Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to William W. Hening, 8 April 1815

To William W. Hening

Monticello Apr. 8. 15.

Dear Sir

I have duly recieved the MS. volumes which were forwarded by the stage, and in good condition. these were as follows

one marked 43 of laws from 1629. to 1633.

one marked F. laws from 1639 to 1667.

MS. copies by myself from Mercer’s MS of the laws of 1661.

the Charles city MS. laws from 1661 to 1702

the 2d Charles city MS. laws of 1705.

the Rosewell MS. laws of 1705. to 1711.

Besides these there remain two others of those I lent you which I have no doubt you have overlooked in the mass of those you have, or not recollected from whom they came. these are

a MS. marked A. containing the laws of 1623/4 Mar. 5. in 35. acts. it is a very thin vol. indeed, bound new in white calf opening at the end, and not at the side of the volume, given me by Peyton Randolph from among the Collection of materials by Sr John Randolph when about to write the history of Virginia. it is the only copy extant of those laws.

Another MS. marked D. of laws from 1642/3 to 1661/2

As you have long ago passed the period of those volumes I will ask their return by the same mode of conveyance as the former. if sent by the first Milton stage, they may still be in time to be packed with the others. these two volumes were on my Catalogue, and as the sale of the library was by the Catalogue, as it stood, they go. but a very antient volume of records too tender to be sent you with the others, was not on the catalogue, and so does not go. when you have brought your work to the revolution, this might furnish matter for a valuable supplementary Appendix, as it contains some laws interspersed in it, which perhaps were in none of the others. it shall be at your service. I hope you will push your valuable publication with urgency to it’s conclusion. Accept the assurances of my [e]steem and respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); lower corner torn away; at foot of text: “Mr Hening”; endorsed by TJ.

TJ had the manuscript volumes mentioned here, now in DLC: TJ Papers, ser. 8 (see Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends nos. 1822–7, 1829–30), bound in 1796 at the same time as other “Volumes of the Laws of Virginia, Manuscript and Printed” then in his possession (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 37 vols. description ends , 28:581–91). The very antient volume of records not included in the 1815 sale to Congress has not been identified but was probably among the “Old Records of Virginia” (Poor, Jefferson’s Library, 4 [no. 122]) acquired by DLC shortly after TJ’s death and now also in its TJ Papers, ser. 8.

Index Entries

  • books; of state papers and public documents search
  • Charles City County, Va. search
  • Hening, William Waller; and TJ’s collection of Va. laws search
  • Hening, William Waller; letters to search
  • Hening, William Waller; The Statutes at Large search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; catalogue of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; requests return of books lent search
  • Library of Congress; TJ sells personal library to search
  • Library of Congress; TJ’s catalogue of books sold to search
  • Mercer, John (1705–68); owns manuscript of Va. laws search
  • Randolph, Peyton (ca.1723–75); gives volume of laws to TJ search
  • Randolph, Sir John (1693–1737); manuscript collection of search
  • Rosewell (J. Page’s Gloucester Co. estate) search
  • The Statutes at Large (W. W. Hening); sources for search
  • Virginia; laws of search
  • Virginia; TJ’s collection of laws of search