Thomas Jefferson Papers

Benjamin Brown to Thomas Jefferson, 12 August 1812, with Jefferson’s Note

From Benjamin Brown, with Jefferson’s Note

Augst 12. 1812


I wrote the principal Agent of the Mutl A Society (Mr S Greenhow) on the subject of the Arrearages due the Society on Account of Hendersons Mill—he states that all claims which have Accrued since the Mill House was pulled down will be remitted—the time when that was done to be verified by the affidavit of two disinterested persons; but that all claims prior thereto would be required to be paid upon the ground that had the House have been at any time burned, the owner would have been entitled to the whole amount insured & therefore he ought to be liable to the Society for all regular contributions thereupon—That the Owner in order to discharge himself in consequence of the prostration of the Dam should have had a revaluation. This reasoning I confess appears to me to be conclusive in favor of the Society tho’ my first impression was otherwise. The claims on Accot of the sd Mill as appears by the Documents in my possession are Quotas for the Years 1809. 10. 11 & 12 at $18.50 per Anm with Interest on 18.50 from the 1st April in each Year till paid & 5 perCt damages thereon.

I am Sir with great respect

Your Mo Obt Servt

Benjn Brown

[Note by TJ:]

The mill house1 was never owned by me, having been excepted out of the deeds of the widow & coparcener to me. the mill house was pulled down and sold by them.2

RC (MHi); with TJ’s undated note subjoined; endorsed by TJ as received 14 Aug. 1812 and so recorded in SJL; notation by TJ written perpendicularly in margin: “Fire insurance co. (Henderson’s).”

On 6 June 1812 Brown reported to principal agent Samuel Greenhow that he intended to abstract their correspondence on the mill as it “relates to Mr Js case & to submit it to his consideration.” Fourteen days later he informed Greenhow that he had “not yet found it convenient to wait on Mr Jefferson. I expected to have seen him at our last Court but did not,” and that furthermore, “Not long after the Dam of Hendersons Mill was pulled down, the Mill house was also taken down & the timbers removed. Will this circumstance vary the case? Will you be so good as to give me your opinion upon this point as it will be of use to me in the intended conference with Mr J. whom I have no doubt will do whatever he can be convinced the law requires of him in the case” (Vi: Mutual Assurance Society, Incoming Correspondence).

1Word interlined.

2TJ here erased “the site.”

Index Entries

  • Brown, Benjamin; and TJ’s insurance search
  • Brown, Benjamin; letters from search
  • Greenhow, Samuel; and Mutual Assurance Society search
  • Milton, Va.; warehouses at search
  • Mutual Assurance Society; and Milton warehouses search