Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Dabney Minor and Peter Minor, 24 January [1817]

To Dabney Minor and Peter Minor

Monticello Jan. 24.


On the subject of the rents claimed from me by the representatives of Bennet Henderson, my grandson desires me to put into your hands what information I have as to the rents for what are called the lower and upper field. I had given him a statement of those recieved after1 1807. when returning home to live2 I had taken the business into my own hands, and for the period before that while transacted by mr Peyton I had requested mr Peyton to attend you, as I knew nothing on the subject but through him. on examining my papers I find statements of those rents as I made them out from his information, and according to which I believe I settled them with him. be pleased to observe that the rents paid by mr T. E. Randolph were for Henderson’s upper field, the Dower lands and house, and a small peice of my own land adjoining the upper field. his account mentions a Thorpe’s fiel[d] [I do] not know what ground that was: for indeed these lots, [. . .] claimants and tenants were so numerous and complicated that I do not retain them in my memory, and sometimes without understanding them, rested them entirely on mr Peyton. I am very thankful for your kindness in undertaking to settle them, and shall recieve your judgment whatever it is with the most implicit satisfaction and conviction that it is right. I pray you to be assured of my thankfulness and friendly esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; partially dated; mutilated at seal; at foot of text: “Messrs D. & P. Minor”; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 24 Jan. 1817 to Dabney Minor and Peter Minor and so recorded in SJL.

Dabney Minor (1774–1824), planter and public official, represented Albemarle County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1817–18. Appointed a county magistrate in 1806, he was also a founder of the Agricultural Society of Albemarle in 1817, a director of the Rivanna Company, and an officer in the county militia. Minor’s second marriage was to TJ’s great-niece Martha Jefferson Terrell. In 1819 he purchased Carr’s-brook from the widow of his cousin, TJ’s nephew Peter Carr. Minor subscribed $400 toward the establishment of Central College. At his death his personal estate included more than fifty slaves and a library containing some two hundred volumes (John B. Minor, The Minor Family of Virginia [1923], 14–5; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends , 289; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901, repr. 1991 description ends , 84, 373, 377; True, “Agricultural Society,” description begins Rodney H. True, “Minute Book of the Agricultural Society of Albemarle,” Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1918 (1921), 1:261–349 description ends 263, 269–71; Master List of Subscribers to Central College, [after 7 May 1817], document 5 in a group of documents on The Founding of the University of Virginia: Central College, 1816–1819, printed at 5 May 1817; Albemarle Co. Deed Book, 21:397; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 7:412, 8:138–50; TJ to Minor, 28 Sept. 1806 [NjMoHP: Lloyd W. Smith Collection]; Fredericksburg Virginia Herald, 20 Oct. 1824).

my grandson: Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The statement, a version of which may have been enclosed here, was TJ’s Notes on the Rent of the Henderson Lands, [by 24 Jan. 1817].

1Word interlined in place of “from.”

2Preceding four words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Henderson, Bennett; lands of search
  • Henderson case; claims by minor heirs search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Notes on the Rent Claims of the Heirs of Bennett Henderson search
  • Minor, Dabney; and Henderson case search
  • Minor, Dabney; identified search
  • Minor, Dabney; letter to search
  • Minor, Peter; and Henderson case search
  • Minor, Peter; letters to search
  • Peyton, Craven; and Henderson case search
  • Randolph, Thomas Eston (TJ’s cousin); and Henderson case search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); and Henderson case search
  • rent; due from Henderson lands search
  • Thorp, Mr. search