Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Oldham, 22 June 1802

To James Oldham

Washington June 22. 1802.


Yours of the 17th. is recieved. from my present view of the suit brought against the indorser of your note, I should think it better to let it go on, because if the law be here as it is in the other states (Pensylvania excepted) your account will be a set-off against it. it was so in Pensylvania till about 5. or 6. years ago when the banks had interest enough to get a law passed that when a note was expressed to be without defalcation, nothing should be good against it as a discount. however I will enquire of some of the lawyers here; and in the mean time if you will let me know who is your endorser against whom the action is brought, I will speak with him. as the suit is commenced, most of the costs are already incurred, so that it’s going on till set for trial will add little to it.

I think the outer door of the South East necessary, must be a panelled door, hung flush with the inside of the wall, and the upper pannel (instead of being glass as I before proposed) had better be of Venetian blinds, as that will give air as well as light. as soon as you have done the S.E. necessary, I would rather you should proceed with the N.W. one. I shall be at home on the 25th. of July. Accept my best wishes.

Th: Jefferson

RC (MeB); addressed: “Mr. James Oldham Monticello near Milton”; franked and postmarked.

YOURS OF THE 17TH: neither Oldham’s letter to TJ of 17 June, recorded in SJL as received on the 21st, nor one of 27 June, recorded in SJL as received on the 30th, has been found.

The SUIT may have been against Elisha Lanham on account of Oldham; see John Barnes to TJ, 28 Sep. 1802.

TJ enjoyed VENETIAN BLINDS or louvred shutters at both the President’s House and Monticello (Jack McLaughlin, Jefferson and Monticello: The Biographer of a Builder, [New York, 1988], 321–2, 327).

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