From John L. Thomas
Richmond July 23d 1811
My Brother Norborn & myself having Commenced a Commission buisiness in this place any encouragement You may be disposed to give to young & dependent beginners will be thankfully received by
J. L. Thomas
RC (MHi); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson esqr. Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 1 Aug. 1811 and so recorded in SJL.
John L. Thomas (1785–1846) worked as a commission merchant in Richmond with a firm that changed its name from J. L. & N. K. Thomas to N. K. Thomas & Company in 1815. He returned to Albemarle County in 1818. Himself a bachelor, Thomas farmed land owned by his family and used the proceeds to support his parents and unmarried sisters. Unsuccessful in an attempt to become the librarian of the nascent University of Virginia in 1825, he served for a time as a collector for that institution and became a county magistrate in 1838 (Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901 description ends , 327–8; Richmond Enquirer, 26 Apr. 1815; Thomas to TJ, 5 Jan., 1 Mar., 17 Sept. 1825; TJ to Thomas, 9 Jan. 1825; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 17:454; Albemarle County Cemeteries description begins Fay Early and Constance Harris, Record of Cemeteries in Albemarle County, Virginia, including Charlottesville, 1968–ca. 1982, 14 vols. in 20 description ends , 7:245).