Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Divers, 28 September 1794

To Thomas Divers

Monticello Sep. 28. 94.


I was informed a few days ago that under the law of Congress our carriages were to be enlisted with a Mr. Rhodes. Being confined myself, I sent the tax-money for my Phaeton two or three different times by Mr. Randolph to Charlottesville on public days, but he could not meet with Mr. Rhodes or any body acting for him. Taking for granted that he is your deputy and that the entry and payment to you is sufficient I take the liberty of entering my phaeton, the only carriage I have in this county, and of inclosing you a guinea, 26/ the tax I believe being 24/. Should I be mistaken in supposing you the sufficient officer for receiving this, will you have the goodness to settle it with the proper officer for me, as I understand it must be done this month, and I have no prospect of being able to get on a horse my self for a month to come. I am with great regard Sir Your most obedt. humble servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); at foot of text: “Mr. Thomas Divers”; endorsed in ink by TJ.

Thomas Divers, the brother of George Divers, owner of the Farmington estate near Charlottesville, was a former merchant in Charlottesville who in 1804 became a captain of an Albemarle troop of cavalry in the Virginia militia (George Gilmer to TJ, 11 June 1792; note to TJ to George Divers, 26 Nov. 1792; CVSP description begins William P. Palmer and others, eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers … Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond, Richmond, 1875–93, 11 vols. description ends , ix, 405). Under the terms of the 5 June 1794 law of congress “laying duties upon Carriages for the conveyance of persons,” the owner of a Phaeton was obliged each September to pay a tax of six dollars (Annals description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … Compiled from Authentic Materials, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1834–56, 42 vols. All editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. The first two volumes of the set cited here have “Compiled … by Joseph Gales, Senior” on the title page and bear the caption “Gales & Seatons History” on verso and “of Debates in Congress” on recto pages. The remaining volumes bear the caption “History of Congress” on both recto and verso pages. Those using the first two volumes with the latter caption will need to employ the date of the debate or the indexes of debates and speakers. description ends , iv, 1452).

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