Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Craven Peyton, 13 August 1814

To Craven Peyton

Monticello Aug. 13. 14.

Dear Sir

The deed of Sep. 10. 1805. from Charles L. Lewis to yourself is sufficient in it’s form to convey to you all the estate he then held in the lands.1 the circumstance of it’s not having been recorded within the 8. months prescribed by law, subjects it to a question which I understand from the gentlemen of the law, has not been settled by our courts. but this can arise only in the case of a creditor or subsequent purchaser without notice of the conveyance to you. my own opinion has been that the deed became good after it’s actual admission to record, & that purchasers between the 8. months and the admission to record could alone avail themselves of the failure to record in time. an act of the last session has expressly provided this as to future conveyances but has left the past under the former doubt. Accept the assurances of my esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViU: TJP); addressed: “Craven Peyton esq. Monteagle.” PoC (MHi); lower left corner of page torn away; endorsed by TJ.

The 1792 Virginia “Act for regulating Conveyances” allowed 8. months to record a conveyance after it was sealed and delivered. As amended, the act specified that “any conveyance which shall hereafter be recorded after the expiration of the time now allowed by law for recording the same, shall take effect and be valid in law as to creditors and subsequent purchasers, from the time of such recording, and from that time only” (Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1792–93 sess.], 48–50; [1813–14 sess.], 35–7).

Missing letters from Peyton to TJ of 24 July and 13 Aug. 1814 are recorded in SJL as received from Monteagle on 25 July and 13 Aug. 1814, respectively.

1At this point in RC an unidentified hand keyed the penciled note: “※ These lands constituted the estate of Monteagle.”

Index Entries

  • Act for regulating Conveyances (1792) search
  • Lewis, Charles Lilburne (TJ’s brother-in-law); and deed to C. Peyton search
  • Monteagle (C. Peyton’s Albemarle Co. estate) search
  • Peyton, Craven; and conveyance from C. L. Lewis search
  • Peyton, Craven; letters from accounted for search
  • Peyton, Craven; letters to search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search