxious to sell, and Clarke anxious that I 
should buy ; but I concluded that Kentucky was 
far enough West, and that I would go back and 
buy there." 

Could Capt. Bacon have looked into the future, 
he would have purchased the thousand acres which 
are now covered by the city of St. Louis. It is 
now very easy to see how he missed an immense 
fortune. " If our foresight was as good as our 
hindsight, it would be an easy matter to get rich." 
But Capt. Bacon is not particularly to be pitied 
in this regard. He purchased, at two dollars per 


acre, a thousand acres of mucli better farming land, 
where he now resides, to which he has since made 
additions, until he now has about four thousand 
acres. This, with a large amount of most valuable 
stock, and (as his neighbors tell me) a good many- 
thousand dollars at interest, make a fortune so 
ample as to leave very little room for reasonable 
regret in regard to his decision at St. Louis. 

Moreover, there were potent reasons for that 
decision. Gov. Clarke, in his prophetic portraiture 
of the brilliant future that was before St. Louis, 
and in all his other earnest and eloquent persua- 
sives, was opposed by pleadings that he wot not 
of. He was engaged in an unequal contest. 

Capt. Bacon was a widower. His wife had 
died in Kentucky. Kentucky, so famed as "the 
dark and bloody ground,'' is not less famed for the 
unerring execution of other than Indian archers. 
Many a passing traveller has received their darts, — 
has been taken captive. Capt. Bacon had seen a 
Kentucky widow. He shall tell the rest. 

We were sitting around his large old-fashioned 
fireplace, as was our wont. Mrs. Bacon, who at 
seventy-six is hale and hearty, and as active as 
most ladies at thirty or forty, was sitting in one 
" comer " by her window, busy with her knitting, 
and absorbed with the conversation. Capt. Bacon 
was near her, his face all aglow with his own 


reminiscences of long-gone years^ and the writer 
was in the other comer, with pencil and note-book 
in hand With a smile that indicated the most 
perfect satisfaction with the whole result, Capt. 
Bacon gave the following "explanation" of his 
failure to make the St Louis purchase : 

" The fact is, sir," said he, " I believe I should 
have bought in St. Louis, if it had not been for the 
old lady here. I had seen her. The last night I 
was in St. Louis, I determined I would go back 
and marry her, if possible, and settle here. We 
have now lived together nearly forty years, and 
I believe neither of us is tired of the union, or 
anxious to secede." 




Capt. Bacojst says: — "Monticello is quite a higli 
mountain, in the shape of a sugar-loaf. A winding 
road led up to tlie mansion. On the very top of 
the mountain the forest trees were cut down, and 
ten acres were cleared and levelled off. This was 
done before I went to live with Mr. Jefferson. 
The house in the picture that you showed me, 
(Frontispiece,) is upon the highest point. That 
picture is perfectly natural. I knew every room 
in that house. Under the house and the terraces 
that surroimded it, were his cisterns, ice-house, cel- 
lar, kitchen, and rooms for all sorts of purposes. 
His servants' rooms were on one side. They were 
very comfortable, warm in the winter and cool in 
the summer. Then there were rooms for vegetables, 


fruit, cider, wood, and every other purpose. There 
were no negro and other out-houses around the 
mansion, as you generally see on plantations. The 
grounds around the house were most beautifully 
ornamented with flowers and shrubbery. There 
were walks, and borders, and flowers, that I have 
never seen or heard of anywhere else. Some of 
them were in bloom from early in the spring until 
late in the winter. A good many of them were 
foreign. Back of the house was a beautiful lawn 
of two or three acres, where his grandchildren used 
to play a great deal. His garden was on the side 
of the mountain. I had it built mostly while he 
was President. It took a great deal of labor. We 
had to blow out the rock for the walls for the dif- 
ferent terraces, and then, make the soil. I have 
some of the instructions that Mr. Jefferson sent 
me from Washington now. It was a fine garden. 
There were vegetables of all kindsj grapes, figs, and 
the greatest variety of fruit. I have never seen 
such a place for fruit. It was so high that it never 
failed. Mr. Jefferson sent home a great many kinds 
of trees and shrubbery from Washington. I used 
to send a servant there with a great many fine things 
from Monticello for his table, and he would send 
back the cart loaded with shrubbery from a nur- 
sery near Georgetown, that belonged to a man 
named Maine, and he would always send me direc- 


tions what to do with it. He always knew all 
about every thing in every part of his grounds and 
garden. He knew the name of every tree, and just 
where one was dead or missing. Here is a letter 
that he sent me from Washington : 

"* Washington, Nov. 24, 1807. 

" ^ Sir, — Davy has been detained till now, the 
earth having been so frozen that the plants could 
not be dug up. On the next leaf are instructions 
what to do with them, in addition to which I in- 
close Mr. Maine's instructions as to the thorns. He 
brings a couple of Guinea pigs, which I wish you 
to take great care of, as I propose to get this kind 
into the place of those we have now, as I greatly 
prefer theu' size and form. I think you had better 
keep them in some inclosure near your house tUl 
spring. I hope . my sheep are driven up every 
night, and carefully attended to. The finishing 
every thing about the mill, is what I wish always 
to have a preference to every kind of work. Next 
to that, my heart is most set on finishing the gar- 
den. I have promised Mr. Craven that nothing 
shall run next year in the meadow inclosure, where 
his clearing will be. This is necessary for our- 
selves, that we may mow the clover and feed it 
green. I have hired the same negroes for another 
year, and am promised them as long as I want 



them. Stewart mnst be immediately dismissed. 
If lie will do those jobs I mentioned before he 
goes, he may stay to do them, and have provisions 
while about them. Joe may work in the way you 
proposed, so that the whole concern may be to- 
gether. I place here the statement of debts and 
remittances : 


£8 1*. 6i. = 

Jacob Cooper, 
John Peyton, 
Dr. Jamieson, 
James Carr, corn, 
Thomas Barras, 18 hogs, 
Hichard Anderson, floor, 
John Rogers, beef and com, 
James Butler, flour, . 

Do. beeves, . 

Robt. Burras, 20 barreb com, 
Robt. Terril, 100 do. 

Do. 10,000 lbs. fodder, 
Your own balance, 

21 12 
7 10 

$26 92 
72 04 
35 00 
85 00 
20 75 
13 00 

117 00 
10 00 
85 00 
35 00 

175 00 
50 00 

133 33 

$808 04 


Oct. 12. 


. $101 00 

Nov. 9. 


110 00 

Dec. 6. 

By Mr. Craven, . 

. 200 00 

To the order of Kelly, 

33 33 


I shall remit 

. 260 00 



103 71 

$808 04 

" * By these remittances and payments made and 
to be made, you will perceive that the whole will 


be paid off by the first week in February. Mr. 
Craven called on me the 17tli, with your order to 
pay him $100 the first week in December ; but he 
said you would receive $200 of his money, and 
that he should be extremely distressed if he could 
not get the whole sum here. On that I gave him 
my note to pay $200 to his order the first week of 
next month, and you are to use his $200 instead 
of what I intended to remit you at that time. 
Last night I received from Mr. Kelly your order to 
pay him $133^. To reconcile these two transac- 
tions, you can use $100 of Craven's money towards 
papng the debts. Pay Mr. Kelly $100 of it, in 
part of your order on me, and I will remit $33^, 
according to his order, by which means every thing 
will be brought to rights. I shall write to him on 
this subject, and shall be glad to learn that this 
arrangement is made, and is satisfactory. 
" ^ I tender you my best wishes. 

"^Th. Jefferson.' 


" ' If the weather is not open and soft when 
Davy arrives, put the box of thorns into the cellar, 
where they may be entirely free from the influ- 
ence of cold, until the weather becomes soft, when 
they must be planted in the places of those dead 



througli the whole of the hedges which inclose the 
two orchards, so that the old and the new shall 
be complete, at 6 inches' distance from every plant. 
If any remain, plant them in the nursery of thorns. 
There are 2,000. I send Mr. Maine's written in- 
structions about them, which must be followed 
most minutely. The other trees he brings are to 
be planted as follows : 

" * 4 Purple beaches. In the clumps which are in 
the southwest and northwest angles of the house, 
(which Wormley knows.) There were 4 of these 
trees planted last spring, 2 in each clump. They 
all died, but the places will be known by the re- 
mains of the trees, or by the sticks marked No. IV. 
in the places. I wish these now sent to be planted 
in the same places. 

" ' 4 Robinias, or red locusts. In the clumps in 
the KE. and S.E. angles of the house. There were 

2 of these planted last spring, to wit, 1 in each. 
They are dead, and two of them are to be planted 
in the same places, which may be found by the re^ 
mains of the trees, or by sticks marked V. The 
other 2 may be planted in any vacant places in the 
S.W. and N.W. angles. 

" ' 4 Prickly ash. In the S. W. angle of the house 
there was planted one of these trees last spring, 
and in the N.W. angle 2 others. They are dead. 

3 of those now sent are to be planted in their 


places, whicli may be found by the remains of the 
trees, or by sticks marked VII. The fourth may 
be planted in some vacant space of the S.W. angle. 

" ' 6 Spitzenberg apple trees. Plant them in the 
S.E. orchard, in any place where apples have been 
planted and are dead. 

" ' 5 Peach trees. Plant in the S.E. orchard, 
wherever peach trees have died. 

" ' 500 October peach stones ; a box of Peccan 
nuts. The nursery must be enlarged, and these 
planted in the new parts, and Mr. Perry must ini- 
mediately extend the paling so as to include these, 
and make the whole secure against hares. 

" * Some turfs of a particular grass. Wormly 
must plant them in some safe place of the orchard, 
where he will know them, and keep otlier grass 
from the place.' 

" I think," said Capt. Bacon, " there were three 
hundred acres inclosed in the tract about the house. 
Mr. Jeflferson would never allow a tree to be cut off 
from this. There were roads and paths winding 
all around and over it, where the family could ride 
and walk for pleasure. How often I have seen him 
walking over these grounds, and his grandchildren 
following after him as happy as they could be. 

" The estate was very large. I did know the 
exact number of acres, for I have paid the taxes a 


great many times. There was about ten thousand 
acres. It extended from the town lots of Char- 
lottesville to beyond Milton, which was five or six 
miles. It was not a profitable estate ; it was too 
uneven and hard to work. Mr. Madison's planta- 
tion was much the most profitable. It was divided 
into four plantations, — ^Tuffiton, Lego, Shadwell, 
and Pantops. There was a negro quarter and a 
white overseer at each of these places. A negro 
named Jim was overseer of the hands at Monti- 

" We used to get up a strife between the differ- 
ent overseers, to see which would make the largest 
crops, by giving premiums. The one that deliv- 
ered the best crop of wheat to the hand, had an 
extra barrel of flour ; the best crop of tobacco, a 
fine Sunday suit; the best lot of pork, an extra 
hundred and fifty pounds of bacon. Negro Jim 
always had the best pork, so that the other over- 
seers said it was no use for them to try any more, 
as he would get it any way. An overseer's allow- 
ance of provisions for a year, was : pork, six hun- 
dred pounds ; wheat flour, two barrels ; com meal, 
all they wanted. They had gardens, and raised 
their own vegetables. The servants also had re- 
wards for good conduct. 

" I had written instructions about every thing, 
80 that I always knew exactly what to do. Here 


are the instructions lie gave me when he went to 
Washington : 


" * The first work to be done, is to finish every 
thing at the mill ; to wit, the dam, the stone still 
wanting in the south abutment, the digging for the 
addition to the toll mill, the waste, the dressing oflf 
the banks and hollows about the mill-houses, mak- 
ing the banks of the canal secure everywhere. In 
all these things Mr. Walker will direct what is to 
be done, and how. 

" * The second job is the fence from near Nance's 
house to the river, the course of which wUl be 
shown. Previous to this a change in the road is 
to be made, which will be shown also. 

"*As this fence will completely separate the 
river field from the other grounds, that field is to 
be cleaned up ; the spots in it stUl in wood are to 
be cut down where they are not too steep for 
culture ; a part of the field is to be planted in 
Quarantine corn, which will be found in a tin can- 
ister in my closet This com is to be in drills 5 
feet apart, and the stalks 18 inches asunder in the 
drills. The rest of the ground is to be sown in 
oats, and red clover sowed on the oats. All 
ploughing is to be done horizontally, in the man- 
ner Mr. Kandolph does his. 


" ^ 180 Cords of coal wood are next to be cut 
The wood cut in the river field will make a part, 
and let the rest be cut in the flat lands on the 
meadow branch south of the overseer's house, 
which I intend for a Timothy meadow. Let the 
wood be all corded, that there may be no decep 
tion as to the quantity. A kiln will be wanting 
to be burnt before Christmas ; but the rest of the 
wood had better lie seasoning till spring, when it 
will be better to burn it. 

" * When these things are done, the levelling of 
the garden is to be resumed. The hands having 
already worked at this, they understand the work. 
John best knows how to finish off the levelling. 

^ ^ I have hired all the hands belonging to Mrs. 
tad Miss Dangerfield, for the next year. They are 
aiae in number. Moses the miller is to be sent 
Voaie when his year is up. With these will work 
m common, Isaac, Charles, Ben, Shepherd, Abram, 
l^vv« John, and Shoemaker Phill ; making a gang 
tf IT kands. Martin is the miller, and Jerry will 
' U» ^^^agon. 

^Xlkose who work in the nailery, are Moses, 
y; Jan\o Hubbard, Barnaby, Isbel's Davy, 
LMn> Bedford Dav^^, Phill Hubbard, Bart- 
rU They are sufficient for 2 fires, five 
.,j^.^ ri^ 1 «m desirous a single man, a smith, 
-\^li^jQ^Hllml to work with them, to see that 


their nails are well made, and to superintend them 
generally; if such an one can be found for $150 or 
$200 a year, though I would rather give him a 
share in the nails made, say one-eighth of the price 
of all the nails made, deducting the cost of the 
iron; if such a person can be got, Isbel's Davy 
may be withdrawn to drive the mule wagon, and 
Sampson join the laborers. There will then be 9 
nailers, besides the manager, so that 10 may still 
work at 2 fires ; the manager to have a log house 
built, and to have 500 lbs. of pork. The nails are 
to be sold by Mr. Bacon, and the accounts to be 
kept by him ; and he is to direct at all times what 
nails are to be made. 

" ' The toll of the mill is to be put away in the 
two garners made, which are to have secure locks, 
and Mr. Bacon is to keep the keys. When they 
are getting too full, the wagons should carry the 
grain to the overseer's house, to be carefully stowed 
away. In general, it will be better to use all the 
bread corn from the mill from week to week, and 
only bring away the surplus. Mr. Randolph is 
hopper-free and toll-free at the mill. Mr. Eppes 
having leased his plantation and gang, they are to 
pay toll hereafter. 

" * Clothes for the people are to be got from Mr. 
Higginbotham, of the kind heretofore got. I allow 
them a best striped blanket every three yBars. Mr. 



Lilly had failed in this ; but the last year Mr. Free- 
man gave blankets to one-third of them. This year 
11 blankets must be bought, and given to those 
most in need, noting to whom they are given. 
The hirelings, if they had not blankets last year, 
must have them this year. Mrs. Eandolph always 
chooses the clothing for the house servants; that 
is to say, for Peter Hemings, Burwell, Edwin, 
Critta, and Sally. Colored plains are provided for 
Betty Brown, Betty Hemings, Nance, Ursula, and 
indeed all the others. The nailers, laborers, and 
hirelings may have it, if they prefer it to cotton. 
Wool is given for stockings to those who will have 
it spun and knit for themselves. Fish is always to 
be got from Eichmond, by writing to Mr. Jefferson, 
and to be dealt out to the hirelings, laborers, work- 
men, and house servants of all sorts, as has been 

" * 600 Lbs. of pork is to be provided for the 
overseer, 500 lbs. for Mr, Stewart, and 500 lbs. for 
the superintendent of the nailery, if one is em- 
ployed; also about 900 lbs. more for the people, 
so as to give them half a pound a-piece once a 
week. This will require, in the whole, 2,000 or 
2,500 lbs. After seeing what the plantation can 
famish, and the 3 hogs at the mill, the residue 
must be purchased. In the winter, a hogshead of 
molasses 'must be provided and brought up, which 


Mr. Jefferson wiU fumisL This wiU afford to 
give a gill a-piece to everybody once or twice a 

" ^ Joe works with Mr. Stewart ; John Hemings 
and Lewis with Mr. Dinsmore ; Burwell paints and 
takes care of the house. With these the overseer 
has nothing to do, except to find them. Stewart 
and Joe do all the plantation work; and when 
Stewart gets into his idle frolics, it may sometimes 
be well for Moses or Isbel's Davy to join Joe for 
necessary work. 

" ^ The servants living on the top of the moun- 
tain must have a cart-load of wood delivered at 
their doors once a week through the winter. The 
fence inclosing the grounds on the top of the moun- 
tain must be well done up. This had better be 
done before they begin the fence down the moun- 
tain. No animal of any kind must ever be loose 
within that inclosure. Mr. Bacon should not fail 
to come to the top of the mountain every 2 or 3 
days, to see that nothing is going wrong, and that 
the gates are in order. Davy and Abram may 
patch up the old garden pales when work is going 
on from which they can best be spared. 

" ^ The thorn hedges are to be kept clean wed 

at all times. Mr. Dinsmore is to be furnished with 

bread grain from the mill. The proportion of 

com and wheat is left to his own discretion. He 



provides his own provisions, and for Mr. Nelson 
and Barry. 

"^ There is a spout across the canal near the 
head, which, if left as at present, will do mischief. 
I will give verbal directions about it. 

" ^ As soon as the Aspen trees lose their leaves, 
take up one or two hundred of the young trees, 
not more than 2 or 3 feet high; tie them in 
bundles, with the roots weU covered with straw. 
Young Davy being to carry Fanny to Washing- 
ton, he is to take the little cart, (which must be 
put into the soundest order,) to take these trees on 
board. 3 Boxes in my study, marked to go by him 
and Fanny and her things. She must take com 
for their meals, and provisions for themselves to 
Washington. Fodder they can buy on the road. 
I leave $6 with you, to give them to pay unavoid- 
able expenses. If he could have 2 mules, without 
stopping a wagon, it would be better. They are 
to go as soon as the Aspen leaves fall 

" * The nailers are to work on the dam till fin- 
ished, and then go to their shop. The verbal di- 
rections which I gave Mr. Bacon respecting Car- 
roll's farm, will be recollected and observed. 


" * When the work at the mill is done, and the 
fence mended up on the top of the mountain, take 



as mucli time with your hands as will fill all the 
gullies in the field north of the overseer's house, 
(called Belfield,) with bushes, &c., so that they 
may be filling up by the time we are ready to 
clean it up. The scalded places should also be 
covered with bushes. 

" * The orchard below the garden must be en- 
tirely cultivated the next year ; to wit, a part in 
Eavenscroft pea, which you will find in a canister 
in my closet ; a part with Irish potatoes, and the 
rest with cow-pea, of which there is a patch at Mr. 
Freeman's, to save which, great attention must be 
paid, as they are the last in the neighborhood. 

" ' Whiskey is wanted for the house, some for 
Mr. Dinsmore, and some sometimes for the people. 
About 30 gallons will last a year. Mr. Merri- 
wether or Mr. Eogers may perhaps each let us 
have some for nails, or will distil it out of our 
worst toll wheat. 

"^In building the house for the nailer, there 
should be a partition laying off about 8 feet at one 
end, to keep his nails and rod in. 

" ^ Get from Mr. Perry and Mr. Dinsmore, an es- 
timate of all the nails we shall want' for the house 
in Bedford ; and when you have no orders to exe- 
cute for others, let the boys be making them, and 
keep them separate from all others ; and when the 


wagon goes up at Cliristmas, send what shall then 
be ready. 

" ^ Mr. Higginbotham has all my transportation 
to and from Eichmond under his care. He settles 
with the watermen, and pays them. I do not wish 
to have any accounts with them. 

" ' These rains have possibly spoiled the fodder 
you had agreed for. You had better see it, and if 
injured, look out in time for more. 

" ^ Mr. Dinsmore wants Allen's plank brought 
up immediately. If you choose it, you can take 
your half beef now, killing one for that purpose, 
and sending the other half to the house, or to Mr. 




"Mr. Jeffeesoit was very fond of all kinds of 
good stock. The first fdll-blooded Merino sheep in 
all that country, were imported by Mr. Jefferson 
for himself and Mr. Madison, while he was Presi- 
dent. They were sent by water to Fredericksburg. 
Mr. Jefferson wrote me to go with Mr. Madison's 
overseer at Montpellier, Mr. Graves, and get tho 
sheep. He said he knew no better way to divide 
them, than to draw for the choice; and the one 
who got the first choice of the bucks, take the 
second choice of the ewes. When we got to Fred- 
ericksburg, we were greatly disappointed. The 
sheep were little bits of things, and Graves said 
he would not give his riding-whip for the whole 
lot. There were six of them — ^two bucks and four 


ewes. He had the same instructions in regard to 
dividing them that I had ; so I put my hand into 
my pocket, and drew out a dollar, and said, * Head, 
or tail ? ' He guessed, and I got the first choice. 
There was a good deal of difference in the bucks, 
and not much in the ewes. I got the best buck. 
He was a little fellow, but his wool was as fine 
almost as cotton. When I got home, I put a no- 
tice in the paper at Charlottesville, that persons 
who wished to improve their stock could send us 
two ewes, and we would keep them until the lambs 
were old enough to wean, and then give the own- 
ers the choice of the lambs, and they leave the 
other lamb and both of the ewes. We got the 
greatest lot of sheep — ^more than we wanted ; two 
or three hundred, I think ; and in a few years wo 
had an immense flock. People came long distances 
to buy our fall-blooded sheep. At first we sold 
them for fifty dollars, but they soon fell to thirty, 
and twenty ; and before I left Mr. Jefferson, Merino 
sheep were so numerous, that they sold about as 
cheap as common ones. 

" Some years afterwards he imported, from Bar- 
bary, I think, four large broad-tailed sheep. I have 
forgotten their names. He sent these from Wash- 
ington in his own wagon, which had gone there 
with a load from Monticello. These sheep made 
very fine mutton, but they were not popular — did 


not disseminate, and ran out in a few years. About 
the time the first sheep were imported, Mr. Jeffer- 
son imported six hogs, — a pair for himself, Mr. 
Madison, and General Dearborn, one of his secre- 
taries. He often visited Mr. Jefferson. He was a 
large, fine-looking man. I remember his coming to 
my house once with Mr. Jefferson, to look at my 
bees. I had a very large stand ; more than forty 
hives. Those imported hogs were the finest hogs 
I have ever known. They were called Calcutta 
hogs. They were black on the heads and rumps, 
and white-listed round the body. They were very 
long-bodied, with short legs; were easily kept; 
would live on grazing, and would scarcely ever 
root. They would not root much more than an ox. 
With common pasturage, they would weigh two 
hundred at a year old; and fed with corn, and 
well treated, they would weigh three or four hun- 

" Mr. Jefferson didn't care labout making money 
from his imported stock. His great object was to 
get it widely scattered over the country, and he 
left all these arrangements to me. I told the peo- 
ple to bring three sows, and when they came for 
them, they might take two and leave one. In this 
way he soon got a large number of hogs, and the 
stock was scattered over that whole country. He 
never imported any cattle while I was with him. 



We could always get remarkably fine cattle from 
Western Virginia. 

"But the horse was Mr. Jefferson's favorite. 
He was passionately fond of a good horse. We 
generally worked mules on the plantation ; but he 
would not ride or drive any thing but a high-bred 
horse. Bay was his preference for color. He 
would not have any other. After he came from 
Washington he had a fine carriage built at Monti- 
cello, from a model that he planned himself.' The 
wood-work, blacksmithing, and painting, were all 
done by his own workmen. He had the plating 
done in Eichmond. When he travelled in this 
carriage, he always had five horses — ^four in the 
carriage, and the fifth for Burwell, who always 
rode behind him. Those five horses were Dio- 
mede. Brimmer, Tecumseh, Wellington, and Eagle. 

^^ Diomed^ was a colt of imported Diomede. 
John W. Eppes, who married Mr. Jefferson's sec- 
ond daughter, Mari^, bought Diomede for him in 
Chesterfield County; gave £80 for him. Eippes 
wrote Mr. Jefferson that he had bought him, and 
Mr. Jefferson wrote me to send for him. When I 
got him home, he was poor, but I had him in fine 
order when Mr. Jefferson got home. He was a 
fine high-formed bay horse, not as good for riding 
as the others, but a fine harness horse. He became 
blind, poor fellow. 


^^ Brvmmer was a son of imported Kuowlsby. 
He was a bay, but a shade darker than any of the 
others. He was a horse of fair size, fiill, but not 
quite as tall as Eagle. He was a good riding 
horse, and excellent for the harness. Mr. Jefferson 
broke all his horses to both ride and work. I 
bought Brimmer of General John H. Cocke, of 
Fluvana County ; don't remember what I gave for 
him. General Cocke was often at Monticello. He 
used to ride a fine bay stallion called Eoebuck, 
that he had rode in the war of 1812. Sometimes, 
when he visited Monticello, he would send him \jo 
my house, because he had rather trust him with 
me than with the servants. 

" TeGumseh. I bought him of old Davy Isaacs, 
a Jew, who kept a store in Charlottesville. Mr. 
Jefferson saw him in the field several times as he 
was riding past, and he told me he was very much 
pleased with him, and he wished I would make 
some inquiries about him. I told him that I knew 
the horse and his stock well. He sent me to buy 
him. He was a fine horse, but tricky. He would 
scare at a rock, or when a bird flew up, and jump 
suddenly. Mr. Jefferson got a blind made that he 
could attach to his bridle when he rode or drove 
him, and in this way pretty much cured him. 

" Wellington. I bought him out of an Augusta 
County wagon, of a man named Imboden, a Dutch- 


man. Gave £60 for him. He did not know his 
value. He was a large bay horse, and matched 
Diomede. He rode better than Diomede, but not 
as well as the other two. 

^^ Eagle. The last thing I ever did for poor 
old Mr. Jefferson, was to buy Eagle for him for a 
riding-horse. The last time he ever rode on horse- 
baxjk, he rode Eagle ; and the last letter I ever got 
from Mr. Jefferson, he described that ride, and how 
Eagle fell with him in the river, and lamed his 
wrist. I am very soiTy I have lost that letter. I 
bought Eagle of Capt. John Graves, of Louisa 
County. He was a bay, with white hind ankles, 
and a white spot on his nose ; full sixteen hands 
high, and the finest sort of a riding-horse. 

" In his new carriage, with fine harness, those 
four horses made a splendid appearance. He never 
trusted a driver with lines. Two servants rode on 
horseback, and each guided his own pair. About 
once a year Mr. Jefferson used to go in his carriage 
to Montpellier, and spend several days with Mr. 
Madison ; and every summer he went to Poplar 
Forest, his farm in Bedford, and spent two or three 

"Mr. Jefferson always knew all about all his 
stock, as well as every thing else at Monticello, 
and gave special directions about it all. Here is 
one of his letters : 


" * The sorrel riding-liorse is to "be kept for Mr. 
Bacon's riding. If Arcturus has not been ex- 
changed for Mr. Smithson's mare, I wish Mm and 
the Chickasaw mare to be disposed of immediately. 
I think $150 might be expected for him, and $100 
for her ; but I would take a fair wagon horse ot 
mule for either, rather than keep them. For Arc- 
turus we ought certainly to get a first-rate wagon 
horse or mule. I would prefer a mule to a horse 
in both cases, provided they were large and docile. 

" ' Jerry and his wagon are to go to Bedford 
before Christmas, and to stay there tUl they have 
done aU the hauling for my house there. He is 
to start on the morning of Saturday, the 20th of 
December, and take with Mm a bull calf from Mi% 
Eandolph, and the young ram which we have 
saved for that purpose. He is to proceed to my 
brother's the first day, and stay there the Sunday. 
He will take in there some things lodged there 
last year ; to wit, a pair of fowls, some clover seed, 
and some cow-peas, and proceed with them to Pop- 
lar Forest. I promised the friends of the naUers 
who came from Bedford, to let the boys go and see 
them this winter; to wit, Jame Hubbard, PhUl 
Hubbard, Bedford John, and Davy. They are to 
go with the wagon, and assist in conducting the 
bull and ram. They are to be at home the even- 
ing of New Year's day. 


"^In all cases of doubt, ask the advice and 
direction of Mr. Randolph, who will be kind 
enough to give it. 

" ' K any beeves remain after I am gone, diive 
them to Mr. Randolph's, for his use. I should like 
to have 3 or 4 good milch cows bought, now giv- 
ing ftdl milk, for the use of the overseer, and peo- 
ple of every description. They should be such as 
would make good beeves next autumn. 

" ^ Wormley must cover the fig bushes with straw 
rope. Th. Jefferson.' 

'''Sept. 29, '06.'" 


MR. Jefferson's manufactories. 


" Mr. Jefferson's neighbors were very anxious that 
he should build a flouring mill. There was a small 
one there, but a large one was very much needed. 
While he was President, they thought he had a 
large salary, and that he was better able to build 
one than anybody else. He was always anxious to 
benefit the community as much as possible, and he 
undertook it. It cost a great deal of money, and 
was a very bad investment. I had the foundation 
dug, and superintended its erection. I have had 
quantities of letters from him, giving instructions 
about that mill. He employed a man named Shoe- 
maker, from the North, who was used to building 
mills, to assist him in planning and building it. It 
was built of rock. It was a large building, four sto- 
ries high, and had four run of stone. The dam was 



three-fourths of a mile above the mill, and a canal 
was made that distance along the bank of the river, 
to bring the water to the mill. That dam and canal 
cost thousands of dollars. Two-thirds of the way, 
the canal was through blue mountain rock — ^not 
limestone — that had to be blown out. It had to 
be nine feet wide, to allow the bateaux to pass 
through to Charlottesville. It all cost a great deal 
of money. After the mill was completed, and we 
had commenced making flour, there came a big 
freshet, and swept away the dam. I never felt 
worse. We had eleven thousand bushels of grain 
in the mill, and coopers and other hands employed, 
and I thought we were ruined. But it didn't move 
him a bit. He never seemed to get tired of pay- 
ing out money for it. He was always greatly in- 
terested in its erection, and in carrying it on. All 
my letters were fall of instructions about it. Here 
are some of them : 


" ' Do the abutment of the dam as soon as the 
scow is ready, and get the scow made immediately. 
Then deliver the scow, with a good strong chain of 
sufficient length, to Mr. Shoemaker. 

" * Stop the leak under the bridge just above 
the waste. 

" ' FiU up the stone wanting at the waste. 



"'Strengthen the bank of the canal at the toll 

" ' Make the wagon way on the south side of 
the great mill. 

" ' Dig the foundation of the wall in the ground 
floor of the great mill, whenever Mr. Maddox is 
ready to do the wall, and level the floor. 

" ' Keep the thorns constantly clean wed. 

" ' In harvest time send all your hands to assist 
Mr. Kandolph, and let them be with him through 
his whole harvest, except when wanting to secui-e 
our own oats. 

" ' Wormly must be directed to weed the flower 
beds about the house, the nursery, the vineyards, 
and raspberry beds, when they want it 

" * I wish him also to gather me a peck or two 
of clean broom seed, when ripe. 

" ' I have bought 3 mules of Mr. Peter Minor in 
Louisa, which we are to bring home immediately. 
They are to be broke immediately, but should not 
be worked more than half their time. 

" * Put the Jenny and our 2 mares to the Jack. 

" ' Xrive wool to any of my negro women who 
desire it, as well those with Mr. Craven as others, 
but particularly to the house women here. 

" * I think you should scarcely miss a day visit- 
ing the mill, and the top of the mountain also, to 
see that every thing is right at both places, and 


particularly that no animals of any kind get into 
tlie inclosure at the mountain, or are turned at 
large into it. 

"^Pay great attention to the hogs and sheep. 
We must get into such a stock as to have 30 kill- 
able hogs every year, and fifty ewes. CoL Coles is 
to have a ram lamb from us of this year. Let it 
be the best. He will send for it when weaned. 

" ^ Use great economy in timber, never cutting 
down a tree for fire-wood or any other purpose as 
long as one can be found ready cut down, and 
tolerably convenient. In our new way of fencing, 
the shortest cuts and large branches, aad even hol- 
low trees, will come in for use. The loppings will 
do for fire-wood and coal wood. 

" ' If a couple more of good mules, two, or 
rather three years old, can be got for fifty or sixty 
dollars, at a credit of not less than 90 days from 
the time I am informed of it, I shall be glad to 
have them bought. I am told very fine maybe 
got, and cheap, in Fluvana, and particularly that a 
Mr. Quarles has some to sell. 

'''May 13, 1807.' 

"* Washington, Nov. 9, 1807. 

"'I now inclose you $250, of which $100 is 
for James Walker, $50 for Mr. Maddox, and $100 
towards paying such of your debts as are most 



pressing. Another like remittance the next month 
will, I hope, begin to place you at your ease. Mi\ 
Peyton sent me an order from Maddox for $50, but 
at the date of the order you had in hand that sum 
for him. It will therefore be necessary for you to 
get Mr. Maddox and Mr. Peyton to agree to which 
of them this $50 is to be paid. If they do not 
agi'ee, then it must be paid to Mr. Maddox, as I 
have not made myself liable for it to Mr. Peyton. 
I shall be perfectly willing that the waterman to 
whom you are disposed to sell property should 
bring up articles for me. I am just now sending 
off to Kichmond 8 trunks of books and 4 othet pack- 
ages, weighing in all about 5,000 weight, as I guess, 
which will probably be in Kichmond in all the 
last week of this month. They are well secured, 
but would still require to be as well guarded as 
possible against rain from above or the water of 
the boat below. If your boatman will undertake 
to have special care of them, they will be a good be- 
ginning in your account. I tender my best wishes. 

" ^ Th. Jefeeesok. 

"*Mr. E. Bacon.' 

"'directions eob me. BACOK. 

"»Juno T, 1808. 

" ' Consider as your first object the keeping a 
fcdl supply of water to the mill, observing that 



whenever the water does not run over the waste, 
you should take your hands, and having put in a 
sufficiency of stone, then carry in earth and height- 
en till the water runs steadily over the waste. It 
ought to do this when both mills are running one 
pair of stones ea<;h. Take Mr. Kandolph's advice 
on these occasions. 

" ' You will fiimish Mr. Maddox, while working 
on the stable, with attendance, hauling, lime, and 
sand, so that I may only have to pay him for lay- 
ing the stone. I presume Mr. Dinsmore wiU let 
him be of his mess while here. If objected to, 
however, do for Mm what you can best. 

" ' As soon as the sashes are ready for Bedford, 
furnish Mr. Kandolph 3 of your best hands, in- 
stead of his waterman, who are to carry the sashes, 
tables, and other things up to Lynchburg, and to 
give notice of their arrival to Mr. Chisolm, who 
will then be in Bedford, and will have Jerry's 
wagon there, which he must send for the things 
to Lynchburg. In the mean time, they must be 
lodged at Mr. Brown's, at Lynchbm'g. 

" * Jerry is to go to Bedford with his wagon as 
soon as Mr. Chisolm goes. 

"*At harvest, give your whole force to Mr. 
Randolph, to assist in his harvest ; the nailers, as 
well as all the rest, except Johnny Hemings and 


" ^ Consider the garden as your main business, 
and push it with all your might when the inter- 
ruptions permit. 

"^Kake and sweep the charcoal on the level 
into little heaps, and carry them off. Kather do 
this when the grass seed is ripe.' 

" I used to sell a good deal of the flour in Eich- 
mond. The mill was on the Fluvana, the north 
prong of the James Eiver, and I used to send it 
down on bateaux. I remember sending off at one 
time three bateau loads — ^between two hundred 
and fifty and three hundred barrels — ^made of new 
wheat. I started on horseback in tiii;ie to get to 
Eichmond before the flour. When I told the land- 
lord I had new flour on the way, ^ Well, sir,' said 
he, ^ you will be certain to get a good price for it, 
for there is hardly a barrel in the city.' I had 
notice circulated that a lot of new flour would 
arrive, and be sold at the river at four o'clock. 
There was a large crowd, and I sold every barrel, 
at fourteen dollars a barrel, as fast as it could be 
rolled ashore, and it didn't begin to supply the 
demand. I got my money from the bank, and 
stai'ted after supper, and rode home that night. It 
was just sixty-three miles ; but I had a fine sorrel 
mare that Mr. Jefferson appropriated for my use, 
and I made it easily. As soon as I got home, I 


went directly to Mr. Jefferson's room with the 
money. I remember it distinctly. It was the first 
money of the old United States Bank I had ever 
seen. The bills were new out of the bank, and 
very pretty. Mr. Jefferson, you know, was always 
very strongly opposed to the United States Bank. 
As I paid it over to him, I remarked that it was 
very handsome money. ^Yes, sir,' said he, ^and 
very convenient, if people would only use it prop- 
erly. But they will not. It will lead to specula- 
tion, inflation, and trouble.' 

" Mr. Jefferson had a nail factory a good many 
years, which was a great convenience to the people, 
and very profitable. He worked ten hands in it — 
had two fires, and five hands at a fire. These 
hands could clear two dollars a day, besides paying 
for the coal and iron rods. After the embargo and 
the war of 1812, we could not get rods, and were 
obliged to give it up. We supplied the stores all 
over that country with nails, and sold a great many 
to the people to build their houses. I sold Mr. 
Monroe the nails to build his house. 

"Mr. Jefferson also had a factory for making 
domestic cloth. He got his cotton from Eichmond 
in bateaux. He had in his factory three spin- 
ning machines. One had thirty-six spindles, one 
eighteen, and one six. The hands used to learn on 
the little one. He made cloth for all his servants, 


and a great deal besides. I liave sold wagon loads 
of it to the merchants. 

"He had a good blacksmith shop. A man 
named Stewart was at the head of that. He was 
a fine workman, but he would have his sprees — 
would get drunk. Mr. Jejfferson kept him a good 
many years longer than he would have done, be- 
cause he wanted him to teach some of his own 

" Dinsmore, who lived with him a good many 
years, was the most ingenious hand to work with 
wood I ever knew. He could make any thing. 
He made a great deal of nice mahogany furniture, 
lielped make the carriage, worked on the Univer- 
sity, and could do any kind of fine work that was 
wanted. Burwell was a fine painter. With all 
these he could have almost any thing that he need- 
ed made on his own plantation." 


MR. Jefferson's personal appearance and habhs. 

iiR. Jefferson's height — " straight as a gun-barrel" — health, strength, 




" Mr. Jefferson was six feet two and a half inches 
high, well proportioned, and straight as a gun- 
barrel. He was like a fine horse — ^he had no sur- 
plus flesh. He had an iron constitution, and was 
very strong. He had a machine for measuring 
strength. There were very few men that I have 
seen try it, that were as strong in the arms as his 
son-in-law, Col. Thomas Mann Randolph ; but Mr. 
Jefferson was stronger than he. He always enjoyed 
the best of health. I don't think he was ever really 
sick, until his last sickness. His skin was very 
clear and pure — -just like he was in principle. He 
had blue eyes. His countenance was always mild 


and pleasant. You never saw it ruffled. No odds 
what happened, it always maintained the same ex- 
pression. When I was soraetimes very much fret- 
ted and disturbed, his countenaQce was perfectly 
unmoved. I remember one case in particular. We 
had about eleven thousand bushels of wheat in the 
mill, and coopers and every thing else employed. 
There was a big freshet — ^the first after the dam 
was finished. It was raining powerfully. I got 
up early in the looming, and went up to the dam. 
While I stood there, it began to break, and I stood 
and saw the freshet sweep it all away. I never 
felt worse. I did not know what we should do. I 
went up to see Mr. Jefferson. He had just come 
from breakfast. ^ Well, sir,' said he, ^ have you 
heard from the river ? ' I said, ^ Yes, sir ; I have 
just come from there with very bad news. The 
milldam is all swept away.' ^Well, sir,' said he, 
just as calm and quiet as though nothing had hap- 
pened, ^ we can't make a new dam this summer, but 
we will get Lewis' ferry-boat, with our own, and 
get the hands from all the quarters, and boat in 
rock enough in place of the dam, to answer for the 
present and next summer. I will send to Balti- 
more and get ship-bolts, and we will make a dam 
that the freshet can't wash away.' He then went 
on and explained to me in detail just how he 
would have the dam built. We repaired the dam 



as he suggested, and the next summer we made a 
new dam, that I reckon must be there yet. 

" Mr. Jefferson was always an early riser — arose 
at daybreak, or before. The sun never found him 
ip bed. I used sometimes to think, when I went 
up there ve?*y early in the morning, that I would 
find him in bed ; but there he would be before me, 
walking on the terrace. 

" He never had a servant make a fire in his room 
in the morning, or at any other time, when he was 
at home. He always had a box filled with nice dry 
wood in his room, and when he wanted fire he 
would open it and put on the wood. He would 
always have a good many ashes in his fireplace, and 
when he went out he would cover up his fire very 
carefully, and when he came back he would uncov- 
er the coals and make on a fire for himself. 

"He did not use tobacco in any form. He 
never used a profane word or any thing like it. 
He never played cards. I never saw a card in the 
house at Monticello, and I had particular orders- 
from him to suppress card-playing among the ne- 
groes, who, you know, are generally very fond of 
it. I never saw any dancing in his house, and if 
there had been any there during the twenty years 
I was with him I should certainly have known it. 
He was never a great eater, but what he did eat he 
wanted to be very choice. He never eat much 


hog-meat He often told me, as I was giving out 
meat for the servants, that vrhat I gave one of them 
for a week would be more than he would use in six 
months. When he was coming home from Wash- 
ington I generally knew it, and got ready for him, 
and waited at the house to give him the keys. Af- 
ter saying, " How are all ? " and talking awhile, he 
would say, " What have you got that is good ? " I 
knew mighty well what suited him. He was espe- 
cially fond of Guinea fowls ; and for meat he pre- 
ferred good beef, mutton, and lambs. Those broad- 
tailed sheep I told you about made the finest mut- 
ton I ever saw. Merriweather Lewis' mother made 
very nice hams, and every year I used to get a few 
from her for his special use. He was very fond of 
vegetables and fruit, and raised every variety of 
them. He was very ingenious. He invented a 
plough that was considered a great improvement 
on any that had ever been used. He got a great 
many premiums and medals for it. He planned his 
. own carriage, buildings, garden, fences, and a good 
many other things. He was nearly always busy 
upon some plan or model. 

" Every day, just as regularly as the day came, 
unless the weather was very bad, he would have 
his horse brought out and take his ride. The boy 
who took care of his horse knew what time he 
started, and would bring him out for him, and hitch 




him in liis place. He generally started about nine 
o'clock. He was an uncommonly fine rider — ^sat 
easily upon liis horse, and always had him in the 
most perfect control After he returned from 
Washington he generally rode Brimmer or Tecum- 
seh until I bought Eagle for him of Capt. John 
Graves, of Louisa Co., just before I left him. 

" He was always very neat in his dress, wore 
short breeches and bright shoe buckles. When he 
rode on horseback he had a pair of overalls that he 
always put on. 

"Mr. Jefferson never debarred himself from 
hearing any preacher that came aloDg. There was 
a Mr. Hiter, a Baptist preacher, that used to preach 
occasionally at the Charlottesville Court House. 
He had no regular church, but was a kind of mis- 
sionary — ^rode all over the country and preached. 
He wasn't much of a preacher, was uneducated, but 
he was a good man. Everybody had confidence 
in him, and they went to hear him on that account. 
Mr. Jefferson's nephews Peter Carr, Sam. Carr, and 
Dabney Carr thought a great deal of him. I have 
often heard them talk about him. Mr. Jefferson 
nearly always went to hear him when he came 
around. I remember his being there one day in 
particular. His servant came with him and 
brought a seat — a kind of camp stool, upon which 
he sat. After Mr. Jefferson got old and feeble, a 


servant used to go with him over the plantation, 
and carry that stool, so that he could sit down 
while he was waitmg and attending to any kind of 
work that was going on. After the sermon there 
was a proposition to pass round the hat and raise 
money to buy the preacher a horse. Mr. Jefferson 
did not wait for the hat. I saw him unbutton his 
overalls, and get his hand into his pocket, and take 
out a handful of silver, I don't know how much. 
He then walked across the Court House to Mr. 
Hiter, and gave it into his hand. He bowed very 
politely to Mr. Jefferson, and seemed to be very 
much pleased. 

" Mr. Jefferson was very liberal and kind to the 
poor. When he would come from Washington, the 
poor people all about the country would find it out 
immediately, and would come in crowds to Monti- 
cello to beg him. He would give them notes to 
me, directing me what to give them. I knew them 
all a great deal better than he did. Many of them 
I knew were not worthy — ^were just la^y, good-for- 
nothing people, and I would not give them any 
thing. When I saw Mr. Jefferson I told him who 
they were, and that he ought not to encourage 
them in their laziness. He told me that when they 
came to him and told him their pitiful tales, he 
could not refuse them, and he did not know what 
to do. I told him to send them to me. He did 




SO, but they never would come. They knew what 
to expect. 

" In, I think, the year 1816, there was a very 
severe frost, and the com was ahnost destroyed. It 
was so badly injured that it would hardly make 
bread, and it was thought that the stock was in- 
jured by eating it There was a neighborhood at 
the base of the Blue Ridge where the frost did not 
injure the corn. They had a good crop, and the 
people were obliged to give them just what they 
were disposed to ask for it. I went up there and 
bought thirty barrels for IVIr. Jefferson of a Mr. 
Massey — ^gave him ten dollars a barrel for it. 
That spring the poor trifling people came in crowds 
for com. I sent the wagon after what I had 
bought, and by the time it would get back, Mr. 
Jefferson had given out so many of his little orders 
that it would pretty much take the load. I could 
hardly get it hauled as fast as he would give it 
away. I went to Mr. Jefferson and told him it 
never would do ; we could not give ten dollars a 
barrel for com, and haul it thirty miles, and give 
it away after that fashion. He said. What can I 
do ? These people tell me they have no com, and it 
will not do to let them suffer. I told him again, I 
could tell him what to do. Just send them all to me. 
I knew them aU a great deal better than he did, and 
would give to all that were really deserving. 


" There was an old woman named * * * * who 
used to trouble us a great deal. She had three 
daughters that were bad girls — ^large, strapping, 
lazy things — and the old woman would beg for 
them. One day she went to Mr. Jefferson in a. 
mean old dress, and told him some pitiful story, 
and he gave hel* a note to me directing me to give 
her two bushels of meal. I did so. The same day 
she went to Mrs. Randolph and got three sides of 
bacon — ^middling meat. There was more than she 
could carry, and she had two of her daughters' ille- 
gitimate children to help her carry it home. When 
she got to the river, the old negro who attended 
the ferry was so mad to see her carrying off the 
meat that he would not ferry her over. So she laid 
the meat on the edge of the boat, and they ferried 
themselves across. When the boat struck the bank 
it jarred the meat off, and it went to the bottom of 
the river, and she had a great deal of trouble to 
get it. 

" Afterwards she went to Mr. Jefferson and told 
him the meal I gave her was not good — ^would not 
make bread, and he sent her to me again. I told 
her the meal in the mill was all alike, and she could 
only get better by going to the Blue Ridge for the 
corn. She said she had no horse, it was too far to 
walk, and she could not go. I told her I would 
fiimish her a mule. Mr. Jefferson had an old mule 



that must have been thirty or forty years old, called 
Dolphin. He was too old to work and we did not 
like to kill him. His hair grew very long, and he 
was a sight to look at. He was too old to jump 
much, but he would tear down the fence with his 
nose and go over the plantation pretty much as he 
pleased. I was very anxious to get rid of the mule 
and of the old woman too, and I thought that may 
be if I loaned her the mule she would not come 
back. So I told her she could have the old mule 
and go and get her corn. She came and stayed over 
night, so as to get an early start. My wife gave 
her a coffee sack, and I gave her an order on Mas- 
sey, and she started off on old Dolphin. When 
she got up there the people knew nothing about 
her, and she could do so much better begging, that, 
sure enough, she never came back at all. Mr. 
Jefferson used to enjoy telling people how I got rid 
of the old woman and Dolphin. She soon sent for 
het daughters. Two of them went up there ; but a 
man named * * * * had taken up with one of 
them, and he moved her off into another neighbor- 
hood. He was a well-educated man, and much of 
a gentleman. His poor old mother was a mighty 
good woman, and she was so distressed about it 
that it almost made her cra^y. 

" Some six weeks or two months after the old 
woman had gone, I saw something moving about in 


the wheat-field, and, sure enough, there was Dol- 
phin home again. After this there was a couple 
of Kentucky drovers named Scott and Dudley, from 
whom we used to buy a good many mules for the 
plantation, came along with a drove. I told them 
about the trouble we had with Dolphin. They 
said they would take him away so that he would 
trouble us no more, and I gave him to them. They 
sheared off his long hair and trimmed him up so 
that he looked quite well. They found one in the 
drove that matched him very well, and went on a 
few miles, and sold the pair to Hon. Hugh Nelson. 
He was a Congressman. He and Wm. C. Rives 
married sisters, daughters of Frank Walker. He 
was very wealthy and popular. I knew his father, 
too. Col. Walker. He used to wear short breeches 
and shoe-buckles. It wasn't long before Dolphin was 
back, and I told Mr. Jefferson. He laughed and said, 
' You treat him so much better than anybody else 
will, that he will come back and see you.' When 
Mr. Nelson's overseer came over for him I asked 
him how old he supposed he was. He said he could 
not tell. I then told him his history. He took him 
off, and we never saw any more of Dolphin. 

" Mr. Jefferson was very particular in the trans- 
action of all his business. He kept an account of 
every thing. Nothing was too small for him to 
keep an account of. He knew exactly how much 


of every thing was raised at each plantation, and 
what became of it ; how much was sold, and how 
much fed out. Here is one of his little crop ac- 
counts. All the overseers had such. Some of 
them used to grumble over them mightily. But I 
told them we were paid by Mr. Jefferson to attend 
to his business, and we ought to do it exactly as he 
wanted it done. One of them to whom I gave one 
of these little papers one day, after fretting a 
good deal about it, said, ' Well, I believe if Mr. 
Jefferson told you to go into the fire, you would 
follow his instructions.' 

From Oct. 1, 1819, to July 7, 1820, 40 toeeh. 
90 persons from Oct. 1 to July 7.20, 40 weeks, @ 4J b. a 

week, ....... 180 

70 hogs to be fattened, @ 1^ bar. a piece, . . 105 

9 breeding sows @ 1 pint a day, from Dec. 1 to Mar. 10, 

100 days, ...... 8 

60 shoats @ i pint a day, 100 days, ... 9i 

pigs ....... 5 

6 beeves @ 2 gal. a day, from Dec. 1 to Mar. 1 (killing off) 

say 90 days, ...... 27 

Stable @ 14 gals, a day, Oct. 1 to July 1 (deducting 2 mo.) 

210 days, 73i 

1 plantation horse and 6 mules, @ 1 J bush, a day, Oct. 1 

to July 1, 270 d., 81 

Sheep, suppose 80, @ i pint from Deo. 1 to Mar. 16, 90 d., 11 

4 oxen @ 6 galls, a day, Dec. 1 to May 15, 165 d., . 25 

1 milch cow at the stable, @ 1 peck a day, 165 d., . 8 

The other cattle to be fed on stalks, tops, husks, chaff, 

straw, &c. 



^ 'lil 
111 ^1 





5 1 ' i ' 

) C5 «* O ^ ^ ^ 
< ^ ^ ^ > J^ 

^ 2 '^ I 

<;>rfr ^a;4 l^sf 

§;. 1^4 ^ « K s! 4 i . 




Oct. 1, com on hand in the mill, . 

fromTh.J. R 




Mill @ 2 bar. a week, 40 weeks, . 


lb. b. 
Offal of 850 b. flour, @ 25 35 

Do. to be bought at mill, 65 


340 lbs. to be bought elsewhere, . . . ,68 

" I reported to Mr. Jefferson every dollar that 
I received and just what I paid it out for. The 
first day of every January I gave him a full list 
of all the servants, stock, and every thing on the 
place, so that he could see exactly what had been 
the gain or loss. In all his business transactions 
with people, he had every thing put down in writ- 
ing, so that there was no chance for any misunder- 
standing. There was quite a vUlage at MUton. It 
was the head of navigation for bateaux. A great 
deal of flour, grain, and other produce was brought 
from the western part of the State and shipped 
there, the .wagons carrying back groceries and 
other things that the bateaux had brought from 
Richmond. This and other business employed a 
good many families. Nearly all the families in 
Mnton were supplied with firewood from IMr. 
Jefferson's estate. They paid him five dollars a 
year for what wood they would bum in a fireplace. 


Mr. Jefferson wrote a blank form for me, and I 
made a written contract with all the people who 
got their firewood from his place, and once a year 
I went aroxmd and made collections. Here is the 
blank form that he wrote for me that I filled out, 
and from whicli I copied all these contracts for 
wood : 

" ^ These presents witness that the subscriber, 
Thomas Jefferson, has leased to the subscriber, 
James MaiT, of the town of Milton, a right, in com- 
mon with other lessees, to cut and take away Suffi- 
cient firewood for one fireplace from the lands of 
the said Thomas Jefferson, on the south side of the 
road leading through from Milton towards CoUe, 
for the year which began on the 1st day of Octo- 
ber last past, and ending the 1st day of October of 
the present year, 1813 ; the said James Marr yield- 
ing and paying to the said Thomas Jefferson five 
dollars on the 1st day of October closing the year, 
which he covenants to do, and it is further agreed 
that this lease, and on the same conditions, shall 
continue from year to year until notice to the con- 
trary be given by either party to the other. Wit- 
ness their hands this Gt" day of February, 1813. 

Th. Jefferson. 

" ^ Witness, James Maer. 




5 1 J I i i>: 







I 1 l^^'4 














" He was just as particular as this with all his 
business. Whenever I engaged an overseer for him, 
or any kind of a mechanic, I always made a written 
contract with him, that stated just what he was to 
do, and just what pay he was to receive. In this 
way he avoided aU difficulties with the men he em- 
ployed. I used to write Mr. Jefferson's name so 
often to contracts that I made for him, that I could 
imitate his signature almost exactly. A good many 
people could not tell whether he or I had written 
his name. Here is one of my contracts with a car- 
penter, written and signed by myself for Mr. Jeffer- 

" ' It is agreed between Thomas Jefferson and 
Richard Durrett, both of the county of Albemarle, 
that the said Durrett shall serve the said Jefferson 
one year as a carpenter. And the said Durrett 
does by these presents oblige himself to do what- 
ever work the said Jefferson shall require in the 
business of carpenter work ; and the said Durrett 
obliges himself to faithfully do his duty. The year 
commences on the day that the said Durrett shall 
take charge of the said Jefferson's employ; for 
which year's service the said Jefferson agrees to 
pay the said Durrett forty pounds, and to find him 
four hundred and fifty pounds of pork, and a peck 
of corn meal a week ; or, in case the said Durrett 



should have three in family, the said Jeflferson 
agrees to find him three pecks a week, and to find 
him a cow to give milk from 15th April to 15th 
November. As witness our hands this 28th of Oc- 
tober, 1812. 


"*E. Bacon, for 

" * Th. Jeffeeson.' '* 


ME. Jefferson's faaiily. 


" Mr. Jefferson had four cldldren. Two of them 
died very young. The. other two, Martha and 
Maria, were in Prance with him while he was Min- 
ister. They were in school there. Martha mar- 
ried Col. Thomas Mann Kandolph, afterwards Gov- 
ernor of Virginia. Maria married John W. Eppes. 
He afterwards went to Congress. He was a very 
fine-looking man, and a great favorite with every- 
body. Mrs. Eppes died very young, and was buried 
at Monticello. She had one boy, Frank Eppes, a 



fine little fellow. He used to stay at Monticello a 
good deal 

" I knew Mrs. Kandolpli as well as I ever knew 
any person out of my own family. Few sucli 
women ever lived. I never saw her equal. I was 
with Mr. Jeflferson twenty years and saw her fre- 
quently every week. I never saw her at all out of 
temper. I can truly say that I never saw two such 
persons in this respect as she and her father. Some- 
times he would refer me to her, or she would refer 
me to him, a half dozen times in a day. Mrs. Ran- 
dolph was more like her father than any lady I 
ever saw. She was nearly as tall as he, and had 
the same clear, bright comple:sion, and blue eyes. 
I have rode over the plantation, I reckon, a thou- 
sand times with Mr. Jefferson, and when he was not 
talking he was nearly always humming some tune, 
or singing in a low tone to himself. And it was 
just so with Mrs. Randolph. As she was attending 
to her duties about the house, she seemed to be 
always in a happy mood. She had always her 
father's pleasant smile, and was nearly always 
humming some tune. I have never seen her at all 
disturbed by any amount of care and trouble. 

Mr. Jefferson was the most industrious person I 
ever saw in my life. All the time I was with him 
I had full permission to visit his room whenever I 
thought it necessary to see him on any business. I 



knew how to get into Ms room at any time of day 
or night. I have sometimes gone into his room 
when he was in bed, but aside from that I never 
went into it but twice in the whole twenty years I 
was with him, that I did not find him employed. 
I never saw him sitting idle in his room but twice. 
Once he was suflfering with the toothache ; and once, 
in returning from his Bedford farm, he had slept in 
a room where some of the glass had been broken 
out of the window, and the wind had blown upon 
him and given him a kind of neuralgia. At all 
other times he was either reading, writing, talking, 
working upon some model, or doing something 

" Mrs. Eandolph was just like her father in this 
respect. She was always busy. K she wasn't read- 
ing or writing, she 'was always doing something. 
She used to sit in Mr. Jefferson's room a great deal, 
and sew, or read, or talk, as he would be busy 
about something else. As her daughters grew up, 
she taught them to be industrious like herself. 
They used to take turns each day in giving out to 
the servants, and superintending the housekeeping. 
I knew all her children just as well as I did my 
o^vn. There were six daughters and five sons. Let 
me see if I can remember their names. The boys 
were Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin 
Franklin, Merriweather Lewis, and George Wythe. 


The daughters were Anne, Ellen, Virginia, Corne- 
lia, and a little thing that could just run about 
when I came aAvay. Her name was Septimis, or 
something like that* Only two of them were 
married when I came away. Jeff, married Jane 
Nicholas, daughter of Gov. Wilson C. Nicholas, 
and Anne married Charles S. Bankhead. Anne, 
Ellen, and Merriweather Lewis had the fresh rosy 
countenance of the Jefferson family. The rest of 
the family, as far as I can remember — ^I don't re- 
member about the little ones — ^had the Randolph 
complexion, which was dark and Indian-like. You 
know they claim to be descended from Pocahontas. 
Virginia and Cornelia were tail, active, and fine- 
looking, with very dark complexions. 

"Mr. Jefferson was perfectly devoted to his 
grandchildren, and they to him. They delighted 
to follow him about over the grounds and garden, 
and he took great pleasure in talking with them, 
and giving them advice, and directing their sports. 
I have heard him tell them enough of times that 
nobody should live without some useful employ- 
ment. I always raised my boys to work. Mr. 
Jefferson knew this, and it pleased him. On Sat- 
urdays, when they were not in school, they often 
cut coal wood for the nailery. They could cut a 
cord a day and earn fifty cents. Governor Ran- 

* Septimia. 



dolpli once told thein that if they would cut off the 
bushes from a certain field, he would give them 
twenty doUars. His boys would often go and work 
with them like little Turks on Saturdays, so that 
my boys could go with them arfishing. After a 
while they finished their job and got their pay. 
JSdr. Jefferson heard of it. One evening I heard 
him talking with his grandchildren about it. He 
told them my boys had got twenty dollars — ^more 
money than any of them had got ; that they had 
earned it themselves, and said a great deal in their 
praise, and in regard to the importance of industri- 
ous habits. Merriweather Lewis was a very bright 
little fellow. I always thought him the most 
sprightly of all the Eandolph children. He spoke 
up and said, ^ Why, grandpa, if we should work 
like Fielding and Thomas, our hands would get so 
rough and sore that we could not hold our books. 
And we need not work so. We shall be rich, and 
all we want is a good education, so that we shall 
be prepared to associate with wealthy and intelli- 
gent people.' ^ Ah ! ' said Mr. Jefferson, and I have 
thought of the remark a thousand times since, 
^ those that expect to get through the world with- 
out industry, because they are rich, will be greatly 
mistaken. The people that do work will soon get 
possession of all their property.' I have heard him 
give those children a great deal of good advice. I 


remember, once, hearing him tell them that they 
should never laugh in a loud, boisterous manner in 
company, or in the presence of strangera That 
was his own habit. 

" He took great pleasure in the sports and plays 
of his grandchildren. I have often seen hini direct 
them and enjoy them greatly. The large lawn 
back of the house was a fine place for their plays. 
They very often ran races, and he would give the 
word for them to start, and decide who was the 
winner. Another play was stealing goods. They 
would divide into two parties, and lay down their 
coats, hats, knives, and other things, and each party 
would try to get all that the other had. K they 
were caught in the attempt to steal they were made 
prisoners. I have seen Mr. Jefferson laugh heartily 
to see this play go on. The children about the 
country used to enjoy coming there. It was a fine 
place for them to play, and in the fruit season there 
was always the greatest quantities of good fruit. 
Jeff. Eandolph used very often to bring his school- 
mates there. 

" Before the University of Virginia was estab- 
lished, a man of the name of Oglesby taught a 
school at Charlottesville. I think he was a Scotch- 
man. I know he was a foreigner. He was a fine 
teacher, and had a very large school. Thomas 
Jefferson Eandolph, Wm. C. Rives, Walker Gil- 

A FIGHT. 9]^ 

more, Vaul W. Southall, Wm. R Gordon, and a 
host of other boys went to his school. ALnost 
every Friday evening Jeflfl Randolph would bring 
a lot of his mates to Monticello to play and eat 
fruit. If they did not come on Friday they 
were pretty certain to come on Saturday. I gave 
them the keys of the house and garden, and very 
often they all stayed there over night. One Satur- 
day a lot of the schoolboys that were not invited 
concluded that they would come also, and help 
themselves to fruit. They went around the back 
side of the garden, broke off the palings, and got in. 
They then climbed the trees and broke off a good 
many limbs, and did a great deal of damage. The 
other party attacked them, and they had a tremen- 
dous fight. The party that had broken in was 
much the largest, and they could not drive them 
off. They threw stones at the old gardener and 
hurt him very badly. They sent to the mill for 
me, and when I got there the other party wer^ 
gone, and some of Jeff.'s party were a good 
deal hurt. Vaul SouthaH was very bloody. H§ 
had fought like a little tiger. Wm. C. Eive^ 
was one of Jeff.'s party. He was an uncommonly 
fine boy, and was always the peacemaker among 
the boys. Whenever they got into a difficulty 
among themselves, they would aU say, ^ Let Willie 
Eives settle it.' Both parties were always willing 


to select liim aa umpire. So I said to him, ^ Willie, 
why didn't you settle this matter without all this 
fighting ? ' He was very much excited, as well as 
all the rest of them. ^ Why, sir,' said he, ^ you know 
that I am a little fellow and couldn't do much fight- 
ing, but I called them all the hard names I could 
think of, and then I started to turn Eompo loose 
on them, and they all ran oflp.' Rompo was a very 
fierce dog. I should like very much to see Wm. C. 
Rives now. I suppose lie is quite an old man, 
though I was a man grown when he was a little 
boy. He was at Monticello a great deal Very 
often he did not like the doings of the other boys, 
when I gave them the keys to stay up there alone, 
and he would come down and stay all night at my 
house. He has stayed there many a night. The 
other boys were too intimate with the negro women 
to suit him. He was always a very modest boy. 
I once heard one of the other boys make a vulgar 
remark. He said, ' Such talk as that ought not to 
be thought, much less spoken out' Mr. Jefferson 
thought a great deal of him, and so did all the fam- 
ily. I think it would have suited them all mighty 
well if he had married Ellen. But I don't think 
he ever courted her, and I don't know that she 
would have married him if he had. He got in love 
with Miss Walker and married her. I remember 
Ellen was one day at my house, and my wife was 


joking her about liim, telling her what a fine thing 
it would be, he was such a fine young man, and 
had such a large property. After a while she said, 
' Oh, he is too much of a runt to make anybody a 
husband,' and ran off as fast as she could. 

" Gov. Kandolph, Mr. Jefferson's son-in-law, was 
a very eccentric man, and would often do the most 
strange and laughable things. I remember, once, 
going with him to Edgehill, his plantation, to look 
after the hands that were at work in the harvest- 
field, cutting and putting up the wheat. He looked 
at the shocks, and a good many of them were not 
put up to suit him. He was riding ' Dromedary.' 
Suddenly he dashed away and rode him right 
through a large number of the shocks, scattering 
them in all directions. We then rode on to where 
the overseer was engaged with the hands. After 
getting through with all his business with the over- 
seer, as he was leaving he told him he thought the 
old bull must have been in the lot ; he had seen a 
good many shocks torn down and scattered about 
as he came along. The overseer looked at me and 
laughed. He understood the matter perfectly. 

" The main road from the western part of the 
State to Eichmond ran between Monticello and 
Edgehill. There was always a great deal of haul- 
ing on that road, and teams were almost constantly 
passing. They got in the habit of camping in the 


lane just beyond Mr. Eandolph's house, and burnt 
Ms rails, and made him a heap of trouble. He sent 
his overseer one night to remonstrate with them 
against burning his rails. There were a large num- 
ber of them, and they just laughed at him, and 
finally gave him a tremendous whipping. When 
Mr. Eandolph heard of it he said he would go him- 
self next time. He was tall, swarthy, and raw- 
boned — one of the stoutest men I ever saw, and 
afraid of nothing. He was generally dressed in the 
most indiiferent manner, and was very queer any 
way. The Randolphs were all strange people. 
John Randolph, you know, was one of the most 
eccentric men that ever lived, and I think Gov. 
Randolph was full out as strange a man as he. 
They were as much alike as any two steers you 
ever saw. 

" A few nights after the overseer was whipped, 
they camped again, built their fires, were cooking 
their supper, and Gov. Randolph went down to see 
them. They soon discovered him, creeping about 
very slyly and watching them, and thought it was 
somebody trying to steal their horses. They were 
often troubled in this way; negroes and others 
would get their horses and ride them off, and they 
would have a great deal of trouble to find them in 
the morning. At length they gave chase, and he 
allowed himself to be very easily taken. They ac- 


cused Mm of trying to steal their horses, said they 
would have him punished, and demanded that he 
should tell them where a magistrate lived. He 
pointed to his own house, and told them that a 
magistrate lived there. Two of them led him to it 
It was the strangest-looking house you ever saw, 
as strange as himself. They led him into the piaz- 
za^ and he told them he would go in and get the 
magistrate. He soon reappeared with his pistols, 
let them know he had brought them to his own 
house, stormed at them with his big grum voice in 
the roughest manner until he had seared them suifi- 
ciently, and then very calmly told them to be care- 
ful whomHhey arrested hereafter, gave them some 
good advice, and sent them away. I knew one of 
those wagoners very well. He used often to tell 
of it, and laugh at the way they were taken in by 
the Governor. 

" Governor Randolph was a very hard rider. It 
was a very common thing with him when he was 
Governor to start from Richmond after supper and 
ride ' Dromedary ' home by daylight next morning. 
He would do strange things with that horse. They 
were just suited to each other. I have often seen 
him take hold of his tail and run him up the moun- 
tain as hard as he could go. 

" Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Randolph and I were once 
riding up the mountain together, and we over- 


took an old bald-headed negro, who did nothing 
but haul wood and water. * Isaac/ said Mr. Ban- 
dolph, with his big gnini voice, * have you got any 
tobacco ? ' ' Yes, master,' said he, taking oflp his hat 
and making a low bow mth a great flourish, and 
handed him the tobacco out of the top of his hat. 
Mi\ Jefterson laughed and said, ' It comes from a 
very shining place.' 

" Governor Randolph was a very poor manager. 
He often had to sell off negroes to pay his debts. 
Here is a bUl of sale for a woman I bought of him. 
She belonged to an excellent family of servants. 
He wished me to take another woman instead of 
her, but I prefeiTed her decidedly, and would not 
do it, and, as he was obliged to raise the money, he 
let me have her. 


" ' i hereby convey to Edmund Bacon, for the 
sum of five hundred dollars, namely, in cash five 
hundred dollars, and in his note of hand $ 
due on demand, a full and indefeasible right, title, 
and estate in a female slave, Maria, daughter of Iris, 
born at Edgeldll, this day put into his possession, 
and I, for myself, my heirs, executors, administra- 
tors, &C., the said title to the said slave do forever 
warrant and defend to the said Bacon, his heirs or 




assigns. Witness my hand and seal tMs October 
9th, 1818. 

" ^ Th. M. Eaisdolph. [seal.] 

" * Done in presence of 

"^Daniel Caldase, 
" ' William F. Caedd^, 
" ' James O. Waxlees.' 

[See Facsimile,'] 

"While he was Governor his debts troubled 
him a great deal. I often loaned him money, and 
he often applied to me to help him raise it from 
others. When he must have it, and could get it in 
no other way, he would be obliged to sell some of 
his negroes. Here is one of his letters to me. 

" It is superscribed : 

" ^ Me. Edm. Bacon, by Phil. 

" ' Deae Sie : It is so absolutely necessary to 
me to have as much as $150 by to-morrow evening, 
to send by express to pay into the Bank of U. S., 
and Bank of Virginia in Richmond, before 3 o'clock 
on Wednesday next, that I am forced, against my 
will, to importune you farther with the oflfer of 
the little girl at Edgehill. Do you think it would 
be possible for us to borrow that money between 
us by 3 o'clock to-morrow ? I should have set off 
down to-day, but the hope of succeeding to-morrow 


SO as to do by sending, has stopped me. I am 
obliged to be in Eicbmond on the Board of Public 
Works week after next, and my presence is more 
wanted now at Edgehill than Varina. Besides, my 
^vife is really ill to-day. Could you prevail on 
your mother to lend as much money ? 
" ^ Your friend, 

" ^ Th. M. Eandolph. 

" ' Mb. Bacon. May 9, 1819.' 

[/See Fac9imile.'\ 

" I raised the money for him, and the next day 
paid him two hundred dollars for Edy. She was a 
little girl four years old. He gave me this receipt : 

" ' Eeceived from Edmund Bacon two hundred 
dollars for Edy, daughter of Fennel, now at Edge- 
hill, and I bind myself to make a complete title in 
the said Edy to the said Bacon. "Witness my hand, 
this May 16, 1819. 

"^Tn. M. Eakdolph.' 

[See FacsimUe.l 

" He was finally unable to meet his obligations, 
failed completely, and lost every thing. Mr. Jeffer- 
son, in making his will,* had to take especial care to 
prevent Mr. Randolph's creditors from getting what 
property he left for Mrs. Randolph. 

* See Mr. Jefferson's Will in the Appendix. 




"Before lie died his mind became shattered, 
and he pretty much lost his reason. He had no 
control of his temper. I have seen him cane his son 
Jeff, after he was a grown man. Jeff, made no resist- 
ance, but got away from him as soon as he could. I 
have seen him knock down his son-in-law Charles 
L. Bankhead with an iron poker. Bankhead mar- 
ried his daughter Anne. She was a perfectly love- 
ly woman. She was a Jefferson in temper. He 
was the son of a very wealthy man who lived near 
Fredericksburg. He was a fine-looking man, but a 
terrible drunkard. I have seen him ride his horse 
into the bar-room at Charlottesville and get a drink 
of liquor. I have seen his wife run from him when 
he was drunk and hide in a potato-hole to get out 
of danger. He once stabbed Jeff. Randolph be- 
cause he had said something about his abuse of his 
sister, and I think would have kiUed him, if I had 
not interfered and separated them. 

" One night he was very drunk and made a 
great disturbance, because Burwell, who kept the 
keys, would not give him any more brandy. Mrs. 
Randolph could not manage him, and she sent for 
me. She would never call on Mr. Randolph at 
such a time, he was so excitable. But he heard 
the noise in the dining-room and rushed in to see 
what was the matter. He entered the room just as 
I did, and Bankhead, thinking he was Burwell, be- 


gan to curse him. Seizing an iron poker that was 
standing by the fireplace, he knocked him down as 
quick as I ever saw a bullock falL The blow 
pealed the skin off one side of his forehead and 
face, and he bled terribly. It if had been a square 
blow, instead of glancing off as it did, it must have 
killed him. 

" Bankhead came to me one Court day at Char- 
lottesville and told me he did not want me and one 
of our overseers that was with me to leave him that 
day. He did not tell us what he wanted, and we 
had no idea. We saw that he did not get drunk 
that day as usual, and we were surprised at that. 
Towards night he came to us and said he wanted 
us to start home with him. We rode out of town 
some distance towards Monticello, and he got off 
his horse and hitched him to the fence, and re- 
quested us to hitch ours and stay with him. We 
still had no idea of what he was about, or what 
he wanted of us. At length Phil. Barbour and 
Wm. F. Gordon rode along. Gordon had been em- 
ployed in a suit against Bankhead, and in making 
his speech he had taken a lawyer's privilege and said 
a good many severe things about him, for which he 
had determined to fight him. Bankhead went out 
immediately in front of Gordon and requested him 
to get down ; said he wanted to speak to him. Gor- 
don made some excuse, and declined. Bankhead 


asked him again, and Gordon, who seemed to have 
no idea what he wanted, gave some reason that I 
have forgotten, and again declined. Bankhead then 
told him he had insulted him, and began to curse 
him with all his might. He told him that he was 
armed, and that if he did not get down, he would 
bring him down — he would shoot him ; ^ but,' said 
he, * if you will get down, I will throw away my 
pistols, and agree to fight you with nothing but 
what my mother gave me.' It was no use for Gor- 
don to refiise, nor for us to try to prevent the fight. 
He got off his horse, and he had hardly touched 
the ground, before at it they went, and I never in 
all my life saw such a fight. They fought and 
fought, and neither seemed to get the least bit of 
advantage over the other. They clinched several 
times, and tried to throw each other down, but 
both were too strong and supple. Neither could 
get the other down. I never did see as even a 
match. I think they must have fought a half an 
hour, and both of them were as bloody as butchers, 
when I told PhU. Barbour it would never do for us 
to let them fight any longer — we must separate 
them. So he took hold of Gordon, and I took 
hold of Bankhead, and we just pulled them apart. 
" Bankhead got the worst of it. One eye was 
badly injured, and I think never did get entirely 
over the hurt. Bankhead was the stoutest, but 


Gordon had the l)est wind. I often heard him de- 
scribe the fight, and laugh about it afterwards. 
He said he thought of crying * Enough ! ' several 
times, but Bankhead kept him so busy he hadn't 

"I bought a negro woman and her two chil- 
dren of Bankhead. Here is his receipt : 

" * This writing proves that I have sold and re- 
ceived payment for a negro woman named Winny, 
and her two children, and that I promise and am 
bound to give a bill of sale for s'd negro's, hav- 
ing received payment. 

" ' As witness my hand, &c. 

"^Chas. L. Bankhead. 


"^ThOS. WELIfi. 

'''1st July, 1814."' 
[See Facsimile.'\ 





AGAIN — MR. Jefferson's instructions in regard to his cider — sally 


" Mr. Jefferson was always very kind and indul- 
gent to Ms servants. He would not allow them to 
be at all overworked, and lie would hardly ever 
allow one of them to be whipped. His orders to 
me were constant, that if there was any servant 
that could not be got along with without the chas- 
tising that was customary, to dispose of him. He 
could not bear to have a servant whipped, no odds 
how much he deserved it. I remember one case in 
particular. Mr. Jeflferson gave written instructions 
that I should always sell the nails that were made 
in his nailery. "We made from sixpenny to twenty- 


penny nails, and always kept a supply of each kind 
on hand. I went one day to supply an order, and 
the eight-penny nails were all gone, and there was 
a full supply of all the other sizes. Of course they 
had been stolen. I soon became satisfied that Jim 
Hubbard, one of the servants that worked in the 
nailery, had stolen them, and charged him with it. 
He denied it powerfiilly. I talked with Grady, the 
overseer of the nailery, about it, and finally I said, 
* Let us drop it. He has hid them somewhere, and 
if we say no more about it, we shall find them.' I 
examined his house, and every place I could think 
of, but for some time I could find nothing of the 
nails. One day after a rain, as I was following a 
path through the woods, I saw muddy tracks on 
the leaves leadiog off from the path. I followed 
them until I came to a tree-top, where I found the 
nails buried in a large box. There were several 
hundred pounds of them. From circumstances, I 
knew that Jim had stolen them. Mr. Jefferson 
was at home at the time, and when I went up to 
Monticello I told him of it. He was very much 
surprised, and felt very badly about it. Jim had 
always been a favorite servant. He told me to be 
at my house next morning when he took his ride, 
and he would see Jim there. When he came, I 
sent for Jim, and I never saw any person, white or 
blacky feel as badly as he did when he saw his mas- 



ter. He was mortified and distressed beyond meas- 
ure. He had been brought up in the shop, and we 
all had confidence in him, Now his character was 
gone. The tears streamed down his face, and he 
begged pardon over and over again. I felt very 
badly myself. Mr. Jeflferson turned to me, and said, 
^Ah, sir, we can't punish him. He has suffered 
enough already.' He then talked to him, gave hiTn 
a heap of good advice, and sent him to the shop. 
Grady had waited, expecting to be sent for to 
whip him, and he was astonished to see him come 
back and go to work after such a crime. When he 
came to dinner — ^he boarded with me then — ^he told 
me, that when Jim came back to the shop, he said, 
^ Well, Tse been a-seeking religion a long time, but 
I never heard any thing before that sounded so, or 
made me feel so, as I did when master said, " Go, 
and don't do so any more ; " and now Fse deter- 
mined to seek religion till I find it;' and sure 
enough, he afterwards came to me for a permit to 
go and be baptized. I gave him one, and never 
knew of his doing any thing of the sort again. He 
was always a good servant afterwards 

" Mr. Jefferson had a large number of favorite 
servants, that were treated just as well as could be. 
Burwell was the main, principal servant on the 
place. He did not go to Washington. Mr. Jeffer- 
son had the most perfect confidence in him. He 


told me not to be at all particular witli him — to 
let him do pretty much as he pleased, and to let 
him have pocket money occasionally, as he want- 
ed it. 

" Once or twice every week while Mr. Jefferson 
was President, I opened every room in the house, 
and had it thoroughly aired. "When I was so busy 
that I could not attend to this myself, I would 
send the keys to Burwell, and he would air the 
house, and was, if possible, more particular than I 
was. He stayed at Monticello, and took charge of 
the meat-house, garden, &c., and kept the premises 
in order. Mr. Jefferson gave him his freedom in 
his will, and it was right that he should do it. 

" The house servants were Betty Brown, Sally, 
Critta, and Betty Hemings, Nance, and Ursula. 
They were old family servants, and great favorites. 
They were in the room when Mrs. Jefferson died.* 
She died before I went to live with him, and left 
four little children. He never married again. They 
have often told my wife, that when Mrs. Jefferson 
died, they stood around the bed. Mr. Jefferson sat 
by her, and she gave him directions about a good 
many things that she wanted done. When she 
came to the children, she wept, and could not speak 
for some time. Finally she held up her hand, and 
spreading out her four fingers, she told him she 

♦ Mrs. Jefferson died in 1782. 


could not die happy if she thouglit her four chil- 
dren were ever to have a step-mother brought in 
over them. Holding her other hand in his, Mr. 
Jefferson promised her solemnly that he would 
never marry again. And he never did. He was 
then quite a young man, and very handsome, and 
I suppose he could have married well; but he 
always kept that promise. 

"These women remained at MonticeUo while 
he was President. I was instructed to take no 
control of them. They had very little to do. 
When I opened the house, they attended to airing 
it. Then every March we had to bottle all his 
cider. Dear me, this was a job. It took us tWo 
weeks. Mr. Jefferson was very particular about 
his cider. He gave me instructions to have every 
apple cleaned perfectly clean when it was made. 
Here are his instructions : 

"^We have saved red Hughes enough from 
the north orchard to make a smart cask of cyder. 
They are now mellow, and beginning to rot. I 
will pray you, therefore, to have them made into 
cyder immediately. Let them be made clean one 
by one, and all the rotten ones thrown away, or the 
rot cut out. Nothing else can ensure good cyder.' 

"Sally Hemings went to France with Maria 


Jefferson when she was a little girL Mr. Jefferson 
was Minister to Prance, and lie wanted to put her 
in school there. They crossed the ocean alone. I 
have often heard her teU about it. When they 
got to London, they stayed with Mr. Adams, who 
was Minister there, until Mr. Jefferson came or 
sent for them. I have read a beautiful letter that 
Mrs. Adams wrote to her sister, Mrs. Cranch, about 
her. Here it is : 

" * I have had with me for a fortnight a little 
daughter of Mr. Jefferson's, who arrived here with 
a young negro girl, her servant, from Virginia. 
Mr. Jefferson wrote me some months ago that he 
expected them, and desired me to receive them. I 
did so, and was amply repaid for my trouble. A 
finer child of her age I never saw. So mature an 
understanding, so womanly a behavior, and so 
much sensibility, united, are rarely to be met with. 
I grew so fond of her, and she was so attached to 
me, that, when Mr. Jefferson sent for her, they 
were obliged to force the little creature away. 
She is but eight years old. She would sit, some- 
times, and describe to me the parting with her 
aunt, who brought her up, the obligations she was 
under to her, and the love she had for. her little 
cousins, till the tears would stream down her 
cheeks ; and how I had been her friend, and she 


loved me. Her papa would break her heart by 
making her go again. She dmig romid me so that 
I could not help shedding a tear at parting with 
her. She was the fevorite of every one in the 
house. I regret that such fine spirits must be 
spent in the walls of a convent She is a beau- 
tiful girl, too.' * 

" Ursula was Mrs. Eandolph's nurse. She was 
a big fat woman. She took charge of all the chil- 
dren that were not in school. K there was any 
switching to be done, she always did it. She used 
to be down at my house a great deal with those 
children. They used to be there so much, that we 
very often got tired of them ; but we never said 
so. They were all ,very much attached to their 
nurse. They always called her ^ Mammy.' 

"John Hemings was a carpenter. He was a 
first-rate workman — a very extra Workman. He 
could make any thing that was wanted in wood- 
work. He learned his trade of Dinsmore. He 
made most of the wood-work of Mr. Jefferson's 
fine carriage. Joe Fosset made the iron- work. He 
was a very fine workman ; could do any thing it 
was necessary to do with steel or iron. He learned 
his trade of Stewart. Mr. Jefferson kept Stewart 
several years longer than he would otherwise have 
done, in order that his own servants might learn 

* Mrs. Adams' Letters, vol. ii., p. 179. 


liis trade thorougUy. Stewart was a very superior 
workman, but lie would drink And Burwell was 
a fine painter. He painted the carriage, and always 
kept the house painted. He painted a good deal 
at the University. 

" Mr. Jeflferson freed a number of his servants 
in his will I think he would have freed all of 
them, if his affairs had not been so much involved 
that he could not do it. He freed one girl some 
years before he died, and there was a great deal of 
talk about it. She was nearly as white as any- 
body, and very beautiful. People said he freed 
her because she was his own daughter. She was 

not his daughter; she was 's daughter. I 

know that. I have seen him come out of her 
mother's room many a morning, when I went up 
to MonticeUo very early. When she was nearly 
grown, by Mi*. Jefferson's direction I paid her 
stage fare to Philadelphia, and gave her fifty dol- 
lars. I have never seen her since, and don't know 
what became of her. From the time she was large 
enough, she always worked in the cotton factory. 
She never did any hard work. 

" While Mr. Madison was President, one of our 
slaves ran away, and we never got him again. As 
soon as I learned that he was gone, I was satisfied 
that he had gone with Mr. Madison's cart to Wash- 
iQgton, and had passed himself off as Mr. Madi- 


son's servant. But Jeff. Eandolpli did not believe 
it. He believed lie had hid himself somewhere 
about the plantation, and he hunted everywhere 
for him. Finally he said he was sure he Wjas hid 
in the loft of the stable where we kept our mulea 
I told him it was no use to look ; but he would 
do it, and while crawling over the hay-mow, he 
tumbled through. I thought the mules would 
tread or kick him to death, but when he came out 
he said the mules were as badly scared as he was, 
when he fell among them, and did not move or 
hurt him at all. We afterwards learned that he 
went off with Mr. Madison's servant, as I had sup 
posed. No servants ever had a kinder master than 
Mr. Jefferson's. He did not like slavery. I have 
heard him talk a great deal about it. He thought 
it a bad system. I have heard him prophesy that 
we should have just such trouble with it as we are 
having now.* 

* Capt. Bacon is a stanch Union man, utterly opposed to the 
whole secession movement. 




— ^MR. Jefferson's reception on the way — ^anxiety to see "old 


" I VISITED Mr. Jefferson at Washington three times 
while he was President. My first visit was soon 
after his inauguration. I went to take his carriage 
horses. The second time I went he had got very 
much displeased with two of his servants, Davy 
and Fanny, and he wished me to take them to 
Alexandria and sell them. They were married, 
and had got into a terrible quarrel. Davy was 
jealous of his wife, and, I reckon, with good rea- 
son. When I got there, they learned what I had 
come for, and they were in great trouble. They 
wept, and begged, and made good promises, and 


made such an ado, that they begged the old gentle- 
man out of it. . But it was a good lesson for them. 
I never heard any more complaint of them; and 
when I left Mr. Jeflferson, I left them both at Mon- 

" The last time I visited Mr. Jefferson in "Wash- 
ington, I stayed there sixteen days. This was 
when I went to help him settle up his business, 
and move home his goods and servants. He had 
eleven servants with him from Monticello. He 
had a French cook in Washington named Julien, 
and he took Eda and Fanny there, to learn French 
cookery. He always preferred French cookery. 
Eda and Fanny were afterwards his cooks at Mon- 

" Some days I was very busy attending to pack- 
ing up his goods, getting in his bills, and settling 
up his business. Other days I had very little to 
do, and I would go up to the CapitoL I haven't 
been in Washington since the British played the 
wild there in the war of 1812. When I was there, 
the President's house was surrounded with a high 
rock wall, and there was an iron gate immediately 
in front of it, and from that gate to the Capitol the 
street was just as straight as a gun-barrel. Nearly 
all the houses were on that street. I took a great 
deal of pleasure in going to the Capitol and hear- 
ing the debates. 


" Mr. Jeflferson often told me that the office of 
Vice-President was far preferable to that of Presi- 
dent. He was perfectly tired out with company. 
He had a very long dining-room, and his table was 
chock-full every one of the sixteen days I was 
there. There were Congressmen, foreigners, and 
all sorts of people to dine with him. He dined at 
four o'clock, and they generally sat and talked 
until night. It used to worry me to sit so long, 
and I finally quit when I got through eating, and 
went off and left them. 

" The first thing in the morning there, was to 
go to market. There was no market then in Wash- 
ington. Mr. Jefferson's steward was a Frenchman 
named Lamar. He was a very smart man, was 
well educated, and as much of a gentleman in his 
appearance as any man. His carriage driver was 
an Irishman named Dougherty. He would get out 
the wagon early in the morning, and Lamar would 
go with him to Georgetown to market. I have all 
my life been in the habit of getting up about four 
o'clock in the morning, and I went with them very 
often. Lamar told me that it often took fifty dol- 
lars to pay for what marketing they would use in 
a day. Mr. Jefferson's salary did not support him 
while he was President. 

" We got loaded up ready to start home, and I 
left Washington on the third of March. Mr, Jef- 


ferson stayed to attend the inauguration, but over- 
took us before we got home. I had three wagons 
jfrom Monticello — two six-inule teams loaded with 
boxes, and the other four sorrel Chickasaw horses, 
and the wagon pretty much loaded with shrubbery 
from Maine's nursery. The servants rode on these 
wagons. I had the carriage horses and carriage, 
and rode behind them. 

" On our way home we had a tremendous snow- 
storm. It snowed very fast, and when we reached 
Culpepper Court House it was half-leg deep. A 
large crowd of people had collected there, expect- 
ing that the President would be along. When I 
rode up, they thought I was the President, and 
shouted and hurrahed tremendously. When I got 
out of the carriage, they laughed very heartily at 
their mistake. There was a platform along the 
whole front of the tavern, and it was full of people. 
Some of them had been waiting a good while, and 
drinking a good deal, and they made so much noise 
that they scared the horses, and Diomede backed, 
and tread upon my foot, and lamed me so that I 
could hardly get into the carriage the next morn- 
ing. There was one very tall old fellow that was 
noisier than any of the rest, who said he was bound 
to see the President — ^'Old Tom,' he called him. 
They asked me when he would be along, and I 
told them I thought he would certainly be along 


that night, and I looked for him every moment 
The tavern was kept by an old man named Shackle- 
ford. I told him to have a large fire built in a 
private room, as Mr. Jeflferson would be very cold 
when he got there, and he did so. I soon heard 
shouting, went out, and Mr. Jefferson was in sight. 
He was in a one-horse vehicle — a phaeton — ^with 
a driver, and a servant on horseback. When he 
came up, there was great cheering again. I mo- 
tioned to him to follow me ; took him straight to 
his room, and locked the door. The tall old fellow 
came and knocked very often, but I would not let 
him in. I told Mr. Jefferson not to mind him, he 
was drunk. Finally the door was opened, and they 
inished in and filled the room. It was as fiill as I 
ever saw a bar-room. He stood up, and made a 
short address to them. Afterwards some of them 
told him how they had mistaken me for him. He 
went on next day, and reached Monticello before 
we did, so that I did not see the large reception 
that the people of Albemarle gave him when he 
got home.* 

•* Mr. Jefferson was present at the inangaration of his snccessor, 
and soon afterwards set out for home. The inhabitants of the county 
of his birth and residence (Albemarle) had proposed to meet and 
escort him to Monticello, with imposing ceremonies. He quietly put 
aside the request, by' declaring that he could not decide on the day 
of his return, and he added : 


" Mr. Jeffersono^vd a very large library. When 
the British burnt Washington, the library that be- 
longed to Congress was. destroyed, and Mr. Jeffer- 

" But it is a suflScient happiness to me to know that my fellow- 
citizens of the country generally entertain for me the kind senti- 
ments which have prompted this proposition, without giving to so 
many the trouhle of leaving their homes to meet a single individual. 
I shall have opportunities of taking them individually by the hand at 
our Court House and other public places, and of exchanging assur- 
ances of mutual esteem. Certainly it is the greatest consolation to 
me to know, that in returning to the bosom of my native county, I 
shall be again in the midst of their kind affections ; and I can say 
with truth that my return to them will make me happier than I have 
been since I left them." 

The proposed ovation gave way to an address, and it was thus an- 
swered : 

"To THE Inhabitants of Albemable County, in Yibginia. 

•♦April 8, 1809. 

"Returning to the scenes of my birth and early life, to the soci- 
ety of those with whom I was raised, and who have been ever dear 
to me, I receive, fellow-citizens and neighbors, with inexpressible 
pleasure, the cordial welcome you are so good as to give me. Long 
absent on duties which the history of a wonderful era made incum- 
bent on those called to them, the pomp, the turmoil, the bustle 
and splendor of oflSce, have drawn but deeper sighs for the tranquil 
and irresponsible occupations of private life, for the enjoyment of an 
affectionate intercourse with you, my neighbors and friends, and the 
endearments of family love, which nature has given us all, as the 
sweetener of every hour. For these I gladly lay down the distress- 
ing burden of power, and seek, with my fellow-citizens, repose and 
safety under the watchful cares, and labors, and perplexities, of 
younger and abler minds. The anxieties you express to administer 
to my happiness, do, of themselves, confer that happiness ; and the 


son sold them his. He directed me to have it 
packed in boxes and sent to Washington. John 
Hemings, one of his servants, made the boxes, and 
Burwell and I packed them up mostly. Dinsmore 
helped us some, and the girls, Ellen, Virginia, and 
Cornelia would come in sometimes and sort them 
out, and help us a good deal. There was an im- 
mense quantity of them. There were sixteen 
wagon loads. I engaged the teams.' Each wagon 
was to carry three thousand pounds for a load, and 
to have four dollars a day for delivering them in 
Washington. If they carried more than three 
thousand pounds, they were to have extra pay. 
There were all kinds of books — ^books in a great 
many languages that I knew nothing about. There 
were a great many religious books among them — 

measure will be complete, if my endeavors to fulfil my duties in the 
several public stations to which I have been called, have obtained for 
me the approbation of my country. The part which I have acted on 
the theatre of public life, has been before them, and to their sentence 
I submit it ; but the testimony of my native county, of the individ- 
uals who have known me in private life, to my conduct in its various 
duties and relations, is the more grateful, as proceeding from eye- 
witnesses, and observers, from triers of the vicinage. Of you, then, 
my neighbors, I may ask, in the face of the world, " Whose ox have 
I taken, or whom have I defrauded ? Whom have I oppressed, or of 
whose hand have I received a bribe to blind mine eyes therewith ? " 
On your verdict I rest with conscious security. Your wishes for 
my happiness are received with just sensibility, and I offer nincere 
prayers for your own welfare and prosperity." 

[Bakdall'o Lifb of Jkffkbsov, toL iil^ pp. 806, 806.] 



more than I have ever seen anywhere else. All 
the time Mr. Jeflferson was President I had the 
keys to his library, and I could go in and look over 
the books, and take out any one that I wished, and 
read and return it. I have written a good many 
letters from that library to Mr. Jeflferson in Wash- 
ington. Mr. Jeflferson had a sofa or lounge upon 
which he could sit or recline, and a small table 
on rollers, upon which he could write, or lay his 
books. Sometimes he would draw this table up 
before the sofa, and sit and read or write; and 
other times he would recline on his sofa, with his 
table rolled up the sofa, astride it. He had a large 
Bible, which nearly always lay at the head of his 
sofa. Many and many a time I have gone into his 
room and found him reading that Bible. You re- 
member I told you about riding all night from 
Richmond, after selling that flour, and going into his 
room very early in the morning, and paying over to 
him the new United States Bank money. That 
was one of the times that I found him with the 
big Bible open before him on his little table, and 
he busy reading it. And I have seen him reading 
it in that way many a time. Some people, you 
know, say he was an atheist. Now if he was an 
atheist, what did he want with all those religious 
books, and why did he spend so much of his time 
reading his Bible ?. 


"When Chancellor Wythe died, he willed to 
Mr. Jeflferson his library. It was very large, and 
nearly filled up the lxx)m of the one he sold to 
Congress. Mr. Jeflferson studied law with Chan- 
cellor Wythe. They thought a great deal of each 






" Mr. Jeffersok always had a great deal of com- 
pany. He enjoyed seeing Ms Mends very inucli. 
Mr. Madison was very often at Monticello. He 
generally stayed there when he attended Court at 
Charlottesville. He was a fine man. He had a 
very solid look. I always thought he looked like 
a Methodist preacher ; he wore his hair as they did 
then. Mr. Monros, too, was at Monticello a great 
deal. I have seen him hundreds of times, and done 
a great deal of business with him. I sold him the 
nails, from Mr. Jefferson's nailery, for his house. I 
have had a great many letters from him. He was 
a miserable writer. Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Madi- 


son both wrote a plain, beautiful hand, but you 
could write better with your toes than Mr. Monroe 
wrote. I have heard Governor Morris say, that 
once, after Mr. Monroe had transcribed a paper, he 
could not read it. (Laughed heartily.) Here are 
two of Mr. Monroe's letters : 

" ^ Seb, — ^There has been a mistake in the kind 
of nails which I have written for. I cannot say 
whether you or I have made it. I wanted sixteen- 
penny naUs, and eightpenny. Mr. Fogg wiU want 
some of the latter kind for his hog'ds, which I will 
thank you to add to those already written for. 

" ^ I expect to pay you the cash at Court, or to 
make an arrangement to suit you. 

" ^ Your very obedient servant, 

"*Jas. Moneoe. 

"'Mr. Bacon. 
'''Januarys, 1810.' 

[See FacsimUe,'} 

" ^ Sir, — ^I have rec'd, by the boy, three pounds 
nineteen and seven pence, the balance due me of 
the fifty dollars sent you this morning, after paying 
£11 Os. 5d. due Mr. Jefiferson for nails. The state- 
ment is perfectly correct, and I am happy that it 
was in my power to accommodate you with the 


" ^ I am respectfully yours, 

"*Jas. Monroe. 

"' Feb, 1, IBIO: 




" Mr. Monroe was an indifferent manager — ^was 
nearly always in debt. He once applied to me to 
oversee for him, and offered me more than Mr. Jef- 
ferson was paying me ; but I said, * Sir, I would 
not leave Mr. Jefferson for any price.' * Then,' said 
he, * you must help me to get a man. You know 
what I want.' I recommended a man to him, and 
he employed him. 

" Mr. Monroe was not the equal of Mr. Jefferson 
or Mr. Madison ; and Chapman Johnson, Vaul W. 
Southall, Wm. F. Gordon, and Phil. Barbour were 
enough better lawyers than he. Everybody knew 
that. But he made the purchase of Louisiana, and 
that made him President. It was thought that he 
managed that matter remarkably well. I well re- 
member the firing of guns and great rejoicings 
there were when the news of that purchase first 
came. It made Mr. Monroe so popular, that he 
was elected President almost without opposition. 

" It used to be very interesting to the people to 
see the three ex-Presidents together. I have often 
seen them meet at Charlottesville on Court day, and 
stand and talk together a few minutes, and crowds 
of people would gather around them and listen to 
their conversation, and follow them wherever they 
would go. I remember one Court day I had been 
helping Scott, the Kentucky drover, sell his mules, 
as I knew all the people. He made fine sales that 


day, and when he had got through, he felt remark- 
ably well, and insisted on treating the company. 
When he came out of the bar-room he saw a large 
crowd collected together, and wanted to know what 
it meant. I told him Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Madison, 
and Mr. Monroe were there. ' The three Virginia 
Presidents ! ' he shouted, and off he ran to see 
them. I have seen two other Presidents, Jackson 
and John Quincy Adams. Adams was a fine little 
fellow. He had a solid look. 

"After Mr. Jefferson returned from Washing- 
ton, he was for years crowded wfth visitors, and 
they almost ate him out of house and home. They 
were there all times of the year; but about the 
middle of June the travel would commence from 
the lower part of the State to the Springs, and 
then there was a perfect throng of visitors. They 
travelled in their own carriages, and came in gangs 
— ^the whole family, with carriage and riding-horses 
and servants ; sometimes three or four such gangs 
at a time. We had thirty-six stalls for horses, and 
only used about ten of them for the stock we kept 
there. Very often all of the rest were fall, and I 
had to send horses off to another place. I have 
often sent a wagon-load of hay up to the stable, and 
the next morning there would not be enough left 
to make a hen's-nest. I have killed a fine beef, and 
it would aU be eaten in a day or two. There was 


no tavern in all that country that had so much 
company. Mrs. Randolph, who always lived with 
Mr. Jefferson after his return from Washington, 
and kept house for him, was very often greatly per- 
plexed to entertain them. I have known her many 
and many a time to have every bed in the house 
ftill, and she would send to my wife and borrow 
all her beds — she had six spare beds — ^to accom- 
modate her visitors. I finally told the servant who 
had charge of the stable, to only give the visitors' 
horses half allowance. Somehow or other Mr. Jef- 
ferson heard of this ; I never could tell how, un- 
less it was through some of the visitors' servants. 
He countermanded my orders. 

" One great reason why Mr. Jefferson built his 
house at Poplar Forest, in Bedford County, was 
that he might go there in the summer to get rid of 
entertaining so much company. He knew that it 
more than used up all his income from the plantation 
and every thing else, but he was so kind and polite 
that he received all his visitors with a simle, and 
made them welcome.^ They pretended to come out 
of respect and regard to him, but / think that the 
fact that they saved a tavern bill had a good deal 
to do with it, with a good many of them. I can 
assure you I got tired of seeing them come, and 
waiting on tLem. I knew just about as much 
about Mr. Jefferson's business as he did himseM^ 


and I knew that he could not stand it long. You 
know that he failed. This was after I left hira, but 
I knew that it was bound to come. He had to pay 
$20,000 for Gov. Wilson C. Nicholas, whose daugh- 
ter Jeff. Randolph married. I knew aU about that 
matter. I went to see Gov. Nicholas a good many- 
times on that business. Mr. Jefferson struggled on 
with that $20,000 several years, but that and his 
company finally broke him. After Gov. Nicholas 
broke, he came to live with Jeff. Randolph, and 
died there. I helped lay out his corpse, and had 
his grave dug. 

" When the Governor died, he was very much 
in debt. People that he owed did not believe he 
was dead — ^they thought it was a trick to get rid 
of them. They came long distances, and would 
come to see me about it, and I had hard work to 
make them believe that he was dead and buried. 
While he was Governor, he once sent out an agent 
to meet the droves of hogs that were coming in to 
Richmond, and buy them up; and the butchers 
were compelled to buy them aU of him. They 
w^re so mad that he had taken this way to make 
money out of them, that one night they covered 
the fence with hogs' entrails all around his house. 
After that they used to call him the * Hog Gov- 


^' When I left Mr. Jefferson, his grandson, Jeff 

! ^ 





i fi 







Randolph, took my place. He took charge of the 
business just as I had done for twenty years. I 
have loaned him money a great many times, and 
he has given me his note. Here is one of his notes, 
that is only part paid : 

"'$900. On or before the first day of Octo- 
ber, eighteen hundred and nineteen, I promise to 
pay Edmund Bacon, his heirs, executor, administra- 
tor, or assigns, the sum of nine hundred dollars, 
with legal interest from the twelfth day of October, 
1818, to the true payment of which I bind myself, 
my heirs, executor, and administrator. 

" ' Witness my hand and seal, this eighth (8) 
day of November, 1818. 

^ Th. J. Randolph. [seal.] ' 


" This note is endorsed on the back as foUows : 

" ' Received from Thomas J. Randolph the sum 
of five hundred and fourteen dollars, in part of the 
within obligation. E. Bacon. 

" * Sept, 20, 1819.' 

[See Facsimile,'] 

" I knew Jeff. Randolph as well as one man can 
know another. Mr. Jefferson took great pains with 
his education, but he didn't take after his mother 
— ^he wasn't a Jefferson — ^he wasn't talented. He 


never wrote those letters* about Mr. Jefferson with- 
out help. I know him too well to believe that. He 
never saw the day that he could write those letters. 
I should like to see him again. I know we should 
take a good deal of pleasure talking over old 

" I was very sorry to leave Mr. Jefferson ; but I 
was more willing to do it, because I did not wish 
to see the poor old gentleman suffer, what I knew 
he must suffer, from the debts that were pressing 
upon him. I know that he thought a great deal 
of me. I had proofs enough of that, besides the 
letter I showed you. I know that if one man 
ever tried to serve another faithfiilly, I did him — 
and he was satisfied. One day he was at the 
blacksmith-shop, and ***** found some fault 
with me, and said my salary was too large. The 
blacksmith, who heard the conversation, told me 
of it, and said Mr. Jefferson replied, * Not one man 
in a thousand would do as well for me as Mr. 
Bacon has done.' 

" When we parted, it was a trying time to me. 
I don't know whether he shed any tears or not, but 
I know that I shed a good many. He was sitting 
in his room, on his sofa, where I had seen him so 

* The letters published in RandalVa Life of Jefferson, I carried 
this work to Oapt. Bacon, and he read it with great interest daring 
my visits. 


often, and keeping hold of my hand some time, he 
said, * Now let us hear from each other occasion- 
ally ; ' and as long as he lived I heard from him 
once or twice a year. The last letter I ever had 
from him was when I wrote him of the death of 
my wife, soon after I got to this country. He ex- 
pressed a great deal of sympathy for me ; said he 
did not wonder that I felt completely broken up, 
and was disposed to move back ; that he had passed 
through the same himself; and only time and 
silence would relieve me. That is the letter I told 
you I so much regretted I had lost. 

"I am now (1862) in my seventy-seventh year. 
I have seen a great many men in my day, but I 
have never seen the equal of Mr. Jefferson. He 
may have had the faults that he has been charged 
with, but if he had, I could never find it out. I 
don't believe that, from his arrival to maturity to 
the present time, the country has ever had another 
such a man.'' 


In the preparation of tHs volume, the author 
has preferred to confine his labors to a simple pre- 
sentation of historical facts, leaving his readers to 
draw their own conclusions from the statements 
made. Whatever may be our individual views of 
Mr. Jefferson's public life, or his political or reli- 
gious opinions, it surely is matter for pride and joy 
that one who knew him so long and well bears 
such testimony to his character. 

While the author has been engaged in the 
preparation of this volume, lingering in spirit amid 
the sacred shades of Monticello, and dwelling upon 
its hallowed associations, an utterly causeless and 
wicked rebellion has culminated in the establish- 
ment of the so-called Confederate States. 

The facts presented in this volume, while they 
increase our reverence for those master-builders 
who laid the foundations of our glorious Union, 
give intensity to our abhorrence of their traitorous 
successors, who are endeavoring to tear down the 
magnificent structure. 


There could be no more sad and striking illus- 
tration of the folly and madness of this rebellion, 
than the fact that the home of Jefferson has been 
confiscated, because its owner is loyal to the Stars 
and Stripes. The banner of treason — ^the Confed- 
erate flag — now waves over the bones of the au- 
thor of the Declaration of Independence. If this 
sad fact does not stir them in their resting-place, it 
surely will move every loyal heart to the rescue of 
that hallowed shrine. With alt its historic associa- 
tions, like Mount Vernon, it belongs to the entire 
nation. With God's blessing on our arms, in the 
future as in the past, we will associate Monticello 
witb Quincy; Yorktown with Bunker Hill; Eu- 
taw Springs with Saratoga; Marion's men in the 
swamps of the Santee with those at Valley Forge ; 
and from these and all our old battle-fields we will 
gather flowers blushing with tints borrowed from 
the blood of their hallowed dead, witb which to 
entwine wreaths and garlands for our rejoicings 
over our not distant and not inglorious peace. 

And when that day comes, — as come it must, 
for we have only quicksands beneath our feet until 
we reach it, — ^when that day comes, and our dear 
old Ship of State is again moored in peaceftil 
waters, shall we not love her as never before? 
Then she will have demonstrated not only to us, 
but to the nations of the earth, that she can sail in 



storm as well as calm; a storm such as Ship of 
State never weathered before, and in which a less 
gallant crew would inevitably have gone down. 
Then^ with new-bom emphasis, we shall say : 

" Sail on, Ship of State ! 
Sail on, O Union strong and great ! 
Humanity, with all its fears, 
With all the hopes of future years, 
Is hanging breathless on thy fate ! 
We know what master laid thy keel, 
What workmen wrought thy ribs of steel, 
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope, 
What anvils rang, what hammers beat. 
In what a forge, and what a heat. 
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope. 
Fear not each sudden sound and shock ; 
Tis of the wave, and not the rock ; 
*Tis but the flapping of the sail. 
And not a rent made by the gale I 
In spite of rock and tempest's roar. 
In spite of false lights on the shore, 
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea, — 
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee ; 
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears, 
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears, 
Are all with thee I are all with thee I " 



"I, Thomas Jeffebson, of Monticello, in Albemarle, 
being of sound mind, and in my ordinary state of health, 
make my last will and testament, in manner and form as 
follows : 

" I give to my grandson, Francis Eppes, son of my 
dear deceased daughter, Mary Eppes, in fee simple, all 
that part of my lands at Poplar Forest, lying west of the 
following lines, to wit: beginning at Eadford's upper 
comer, near the double branches of Bear Creek and the 
public road, and running thence in a straight line to the 
fork of my private road, near the bam ; thence along 
that private road, (as it was changed in 1817,) to its 
crossing of the main branch of North Tomahawk Creek ; 
and from that crossing in a direct line over the main 
ridge which divides the North and South Tomahawk, 
to the South Tomahawk, at the confluence of two branch- 
es where the old road to the TVaterlick crossed it, and 
from that confluence up the northernmost branch, (which 
separates McDaniel's and Pen7's fields,) to its source; 


and thence by the shortest line to my western boundary. 
And having, in a former correspondence with my de- 
ceased son-in-law, John TV. Eppes, contemplated laying 
off for him, with remainder to my grandson, Francis, a 
certain portion in the southern part of my lands in Bed- 
ford and Campbell, which I afterwards found to be gen- 
erally more indifferent than I had supposed, and there- 
fore determined to change its location for the better; 
now, to remove all doubt, if any could arise on a purpose 
merely voluntary and unexecuted, I hereby declare that 
what I have herein given to my said grandson Francis, is 
instead of, and not additional, to what I had formerly 
contemplated. I subject all my other property to the 
payment of my debts in the first place. Considering the 
insolvent state of the affairs of my friend and son-in-law, 
Thomas Mann Eandolph, and that what will remain of 
my property will be the only resource against the want 
in which his family would otherwise be left, it must be 
his wish, as it is my duty, to guard that resource against 
all liability for his debts, engagements, or purposes what- 
soever, and to preclude the rights, powers, and author- 
ities over it, which might result to him by operation of 
law, and which might, independently of his will, bring it 
within the power of his creditors, I do hereby devise and 
bequeath all the residue of my property, real and per- 
sonal, in possession or in action, whether held in my own 
right, or in that of my dear deceased wife, according to 
the powers vested in me by deed of settlement for that 
purpose, to my grandson, Thomas J. Eandolph, and my 
friends, Nicholas P. Trist and Alexander Garret, and 
their heirs, during the life of my said son-in-law, Thomas 


M. Bandolphy to be held and administered by them, in 
trust, for the sole and separate use and behoof of my 
dear daughter, Martha Bandolph, and her heirs; and, 
aware of the nice and difficult distinction of the law in 
these cases, I will further explain by saying, that I un- 
derstand and intend the effect of these limitations to be, 
that the legal estate and actual occupation shall be vested 
in my said trustees, and held by them in base fee, deter- 
minable on the death of my said son-in-law, and the re- 
mainder during the same time be vested in my said 
daughter and her heirs, and of course disposable by her 
last will, and that at the death of my said son-in-law, the 
particular estate of the trustees shall be determined, and 
the remainder, in legal estate, possession, and use, be- 
come vested in my said daughter and her heirs, in abso- 
lute property forever. In consequence of the variety and 
indescribableness of the articles of property within the 
house of Monticello, and the difficulty of inventorying 
and appraising them separately and specifically, and its 
Inutility, I dispense with having them inventoried and 
appraised ; and it is my will that my executors be not 
held to give any security for the administration of my 
estate. I appoint my grandson, Thomas Jefferson Ean- 
dolph, my sole executor, during his life, and after his 
death, I constitute executors, my friends, Nicholas P. 
Trist and Alexander Garret, joining to them my daugh- 
ter, Martha Eandolph, after the death of my said son-in- 
law, Thomas M. Eandolph. Lastly, I revoke all former 
wills by me heretofore made ; and in witness that this is 
my will, I have written the whole, with my own hand, 
on two pages, and have subscribed my name to each of 



them, tills Bixteenth day of March, one thousand eight 
hnndred and twenty-six. 

*'Th. Jeffebson. 

^^I, Thomas Jefferson, of Monticello, in Albemarle, 
make and add the following codicil to my will, control- 
ling the same so far as its provisions go : 

"I recommend to my daughter, Martha Randolph, 
the maintenance and care of my well-beloved sister, 
Anne Scott, and trust confidently that from affection to 
her, as well as for my sake, she will never let her want a 
comfort. I have made no specific provision for the com- 
fortable maintenance of my son-in-law, Thomas M. Ban- 
dolph, because of the difficulty and uncertainty of devis- 
ing terms which shall vest any beneficial interest in him, 
which the law will not transfer to the benefit of his cred- 
itors, to the destitution of my daughter and her family, 
and disablement of her to supply him ; whereas, prop- 
erty placed under the exclusive control of my daughter 
and her independent will, as if she were a femme soUj 
considering the relation in which she stands both to him 
and his children, will be a certain resource against want 
for all. 

" I give to my friend, James Madison, of Montpellier, 
my gold-mounted walking-staff of animal horn, as a to- 
ken of the cordial and affectionate friendship which for 
nearly now an half century has united us in the same 
principles and pursuits of what we have deemed for the 
greatest good of our country. 

" I give to the University of Virginia my library, 
except such particular books only, and of the same edi- 


tion, as it may already possess, when this legacy shall 
take effect ; the rest of my said library, remaining after 
those given to the University shall have been taken out, 
I give to my two grandsons-in-law, Nicholas P. Trist and 
Joseph Coolidge. To my grandson, Thomas Jefferson 
Eandolph, I give my silver watch in preference of the 
golden one, because of its superior excellence, my papers 
of business going of course to him, as my executor, all 
others of a literary or other character I give to him as of 
his own property. 

" I give a gold watch to each of my grandchildren, 
who shall not have already received one from me, to be 
purchased and delivered by my executor to my grandsons 
at the age of twenty-one, and granddaughters at that of 

" I give to my good, affectionate, and faithful servant, 
Burwell, his freedom, and the sum of three hundred dol- 
lars, to buy necessaries to commence his trade of painter 
and glazier, or to use otherwise, as he pleases. 

" I give also to my good servants, John Hemings and 
Joe Fosset, their freedom, at the end of one year after 
my death ; and to each of them respectively, all the tools 
of their respective shops or callings ; and it is my will 
that a comfortable log-house be built for each of the 
three servants so emancipated, on some part of my lands 
convenient to them with respect to the residence of their 
wives, and to Charlottesville, and the University, where 
they will be mostly employed, and reasonably convenient 
also to the interests of the proprietor of the lands, of 
which houses I give the use of one, with a curtilage of 
an acre to each, during his life, or personal occupation 


^^ I give also to Jolin Hemings the service of his two 
apprentices, Madison and Eston Hemings, until their re- 
spective ages of twentyvone years, at which period, re- 
spectively, I give them their freedom ; and I humbly and 
earnestly request of the Legislature of Virginia a con- 
firmation of the bequest of freedom to these servants, 
with permission to remain in this State, where their fami- 
lies and connections are, as an additional instance of the 
favor of wliich I have received so many other manifesta- 
tions in the course of my life, and for which I now give 
them my last, solemn, and dutiful thanks. 

" In testimony that this is a codicil to my will of yes- 
terday's date, and that it is to modify so far the provisions 
of that will, I have written it all with my own hand in 
two pages, to each of which I subscribe my name, this 
seventeenth day of March, one thousand eight hundred 
and twenty-six. 

"Th. Jeffeeson." 

^3 >f 


Harvard College WIdener Library 
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