The sheep are OK, but the potatoes will freeze.


Your favor of the 22d. has been duly received, and, in consequence of it, my manager Mr. Biddle now sets out for the sheep, as the approach of the yeaning [birthing] season leaves no time to spare as to them. I could have wished to have made one trip serve for them and the potatoes: but I am advised that the latter would be in danger of freezing on the road. I must therefore, as to them wait for milder weather.


Source: To Archibald Stuart, January 26, 1794

Patrick Lee’s Explanation

All leaders are dependent upon the weather!
After the weightiness of the last three posts, on the vexing issue of slavery, let us turn to mundane matters at Monticello!

Stuart was a protégé, friend, lawyer, and fellow Virginian, of Staunton, some 40 miles west of Monticello, near the mountains. The two men stayed at one another’s homes on their travels.

Jefferson had resigned as Secretary of State on December 31. He was “Now settled at home as a farmer” and must have asked Stuart about buying sheep and potatoes. Stuart replied that he had both. Jefferson dispatched his manager to bring back the sheep before it was time for them to have their lambs. He regretted not being able to get everything he needed in a single trip, but he had been warned that the potatoes would freeze over the several day journey in January. The potatoes would have to wait until spring.

“Thank you for making our conference a resounding success.”
County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania
Mr. Jefferson delights to make your conference
a resounding success, too.

Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739

The Moral Liberal Thomas Jefferson Editor, Patrick Lee, is a professional speaker, actor and writer. Since 1990, he has inspired, entertained and educated audiences from Maine to Hawaii with his authentic, first person leadership presentations as President Thomas Jefferson, Frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Lewis & Clark Co-Leader William Clark. He also appears as himself, The Hopeful Humorist™, with a program of motivational humor, patriotism and inspiration.

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