Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Nicholas Biddle, 26 December 1809

To Nicholas Biddle

Monticello Dec. 26. 09.


I have duly recieved your letter of Dec. 12. and should willingly have given any information on the subject of it within my power, but I have not the smallest recollection of mr Lefevre, nor of the transaction to which your letter refers. any deposit of money made into the treasury of Virginia, will doubtless appear in the treasury books at Richmond, and on what account it was paid. at the close of the revolution, as well as I recollect, Virginia recieved her depreciated paper, by a scale, at the land office, & gave land warrants in exchange to those who chose to lay out their money in that way. the nature of the land warrant here is to authorize the holder to locate it on any ungranted lands he can find in the state. at that time there were considerable quantities of good lands ungranted. at this moment there is probably none cultivable ungranted. the state did not undertake to find the land for the purchaser. he took that on himself. this circumstance has decieved strangers abroad, who had no opportunities of learning what was incumbent on themselves to do to obtain their land. here every one knew they were to locate their own warrants. mr Lefevre’s warrant may, I presume, be renewed if lost (tho’ I do not know that it can.) but it is worth no more than the legal price of new warrants, which cost either two or four dollars for every hundred acres (I do not recollect which.) consequently the warrant for 366. as is worth either 7.D. 33 C. or 14.D. 67 Cents. this is the sum of all the information it is in my power to give you, and I pray you to be assured of my great respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC: Biddle Papers); addressed: “Mr Nicholas Biddle Philadelphia”; franked and postmarked; endorsed by Biddle. PoC (DLC); endorsed by TJ.

Index Entries

  • American Revolution; and Va. land warrants search
  • Biddle, Nicholas; and J. B. Lefevre’s claim search
  • Biddle, Nicholas; letters to search
  • Lefevre, Jean Baptiste; land warrant issued to search
  • Richmond, Va.; state treasury at search
  • Virginia; treasury of search