"to beg some Asparagus"
Thomas Jefferson, 1812
JEFFERSON, Thomas (1743-1826). Autograph note signed ("Th Jefferson") to Rev. Charles Clay, [Poplar Forest,] 10 May 1812.

One page, bifolium, (124 x 245mm). Integral transmittal leaf addressed in his hand to "Mr. Clay" (Small loss to address panel from seal tear, light browning along folds to the same.) Housed in a red clamshell and slipcase.

Jefferson writes "to beg some Asparagus" from his Poplar Forest neighbor and invites him to dine. Jefferson writes from Poplar Forest, his "retreat" in Bedford County, Virginia—a place of refuge from the continual stream of visitors to Monticello. Yet Jefferson was not a recluse at Poplar Forest, and this note is indicative of his social nature and the intimate circle of friends he cultivated there. Jefferson writes, in full: "Th. Jefferson to Mr. Clay The bearer comes to beg some asparagus, and if you have no better project for the day, to come and partake of it, weather permitting. I salute you with friendship & respect. Sunday May 10. 12." Rev. Charles Clay (1745-1820) was rector of St. Anne's Parish in Albemarle County, Virginia until 1782. He was a Virginia native and a longtime friend of Jefferson. Clay voted against Virginia's ratification of the Constitution and ran unsuccessfully for the United States Congress in 1790 and 1792. He eventually moved to Bedford County, and built a home and farm there.

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