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would be answerable for every thing trusted to him as if to himself. I was on horse back and at the river side, so could not give him a written order, but shall hereafter be willing to trust his boat, whether he is with it himself or not, and consequently would wish the rest of my wines to be delivered to the conductor of his boat whenever called for. The impossibility of buying raw cotton obliges [me] to recur to the cultivating it myself. So much has it [got] out of practice that even the seed is lost in this part of the country. Could you possibly buy me a sack or barrel of about five bushels? It will be a great accommodation to me. Affectionately yours.


MONTICELLO, Nov. 8, 1818. DEAR SIR,-I enclose you four letters lately received, which I suppose to be from your friends in Ireland, and which I hope may give you agreeable news from them.

I return you also the papers which Mr. Dinsmore gave me from you, and I see, not without sensible regret, that our ideas of the mode of charging interest are very different. I never in my life paid a cent of compound interest, being principled against it; not but that compound may be made as just as simple

This letter is printed from Jefferson's polygraph copy. It is addressed at the foot of the page to "Mr. Neilson," but is indorsed in Jefferson's hand "John Nelson."-EDS.

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interest, but then it should be at a lower rate. Interest, simple or compound, is a compensation for the use of money, and the legislature supposed, as is the truth and general opinion, that taking one mode of employing money with another, 6 per cent simple interest is an average profit; but had they established a compensation by way of compound interest, they would have probably fixed it at 4 or 4 per cent. The difference it makes in our case is but a little over forty dollars, a sum which with you I think nothing of, could I allow myself to countenance what I think is wrong, without pretending to censure those who think differently; as it is, your debt, in the form in which I always considered it, shall be paid out of the proceeds of my crop now going to market as soon as sold, which possibly may be not till April. Your debt has remained in my hands because not called for, and in the belief you had no expectation of placing it at better profit. Had I ever supposed you wished to employ it otherwise, it should never have been kept from you a moment. In no case, however, will this difference of opinion lessen my wishes to be useful to you, nor my friendly esteem for you.


MONTICELLO, Jan. 31, 1819. SIR,-Your favor of the 13th was received on the 24th, and I extremely regret that it is not in my power to give you any information on the subject of Mr. James Otis. My acquaintance with the Eastern characters began with the first Congress; Mr. Otis not being a member, I had never any personal acquaintance or correspondence with him. Colonel Richard Henry Lee, of Westmoreland County, had, I know, an active correspondence from the early dawn of our Revolution with gentlemen of that quarter, and with none more probably than Mr. Otis, who was then so conspicuous in the principles of the day. It is probable he preserved Mr. Otis's letters, and that his family now possesses them. Of them I have no knowledge, as their residence is in a part of the State very remote from mine. But a certain and easy channel for your communication with them would be through any member of Congress from your State and the member from the Westmoreland district of ours. Who he is, I cannot tell you, so entirely am I withdrawn from all attention to public affairs, and so thoroughly satisfied to leave them to the generation

1 William Tudor, Jr., was born in Boston, Jan. 28, 1779, graduated at Harvard College in 1796, and died at Rio de Janeiro, March 9, 1830. He was the founder and first editor of the “North American Review," and author of a "Life of James Otis," which has deservedly enjoyed a high reputation, besides several minor publications. See Proceedings (Massachusetts Historical Society), vol. i. pp. 429-433.-Eds.

in place, in whose hands, from the advancing state of knowledge, they will be at least as wisely conducted as they have been by their predecessors. With this scanty information, all, however, which I possess, I pray you to accept the assurance of my high respect and esteem.

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MONTICELLO, June 22, 1819.1

DEAR SIR,-Your favor of June 22 is received. That of May 25 had come to hand in due time, and was in my bundle of "Letters to be answered;" but as I am obliged to marshal them according to their degree of pressure I had not yet reached it, although I devote to that business daily from sunrise to dinner, saving one hour to ride, and generally from dinner to sunset. On the subject of the anatomist and mathematician who wish a place in our University, nothing can be said at present, because it has been concluded by the Visitors to employ all our funds of the present and next year in providing buildings for the habitation of the professors and students, and consequently not to open the University generally until the year 1821. I say generally, because particular and previous transactions had led to the proposing to Dr. Cooper the commencing his branches in April next. The conflagration in which you are kind enough to take an interest was only of a detached 1 Mistake in date; should be June 29.

pavilion, which is now again under repair. Mr. Poletika has been on a visit to us and left us yesterday. I had previously by letter given him the necessary explanations on Kosciusko's affairs here, which were quite satisfactory to him. I am endeavoring to transfer the whole business to a Federal court, having refused the executorship. We have had a circuitous rumor that you meant to visit your native State this summer. In that event we should certainly hope to share in the visit. As Mr. Correa promises an annual pilgrimage to this place, I am informing him of my movements the ensuing season, that I may not lose the benefit of his visit, as once befell me. I set out to Poplar Forest this day week, to remain there through July, August and September, I must be back of necessity by the 1st of October to the meeting of our Visitors, at which further arrangements will be decided on respecting our University; and as yourself as well as Mr. Correa are kind enough to take an interest in its success, it may be some inducement towards the timing your visit. I will be responsible that for health you will be as safe here as at the watering places, although we cannot offer as varied a society; yet I trust the day is not so distant but that I shall live to see it, when we can be able to offer a more desirable society to men of mind than any other place in America. We have a carte blanche for their employment, and we mean to accept for our institution no person of secondary grade in his science, if there be one of the first on

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