Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Declaration for the Mutual Assurance Society, 16 August 1800

Declaration for the Mutual Assurance Society

Declaration for Assurance.

I THE underwritten Thomas Jefferson residing at Monticello in the county of Albemarle do hereby declare for Assurance in the Mutual Assurance Society against Fire on Buildings of the State of Virginia, established the 26th December, 1795, agreeable to the several acts of the General Assembly of this state, to wit:

My buildings on my Plantation called Monticello now occupied by myself situated between the plantation of N. Lewis and that of Kemp Catlett in the county of Albemarle their dimensions, situation, and contiguity to other buildings or wharves, what the walls are built of, and what the buildings are covered with, are specified in the hereunto annexed description of the said buildings on the plat, signed by me and the appraisers, and each valued by them as appears by their certificate hereunder to wit:

The Dwellinghouse marked A. at 5000. Dollars, say five thousand Dollars.
The Office do. B. at   400. do. " four hundred do.
The Joiners Shop do. C. at   400. do. " four hundred do.
The Stone Outhouse do. D. at   300. do. " three hundred do.
The Stable do. E. at   200. do. " Two hundred do.
The do. F. at do. do.
The do. G. at do. do.

say Six thousand and three hundred Dollars in all.

I do hereby declare and affirm that I hold the above mentioned buildings with the land on which they stand in fee simple, and that they are not, nor shall be insured elsewhere, without giving notice thereof, agreeable to the policy that may issue in my name, upon the filing of this declaration, and provided the whole sum does not exceed four-fifths of the verified value, and that I will abide by, observe, and adhere to the Constitution, Rules and Regulations as are already established, or may hereafter be established by a majority of the insured, present in person, or by representatives, or by the majority of the property insured represented, either by the persons themselves or their proxy duly authorized, or their deputy as established by law, at any general meeting, to be held by the said Assurance Society. Witness my hand and seal at Monti[cello] this 16. day of August 1800.

Th: Jefferson

WE the underwritten, being each of us House Owners, declare and affirm that we have examined the [above menti]oned property of Thomas Jefferson and that we are of opinion that it would cost in cash Six thousand and three hundred Dollars to build the same, and is now (after the deduction of (Nothing being in good repair) Dollars for decay or bad repair) actually worth Six thousand three hundred Dollars in ready money, as above specified1 to the best of our knowledge and belief, and he the said subscriber has acknowledged before us his above signature.

Th: M. Randolph } Residing [near] Albemarle
Wm. W. Hening. residing in Albemarle
A– 4000. 60.
B–  320.  5.80.
D–  240.  4.60.
C–  320. 10.60.
E–  160.  5.80.
U.S. Stamp2  2.–

A built of Brick & Stone & covered with Wood—the Main Body is 96 feet long but the full length is 110 feet including porticoes. Wing is 50 feet broad and the Main body 87 feet wide.

The Buildings C D & E, are in a Rowe of small Wooden Buildings but none contiguous to them within 20 feet except D is within 20 feet of a small wooden Building without a Chimney. [stand?] it to be observed that these three Buildings lay on the South of the Main Building.

MS (Mutual Assurance Society, Richmond); printed form, signed by TJ, Randolph, and Hening, description begins William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, Richmond, 1809–23, 13 vols. description ends with blanks filled by an unidentified hand, possibly Hening’s, reproduced in italics; portion of text above and below TJ’s signature obscured by seal; text, calculations, and diagrams below signatures, with the exception of the plan of the main house, are in the same hand that filled the blanks in the form, the notes within the building plans reading: “B Brick Office one Story high 20 feet square Covered with Wood,” “C Wooden Joiners Shop one Story high 57 by 18 feet,” “D Stone Dwelling hse. one Story high 34 by 17 feet,” and “E Wooden Stable one Story high 105 by 12 feet”; diagram of main house (“A”) and notation of dimensions within it by TJ, probably predating the plans of the other buildings, which were added in an incorrect orientation to the main house; final paragraph written perpendicularly alongside diagrams of buildings “D” and “E”; near the calculation of premiums is a notation adding 320,160, and 100, with a mark on the total perhaps converting it to 5.80 from 580; at head of text in an unidentified hand: “No. 389.” Enclosed as a blank form in William Frederick Ast to TJ, 10 May 1800.

TJ recorded the premiums for the five buildings in his financial memoranda under 17 Aug., listing the estimated values of the dwelling house, “Outchamber” (“Office” above), stone house, joiner’s shop, and stable as $5,000, $400, $300, $400, and $200, respectively, with insured costs of $4,000, $320, $240, $320, and $160. He recorded the buildings’ premiums as $60, $4.80, $3.60, $9.60, and $5.80, respectively, for a total of $83.80, to which he added other charges of $7.50 to reach a total of $91.30 (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 , 2:1025). For his earlier description and plat of the buildings at Monticello, see the Declaration for the Mutual Assurance Society, [1796 or later], printed at Vol. 29:239–44, which he did not submit to the company.

1MS: “secified.”

2MS: “Samp.”

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