Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Henry Rose, 4 November 1801

To Henry Rose

Washington Nov. 4. 1801

Dear Sir

I promised you the stages & distances of the route from your house by Slate & Elkrun churches to Charlottesville. they are as follows

to Songster’s 10.
Bull run 5.
Gaines’s tavern 5
Slate run church 5
Elkrun church 15 a tolerable tavern
Norman’s ford 9.
Stevensburg 9.
Somerville’s mill 8
Downey’s ford 3.
Clark’s 2.
Orange courthouse   7. 78. miles. by Fredericksburg
this distance is 108. miles.
difference 30.
Gordon’s 10
Charlottesville  24
112. miles

Altho’ I have long been sensible how advantageous & desireable for the public would be a direct road Southwardly through Virginia, and that the only part where there is now a difficulty is that portion of it over which we passed yesterday yet I would not wish it to be supposed that I mean to take any part personally in obtaining it, much less to institute measures for forcing it. I have certainly no idea of disturbing the quiet of any one on the subject of roads. I shall only for myself & my family ask from the mr Fitzhugh’s the indulgence which I observe they extend to others generally, of passing three or four times a year along their private road, leaving gates & fences exactly open or shut as we find them. my watch obliged me to stretch your distance from the [ox]road to Thomas’s a good half mile at least. a little more would have been still nearer the truth. Accept my best wishes for your health & happiness & assurances of respect.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (ViW); blurred; at foot of text: “Doctr. Henry Rose”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

The mr Fitzhugh’s: divided among five sons of Henry Fitzhugh and their uncle, William Fitzhugh, was a tract called Ravensworth in Fairfax County, Virginia, that totaled nearly 22,000 acres. TJ sometimes stopped at the houses of Nicholas and Richard Fitzhugh, sons of Henry, while traveling between Washington and Monticello. William, formerly of Stafford County, moved to Alexandria and a residence in Fairfax County in the late 1790s (VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893– description ends , 7 [1899–1900], 425; 8 [1900] 94–5; Washington, Papers, Ret. Ser. description begins W. W. Abbot, Dorothy Twohig, Philander D. Chase, Theodore J. Crackel, and others, eds., The Papers of George Washington, Charlottesville, 1983–, 48 vols.: Retirement Series, 1998–99, 4 vols. description ends , 1:521; 2:616; 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 , 2:1071–2, 1123).

Thomas’s: probably a reference to “Thomas’s x roads,” an entry between Georgetown and Falls Church, Fairfax County, in TJ’s Table of Mileages of 30 Sep. 1807 (DLC: TJ Papers, 233:41688).

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