The term of payment for the two last pipes of wine being now at hand I have desired mr John Barnes of Georgetown to remit you in the first week of the month now about to enter seven hundred dollars … if you have now remaining on hand any of the same quality I would gladly take two pipes more, payable at 90. days. accept assurances of my respect.
Source: To James Taylor, August 28, 1801
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Different leaders relax in different ways! (OR: Hang the cost!)
Jefferson loved his wine! His multiple efforts to transplant a viticulture from France to Monticello had been unsuccessful, and he remained dependent on others for his supply. Although his indebtedness had been increasing for years, an ample wine supply was yet another creature comfort he would not deny himself.
A pipe of wine was 126 gallons, 1/2 of a larger barrel called a tun. This order was for two pipes. He wanted two pipes more. Four pipes would be just over 500 gallons, or 2,500 750ml bottles by today’s measurement. Jefferson’s cost was $1,400. Widely varying estimates on the value of a dollar in 1800 compared with today, could make the current cost between $28,000 and $42,000.
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Originally posted at http://ThomasJeffersonLeadership.com
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.