October 16th. 1806—
Reluctant as I feel to trouble you unnecessarily about City affairs, I do not think it proper to answer the inclosed letter, without first laying it before you, and asking (when your leasure conveniently admits of it) the honor of your sentiments concerning it.—I regret that the Commissioners did not in their Answer originally set up their just claim to a preference as to 250 other Lots, much more valuable than those recovered by the Decree—I think with Mr. Johnson there would have been but little doubt of success—I urged it, by a motion to amend the answer, while I attended the argument of the cause at Annapolis in July last, but not being a party to the suit my motion was over-ruled—I shall, however, with the assistance of Counsel try to affect it in another way—The 1000 lots recovered (even in case the Chancellors decree should not be reversed), being all on the North East side of Massachusetts Avenue, will, I fear, produce but a comparatively small part of the $80,000 & interest due to the public on them—The other 250 lots, lying near the Capitol, are of considerably more Value than all the 1000.
I have the honor to be with the most respectful consideration, Sir, Your mo. Obt. Servt.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.