Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Brockenbrough to Thomas Jefferson, 3 March 1812

From John Brockenbrough

Richmond Mar: 3. 1812


By a letter just received from my friend Mr. John Harvie I am informed that he is indebted to you $— and I avail myself of the first mail to request you to direct the manner in which you wish the debt to be discharged. I will either pay the money to your order, or, if you prefer it, transmit it in Bank-notes by mail—

I am, very respectfully, Sir, Yo. mo: obt

John Brockenbrough

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Ths. Jefferson Esq”; endorsed by TJ and recorded in SJL as a letter from John “Brackenridge” received 9 Mar. 1812, with both later corrected to read “Brockenbrough.”

John Brockenbrough (1773–1852) served as the first cashier of Richmond’s Bank of Virginia, 1804–12, and as president, 1812–43. Born into a prominent Essex County family, he received a medical degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1795. Two years later he married Gabriella Harvie Randolph, the widow of Thomas Mann Randolph (1741–93). Through this marriage Brockenbrough became the stepfather of Thomas Mann Randolph (1792–1848), the half brother of TJ’s son-in-law of the same name. Brockenbrough soon abandoned medicine to manage his wife’s properties and pursue other business interests that came to include ironworks in Richmond and the Warm Springs in Bath County. He sat on a state committee to study domestic manufactures in 1808, corresponded with and admired John Randolph of Roanoke, and was active in the Richmond Junto, a loosely organized group of prominent city Republicans. As president of the Bank of Virginia, Brockenbrough helped secure funding for Central College in 1818, and he served as a manager of a failed effort to salvage TJ’s finances by means of a lottery in 1826 (DVB description begins John T. Kneebone and others, eds., Dictionary of Virginia Biography, 1998– , 3 vols. description ends ; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 31 vols. description ends , 30:437–8; Brockenbrough to Joseph C. Cabell, 31 Jan. 1818 [ViU: TJP]; Brockenbrough to TJ, 1 Mar. 1826; Richmond Daily Dispatch, 8 July 1852).

Index Entries

  • Brockenbrough, John; as J. Harvie’s agent search
  • Brockenbrough, John; identified search
  • Brockenbrough, John; letters from search
  • Harvie, John (1783–1838); and sale of Belmont estate search