May 17 1816: Baffled by the Weather

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—you will have seen from our papers the designation of our next president. there will be no republican opposition to Monroe. the federal states of Connecticut & Delaware, & the feeble and declining federal majorities of Massachusets and Rhode island will oppose pro formâ only. he will certainly therefore be our next president. there is great and general content in this country with the conduct of our administration and the issue of the war. altho’ our taxes this year have been five times greater than we ever paid before, they have been paid with unexampled chearfulness and punctuality. I hope therefore the debt contracted will be diminished rapidly. the great prices given for tobacco have produced great preparations for the present year, which however will be baffled by the weather. the spring has been unusually dry and cold. our average morning cold for the month of May in other years has been 63° of Farenheit. in the present month it has been to this day an average of 53° and one morning as low as 43°. repeated frosts have killed the early fruits and the crops of tobacco and wheat will be poor. about the middle of April they had at Quebec snow a foot deep.

— Thomas Jefferson writes to David Bailie Warden, May 17 1816.

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