Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Bradley, 7 September 1809

To Abraham Bradley

Monticello Sep. 7. 09.


I recieved duly your favor of Aug. 31. 09. and have executed your commission according to the best information I could get, by directing your letter to Minor M. Cosby at Milton. he is a man of excellent education, a teacher of languages in that place, of irreproachable character, & diligence, & always in place. Burnley, who had acted as deputy, would have been a good appointment, but was not equal in his qualifications nor standing. he is a very honest young man, just setting up for himself as a sadler, &1 declined the office as I was assured, & understood a person of the name of Vest would have accepted it. his character was sound, he had kept a grocer’s shop there, had broken up that & become a writer in a merchant’s counting house. Burnley is the only one of the three I have ever seen; tho’ Cosby’s character & particular qualifications I had learnt long since from others; and I trust he will do his duties with fidelity & punctuality. might I ask the favor of you to send me a bill of the present establishment of our posts at Milton, & Charlottesville, noting the days & hours of arrival & departure at & from those places & Washington. one of your latest Lists of the post offices of the US. (in a pamphlet) would be also acceptable. accept the assurances of my esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr Bradley”; endorsed by TJ.

minor m. cosby was appointed postmaster at Milton in January 1810. Acting on behalf of John Peyton, who had been postmaster at Milton since January 1806, Nathaniel burnley wrote TJ a letter from that place on 17 July 1809, not found, recorded in SJL as a letter from Peyton received 20 July 1809 with the notation: “Na. Burnley for him.” The letter evidently contained TJ’s Milton post office bill, which TJ satisfied by paying ten dollars to Burnley for Peyton on 22 July 1809. Charles vest became the postmaster at Milton in December 1811, while Burnley was appointed the first postmaster at Stony Point in April 1813 (Axelson, Virginia Postmasters description begins Edith F. Axelson, Virginia Postmasters and Post Offices, 1789–1832, 1991 description ends , 5, 6; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1246).

1TJ here canceled “moreover.”

Index Entries

  • Bradley, Abraham; and Milton post office search
  • Bradley, Abraham; letters to search
  • Burnley, Nathaniel; letters from accounted for search
  • Burnley, Nathaniel; TJ on search
  • Cosby, Minor M.; TJ recommends as Milton postmaster search
  • Milton, Va.; postmaster at search
  • Peyton, John; Milton postmaster search
  • Post Office, U.S.; TJ requests local schedule search
  • Vest, Charles; TJ on search