To George Nicholas
Monticello July 28, 1781.
I am informed that a resolution on your motion passed the House of Delegates requiring me to render account of some part of my administration without specifying the act to be accounted for. As I suppose that this was done under the impression of some particular instance or instances of ill conduct, and that it could not be intended just to stab a reputation by a general suggestion under a bare expectation that facts might be afterwards hunted up to boulster it, I hope you will not think me improper in asking the favor of you to specify to me the unfortunate passages in my conduct which you mean to adduce against me, that I may be enabled to prepare to yield obedience to the house while facts are fresh in my memory and witnesses and documents are in existence. I am Sir Your most obedt. Servt.
Dft (DLC); at foot of text: “Colo. George Nicholas.”
I am informed: TJ had not yet received the official notification of the proposed inquiry sent him by John Beckley on 12 June, but he had heard about it from Cary (see Cary to TJ, 19 June), probably from Archibald Stuart (see note on Henry Young to William Davies, 9 June), and probably also from Edmund Winston, a member of the Senate, at whose house TJ had stopped three days before he wrote the present letter (TJ’s Account Book under 25 July 1781).