Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Benjamin Harrison, 3 October 1782

From Benjamin Harrison

In Council October 3d. 1782.

Dear Sir

Payment has been some time order’d for the rent of the House you lived in whilst Governor of the State and Colo. Turpen may receive the Money whenever he pleases to apply to the Agent.

Should Mr. Nathan, Mr. Smith or any other person bring a Suit against you for any Contracts or Acceptances made by you on behalf of the State, whilst chief Magistrate, the Executive will take your defence on them in behalf of the State and in every respect protect you from Damage, which will fully appear to you by the enclosed Order. I am Dear sir, &c.,


FC (Vi). Enclosures: Order in Council of 2 Oct. 1782 and possibly of 24 Sep. 1782 (see below).

The rent of the house: See TJ to Harrison, 7 Aug. 1782; on 24 Sep. the Council ordered that “A demand being made by Colo. Turpin of eight thousand weight of Tobacco for the rent of his house for the use of the Governor: The Commercial Agent is desired to discharge the same according to Mr. Jeffersons contract out of the first public tobacco he may receive” (MS Va. Council Jour., Vi; this order was revoked 23 Nov. 1782 and the treasurer ordered to deliver to Henry Young “Nine hhds. of Upper Rappahanock Tobacco amounting as near as may be to 9600 lb. … to be paid to Doctor Turpin for one years rent of the Governors house”; same). The enclosed order: On 2 Oct. 1782 the following is recorded in the proceedings of the Council: “The Governor having laid before the Board a Letter from Mr. Jefferson touching the acceptance of sundry Bills in the possession of Mr. Simon Nathan, of Philadelphia, drawn by General Clarke and others on the State of Virga. and enclosing a Letter from Thomas Smith Agent for the said Nathan: The Board on considering the Subject Matter of the Several Letters, advise that a Letter be written to Mr. Jefferson assuring him that should Mr. Nathan institute a suit against him on account of his acceptance of the said Bills as Governor of this State, the whole expence that may be incurred either in defending the said Suit or that may be recovered in consequence of it shall be defrayed by the State, as they conceive that no assumpsit of Mr. Jefferson in his public capacity can bind him in his private character” (same; see also TJ to Harrison, 22 Sep. 1782).

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