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Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) to Henry Remsen, Jr.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00639.16 Author/Creator: Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) Place Written: Germantown, Pennsylvania Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 9 November 1793 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 25 x 20 cm.

Jefferson writes after a Yellow Fever epidemic in Philadelphia had scattered the functions of the federal government through the countryside, and questions whether Congress could gather after voting to re-convene in Philadelphia. (Question of seat of government.) He looks forward to retirement as farmer and briefly discusses a threshing machine. Docketed.

Notes: Not in Bergh, but Remsen appears in TJ's Anas as a correspondent in New York, Bergh 1: 383. During an outbreak of yellow fever in Philadelphia during the Summer and Fall of 1793, Congress moved the seat of government outside the city. GLC 496.403 B.W. Dandridge ALS to Fanny Washington, 7/9/1793, mentions the death of Mary Lear, wife of Tobias, in this epidemic.

Germantown. Nov. 9. 1793.
Dear Sir
I am returned to this place about a week ago, the President having concluded to fix the Executive here till the meeting of Congress or till we shall see whether Philadelphia becomes safe. It is believed to be so now, insomuch that the refugee inhabitants are flocking into it. It is said there are no new subjects in the hands of the Physicians since the great rains. Some of those before infected are still sick. I therefore think it probable that Congress will find it safe to sit there. We expect that knowing the President to be here it will be an evidence to them that this place is safe, that they will therefore gather here, consult informally together as to the place of their session, & having made up their minds on that point, will go into the feilds [sic] of Philadelphia (if they think the Congress house not safe) and there adjourn by a vote. Their next meeting having been fixed by a joint vote (which is a law as to this matter) it is understood that they cannot be a legal body, till they shall legally change the place.
I am to acknolege the receipt of your favors of Oct. 1. 7 in. and to thank you for your care of the letters, and the box containing my model of the threshing machine. About this machine I am most anxious, as it is most precious to my future occupation as a farmer. I will therefore pray you to send it by some American vessel going to Richmond, & not to any other place in Virginia, because were it landed at Norfolk, or anywhere else, I know from experience [2] the certainty of losing it. Great pains have been taken by mr. Pinckney to procure the model & get it out to me, & it has cost 13. guineas. I will bear in mind the price of the interest [?] & send it by the first person I see going to New York. In the meantime should we go into Philadelphia and you should fulfill your purpose of visiting that place I shall be very happy to see you should I be still there as I shall be to the close of the year. I am with great and sincere esteem Dr. Sir
Your friend & Servt
Th: Jefferson
P.S. be pleased to direct the box to the care of Colo. Robert Gamble merchant Richmd.

[recipient docket on the bottom of the page:]
Mr. Jefferson
Novemr. 9, 1793
Dec. 4. Sent the model by the Ellice Capt. Weymouth to Richmond.

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