Whiskey

Though well-known as a wine connoisseur, Thomas Jefferson refrained from the consumption of more potent beverages. "The ardent wines I cannot drink," he wrote to Doctor Vine Utley in 1819, "nor do I use ardent spirits in any form."[1] The following entries from Jefferson’s memorandum books, however, indicate that purchases of whiskey were regularly made for workmen and for "the plantation."

Primary Source References

1774 April 9. "Sent for whiskey 2/6."[2]

1777 June 24. "Charge John Brewer 1 1/2 galls. whiskey delivd. him by T. Garth 7/6."[3]

1781 June 12. "Pd. for whiskey for negroes at Cpt. Martin's 16/."[4]

1781 November 8. "Recd. of John Beckley for 20. galls. whiskey £2400."[5]

1782 May 3. "Rye carrd. to Mrs. Meriwether's to be distilled 119. bush. from Shadwell. 58. bush. from Monticello."[6]

1783 January 29. "Pd. do. at Ewen's £5-2-2 ferrge. Peach bottom 25/ whiskey 8d."[7]

1783 July 14. "Charge Will Beck 3. galls. whiskey."[8]

1805 March 27. "Inclosed to G. Divers by Jack 108.87 his acct. for whiskey to the workmen & plantation . . . ."[9]

1808 August 26. "Paid E. Bacon for purchase of whiskey 3/50."[10]

1810 July 10. "Paid, thro' E. Bacon, for 10. galls. whiskey 7.50."[11]

1811 September 25. "Analysis of my store acct. with Higgenbotham from Aug. 1. 1810 to Aug 1. 1811 . . . whiskey 8-12-6 28 3/4 galls. @ 6/."[12]

1812 December 2. "1 Gallon Whiskey [per] do 75."[13]

1813 January 14. "3 1/2 Gallons Whiskey 3.50."[14]

1813 March 25. "14 1/2 quarts Whiskey [per] note 3/63."[15]

1813 May 29. "3 1/2 Gallons Whiskey [per] do. 3.50."[16]

1815 June 20. "Drew on Gibson & Jefferson for 26.35 in favr. Wm. Fitz for 31. galls. whiskey @ .85."[17]

Further Sources

Footnotes

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