Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Chapman Johnson, 9 February 1817

To Chapman Johnson

Monticello Feb. 9. 17.

Dear Sir

I now send you a copy of my bill and of the documents which I have been longer getting ready than I expected. there is still a document No 6. wanting. this copy of both bill & documents is prepared for your use and that of mr Peyton also engaged in the cause, but when that is done I will ask the return of both, as I ought to preserve them among my papers. the bill is long, and perhaps too argumentative. this is easier accounted for than justified. for two or three years the subject has been constantly forced on my attention & reflection, and in drawing the bill the facts & principles spontaneously and constantly forced themselves on my pen. I do not see however any thing in it which does not give some pertinent information to the judge. but any omissions, alterations or additions which you may think necessary shall be made to the original which I retain, before it shall be forwarded to be filed. if you could do me the favor on your return to make this instead of Charlottesville your stage for an evening, it would give me an opportunity of recieving your advice as to any necessary alterations. in the mean time I shall shew the bill to four of the five directors, and correct, in concert with them any error of fact which they may point out to me. I salute you with great friendship and respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of portion of reused address cover containing only a wax seal; at foot of text: “Chapman Johnson esq.”; endorsed by TJ. Enclosure: TJ’s Bill of Complaint against the Rivanna Company, [by 9 Feb. 1817], document 1 in a group of documents on Jefferson’s Lawsuit against the Rivanna Company, 9 Feb. 1817.

The documents that accompanied this letter and its enclosure are described in the list of numbered exhibits in the note to the latter. In indicating that he would obtain comments on the enclosure from four of the five directors of the Rivanna Company, TJ was presumably excluding his antagonist William D. Meriwether.

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Bill of Complaint inJefferson v. Rivanna Company search
  • Jefferson v. Rivanna Company; TJ’s bill of complaint in search
  • Jefferson v. Rivanna Company; TJ’s counsel in search
  • Johnson, Chapman; andJefferson v. Rivanna Company search
  • Johnson, Chapman; letters to search
  • Meriwether, William Douglas; and Rivanna Company search
  • Peyton, John Howe; andJefferson v. Rivanna Company search
  • Rivanna Company; directors of search