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PHILADELPHIA, January 17, 1799.

I wrote to my dear Martha Dec. 27, and to yourself Jan. 3. I am afraid my nailery will stop from the want of rod. Three tons were sent from hence Dec. II. The vessel was blown off the capes and deserted by the crew. She has been taken up at sea and carried into Albemarle Sound. We are in hopes, however, of getting off another supply from here immediately as the river bids fair to open. The shutting of the river has prevented any tobacco coming here as yet; so nothing is known about price. At New York the new tobacco is thirteen dollars. Georgia has sent a much larger quantiy there than had been expected, and of such a quality as to place it next to the Virginia. It is at eleven dollars while the tobacco of the Carolinas and Maryland are but ten dollars. I suspect that the price will be at its maximum this year. Whether that will be more than thirteen dollrs I do not know, but I think it will. When this city comes into the market, it must greatly increase the demand. We know too that immense sums of cash are gone and going on to Virginia, such as were never before heard of. Every stage is loaded. Some pretend here it is merely to pay for last year's tobacco, but we know that that was in a considerable degree paid for; and I have no doubt that a great part of this money is to purchase the new crop. If I were

offered thirteen dollars in Richmond, perhaps I should take it, for the sake of securing certain objects, but my judgment would condemn it. Wheat here is 1.75. Dr. Bache sets out for our neighborhood next month early, having concluded absolutely to settle there. He is now breaking up his house and beginning to pack. Dr. Logan tells me Dupont de Nemours is coming over, and decided to settle in our neighborhood. I always considered him as the ablest man in France. I ordered Bache's

papers for you from Jan. 1.1 The moment I can get answers from the Postmasters of Charlottesville and Milton to letters I wrote them a fortnight ago, we shall have the error of our mail corrected. It will turn out, I believe, to have taken place here by making up the mail a day too late, which occasioned a loss of a week at Fredericksburg. The bankrupt bill was yesterday rejected in the H. of R. by a majority of three. Logan's law will certainly pass." Nobody mistakes the object of it. The forgery they attempted to palm on the House, of a memo

'The "Aurora," which violently opposed the administration of Washington and Adams, was published by Benjamin Franklin Bache, a grandson of Dr. Franklin.-EDs.

2 The act here referred to was passed Jan. 30, 1799, and made it a criminal offence, punishable by a fine and imprisonment, for any citizen of the United States, without the permission of his own government, to carry on any verbal or written correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or its agents in regard to any disputes with the United States. The act was occasioned by some unauthorized communications made to the French government by Dr. George Logan, afterward a Senator of the United States from Pennsylvania. (See Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography, vol. iv. p. 4.)— EDS.

rial falsely pretended to have been drawn and presented by Logan, is so completely detected, as to have thrown infamy on the whole proceeding, but a majority will still go through with it. The army and navy are steadily pursued. The former, with our old troops, will make up about 14,000 men, and consequently cost annually seven millions of dollars. The navy will cost annually five and onehalf millions, but as it will not be on foot, no addition to the direct tax will be made at this session, nor perhaps at the next. It is very evident from circumstances that a window tax is intended. A loan for five millions is opened at 8 per cent. The extravagance of the interest will occasion it to fill. This it is supposed will build the navy. Our taxes bring in this year ten and one half-millions clear, and the direct tax will add two millions. According to the principles settled by a (British) majority of the commissioners under the treaty, that demand will be from fifteen to twenty millions of dollars, but there is some reason to suppose our government will not yield to it. In that case they must recur to new negotiations. Notwithstanding the forgeries of London, Vienna, and Constantinople, it is believed that Bonaparte will establish himself in Egypt, and that that is, for the present at least, his ultimate object. Also that the insurrection in Ireland is in force and better organized than before. My warmest love to my dear Martha and the little ones; to yourself affectionate salutations and Adieu.


MONTICELLO, November 26, 1799.

DEAR SIR, Mr. Wirt, who is of my neighborhood, offers himself a candidate for the clerkship of the House of Representatives, and being known to few of the members, his friends are naturally anxious that what may be said of him with truth should be said." I only fulfill a duty, therefore, when I bear testimony in this as I would in any other case. He has lived several years my near neighbor, having married the daughter of the late Dr. Gilmer. He is a person of real genius and information, one of the ablest at the bars in this part of the country, amiable and worthy in his private character, and in his republicanism most zealous and active. information is given you in order that having equal knowledge of the other candidates you may be enabled to satisfy your own mind by choosing the best.


For some years past there has been a project on foot for making a more direct road across this State for those travelling between the North and South.

1 Printed from the original in the Washburn Collection of Autographs given to the Massachusetts Historical Society.-EDS.

' William Wirt, the eminent lawyer, was born in Bladensburg, Md., Nov. 8, 1772, and died in Washington, D, C., Feb. 18, 1834. He began his legal career in Virginia, and in 1795 he was married to the daughter of Dr. George Gilmer. She died in 1799, and he removed to Richmond, and was elected Clerk of the House of Delegates. His legal knowledge, his eloquence, and his rare ability in argument placed him in the foremost rank of American lawyers. (See Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography, vol. vi. pp. 578, 579.)-EDS.

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It is only necessary to open it in parts, as there are already roads through a great proportion of the way. It is to lead from Georgetown by Stevensburg, Norman's ford, the Raccoon ford, Martin King's ford, the mouth of Slate River, to the High bridge on Appomattox, from whence the present roads southwardly suffice.. It will shorten the line across this State probably fifty miles, is calculated on the precise object of avoiding all hills, but at the crossing of the principal watercourses, and will undoubtedly be the best road for the principal mail between the North and South. This matter will be before you this session, and will be worthy your attention.

Some schismatic appearances and other political circumstances will render it necessary for us perhaps to adapt our conduct to their improvement. But I cease from this time during the ensuing twelvemonth to write political letters, knowing that a campaign of slander is now to open upon me, and believing that the postmasters will lend their inquisitorial aid to fish out any new matter of slander they can to gratify the powers that be. I hope my friends will understand and approve the motives of my silence. Health, happiness, and affectionate salutations.

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