Jefferson Misreads "Homespun"
Thomas Jefferson to John Adams,
January 21, 1812
State Department transfer, 1904 (9.10)
John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson on January 1, 1812, enclosing
John Quincy Adams's, Lectures on Rhetoric and Oratory,
that he referred to as "two Pieces of Homespun." However, the package
became separated from Adams's letter in the mail. Eager to resume
a correspondence with his old friend and political rival, Jefferson
misinterpreted this as homespun cloth and wrote this January 21,
1812, letter on the virtues of producing homespun cloth in America.
Only later did Jefferson learn that Adams had been referring to
his son's book.