Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Tho Jefferson (1743-1824) Writes about Gardening


Thomas Jefferson by Tadeusz Andrzej Bonawentura Kosciuszko (1746 - 1817) 

1809 April 27.  (Jefferson to John Barnes).  "the total change of occupation from the house & writing table to constant emploiment in the garden & farm has added wonderfully to my happiness."

John Barnes (1730-1826) was a native of Norwich, England, where he was born in 1730. At the age of thirty, in about 1760, at the height of the French & Indian War, he came to America, settling first in New York. His occupation in New York is uncertain, but he may have been a merchant. By the time of the Revolution, he was sympathetic to the American cause. When the U.S. government convened in Philadelphia, Barnes moved there from New York. He became friends with Secretary of State Jefferson. According to the newspapers of the day, Barnes was among those who accompanied the heads of the departments when the federal government moved from Philadelphia to Washington. He took up residence in Georgetown. He “lived in princely style among the gentry of that period. Statesmen, dignified & influential, gathered around his board & ‘forgot the thorns of public controversy under the roses of private cheerfulness.’’ At some point beginning around 1800 when both he & Jefferson were in Washington Barnes began to act as a sort of commission merchant/purchasing agent/investment adviser for the President. 

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