Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Henry Banks, 15 January 1795

To Henry Banks

Monticello Jan. 15. 95.


I have to acknolege the receipt of your favor on the subject of disposing of the Greenbrier lands mortgaged to me, in Philadelphia, and appointing some person there to receive the money for which they are mortgaged. It is certainly much my wish to have the money paid, but having delivered the bonds to Mr. Hanson to collect and apply the money to a particular credit, I can only refer you to him for such arrangements on the subject as may answer both your purposes. I have written to him thereon, and have expressed to him my opinion that if he has no agent there, the money might be deposited in his name, and to his credit, in either the bank of the United states or of North America; but leaving it entirely to himself to decide on. I am Sir Your very humble servt

Th: Jefferson

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

Henry Banks (1761–1836) was a Richmond merchant, lawyer, and land speculator who had supplied TJ with sundries in 1781 and had represented Greenbrier County in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1787 and 1788. Later in the present year, acting on behalf of the firm of Hunter, Banks & Company, he brought suit against TJ as former governor of Virginia to recover losses sustained during the British invasion of 1781. In 1806 Banks published essays enthusiastically supporting Napoleon and subsequently moved to Frankfort, Kentucky (TQHGM description begins L. G. Tyler, ed., Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Richmond, 1920–52, 34 vols. in 33 description ends , xv [1933–34], 123, 237–8; Marshall, Papers description begins Herbert A. Johnson, Charles T. Cullen, Charles F. Hobson, and others, eds., The Papers of John Marshall, Chapel Hill, 1974–2006, 12 vols. description ends , i, 348, v, 167, vi, 407; MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 7 Mch., 26 Apr. 1781; Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia 1776–1918 …, Richmond, 1918 description ends , 26, 28, 38; Joseph I. Shulim, “Henry Banks: A Contemporary Napoleonic Apologist in the Old Dominion,” VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893- description ends , lviii [1950], 335–45; TJ to Robert Brooke, 24 May 1795, and note).

Banks’s favor of 25 Dec. 1794, recorded in SJL as received six days later, has not been found. The Greenbrier lands had been mortgaged to TJ in connection with his sale of his Elk Hill plantation to Banks and Dr. Thomas A. Taylor (TJ to Richard Hanson, 20 Jan. 1793). A letter from Richard Hanson to TJ of 9 Jan. 1795, received from Richmond on 14 Jan. 1795, and the reply written this day by TJ, both recorded in SJL, have not been found.

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