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Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.06430 Author/Creator: Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) Place Written: Charlottesville, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1 June 1795 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 22.2 x 18.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Discusses the new technology for a mill and includes a small diagram on the first page on the left side. Also writes about the joys of an agricultural life, asking Knox, "have you become a farmer? is it not pleasanter than to be shut up within 4. walls and delving eternally with the pen? I am become the most ardent farmer in the state. I live on my horse from morning to night almost. intervals are filled up with attentions to a nailery I carry on. I rarely look into a book, and more rarely take up a pen. I have proscribed newspapers, not taking a single one, nor scarcely ever looking into one. my next reformation will be to allow neither pen, ink, nor paper to be kept on the farm. When I have accomplished this I shall be in a fair way of indemnifying myself for the drudgery in which I have passed my life. if you are half as much delighted with the farm as I am, you bless your stars at your riddance from public cares." Written at Monticello, Jefferson's home. Docketed by Knox.

Full Transcript: [draft]
Monticello June 1. 1795.
Dear General
I recollect you were so kind as to undertake to give me an account of the success of an experiment made at Boston with a ...mill on the construction which was invented & contested by three different persons. Clarke of this state was one. A Physician of one of the Eastern states, whose name I do not recollect, was another. he had brought forward some other inventions. the third claimant was of New York. The mill was to go with either wind or water. the axis was vertical. the sails were in frames like doors, vertical also. they opened & shut on the side next the axis, and their hinges were at the extremity of the arm. This description is meant merely to bring into your mind the kind of machine, & perhaps the wretched diagram in the margin may assist. I hear there is one constructed at Boston which succeeds. I want much to erect something which may work a sawmill, or work a smith's smiting hammer in a place where I can have no agent but wind. I wish to know if this machine has answered in experience, and in that case the dimensions of the sails will be important, & of what substance made. I think the Eastern inventor had a convenient method of stopping the machine when he chose by cords. I would not trouble you with other particulars because I presume we can contrive them. have you become a farmer? is it not pleasanter than to be shut up within 4 walls and delving eternally with the pen? I am become the most ardent farmer in the state. I live on my horse from morning to night almost. intervals are filled up with attentions to a nailery I carry on. I rarely look into a book, and more rarely take up a pen. I have proscribed newspapers, not taking a single one, nor scarcely ever looking into one. [2] my next reformation will be to allow neither pen, ink, nor paper to be kept on the farm. when I have accomplished this I shall be in a fair way of indemnifying myself for the drudgery in which I have passed my life. if you are half as much delighted with the farm as I am, you bless your stars at your riddance from public cares. present my best respects to mrs. Knox, and accept assurances of esteem and regard from Dear General
Your most obedt.
& most humble servt.
Th: Jefferson
[docket]
Mr Thos Jefferson
1 June 1795
See More

People: Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826
Knox, Henry, 1750-1806

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: PresidentAgriculture and Animal HusbandryScience and TechnologyMillJournalismIndustryGovernment and CivicsMonticello

Sub Era: The Early Republic

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