Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey and Thomas W. Maury, 14 December 1816

To Charles Yancey and Thomas W. Maury

Monticello Dec. 14. 16.


On my return from Bedford after an absence of 7. weeks I find here your favor of Nov. 24. for which I thank you & for the information it contains. during my absence I expect a petition to the assembly from mr Sampson, Colo T. M. Randolph, Jefferson Randolph and my self was sent to yourself and mr Maury (whom I pray to consider this letter as addressed to him as well as to yourself) on the subject of the petition from Capt Meriwether & others for permission to establish a turnpike road from Rockfish gap thro’ Charlottesville to Moore’s ford. you both know the road which I have opened from Charlottesville across the Secretary’s ford down the North bank of the river to the mouth of the Chapel branch where it meets the present road, which we have petitioned the court to substitute for the present one across1 Moore’s ford th[ro] our lands to the mouth of the chapel branch, and which every [body?] knows will be preferred as unquestionably the best. we consider this petition for a turnpike as a mere trick of Capt Meriwether and a last, desperate expedient to get the worse established instead of the better road. but we hope you will not suffer this case to be taken out of the hands of the courts of justice. to their turnpike we make no opposition as far as Charlottesville but let it end there, or leave it’s course from thence to the river which is only ¾ of a mile, either to Moore’s or the Secretary’s for[d] to the decision of the courts. I am sure if the legislature know th[at] the object of the petition is merely to fix the road to Moore’s ford, so [that?] it may be taken out of the power of the courts of justice, they will not suffer themselves to be made the tools of injustice: and this we [trust?] mr Maury and yourself, will take care of, as our representativ[es] as well as of the petitioners: I salute you both with friendship & resp[ect]

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of a reused address cover from Joseph Delaplaine to TJ; mutilated at seal and with some text lost at right margin due to polygraph misalignment; at foot of text (polygraph misaligned): “C[ol]o [Yancey]”; endorsed by TJ as a letter to Yancey.

1Word interlined in place of “from.”

Index Entries

  • Albemarle County, Va.; petitions to General Assembly search
  • Albemarle County, Va.; roads in search
  • Maury, Thomas Walker; and proposed Albemarle Co. road search
  • Maury, Thomas Walker; letters to search
  • Meriwether, William Douglas; petition to General Assembly search
  • Meriwether, William Douglas; road proposed by search
  • Moore’s Ford (Albemarle Co.) search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ returns from search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); and proposed Albemarle Co. road search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); and proposed Albemarle Co. road search
  • roads; in Albemarle Co. search
  • roads; in Va. search
  • Rockfish Gap, Va.; proposed road from search
  • Sampson, Richard; and proposed Albemarle Co. road search
  • Secretary’s Ford (Albemarle Co.); road at search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search
  • Virginia; roads in search
  • Yancey, Charles; and proposed Albemarle Co. road search
  • Yancey, Charles; letters to search