Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Hornsby to Thomas Jefferson, 21 July 1813

From Thomas Hornsby

July 21th 1813

Dear Sir

your letter of aprile 21th inclosed by one from Col Greenup came to hand yesterday, my Father to whom it was addressed has departed this life many years Since my brother who bears his name opened it upon findeing its contents concerned me alone handed it to me my Father allways expressed the highest esteem and respect for you. and nothing shall be wanting in his Son to render you all the justice in his power I finde you have been mutch desceived the property was not soald to Mr Peyton by the Guardian of the children in Kentucky Charles Henderson was their Guardian here neither was it soald by the approbation of themselves or mother they knew nothing of it at the time it was transacted nor for some time after neither was the proceeds of the sale ever received by them or [invested] to their use. Frances Henderson now my wife soald her interest in the warehouse some time in March [1805 an]d the deed which conveys it to Peyton bearing date [Feby] 25 of the same year in the letter to Mr Meriwather wherein was incloased the power of attorney was mentioned this matter I relinquished all right to the warehouse I am sorry to finde that a difference has taken place between yourself and Mr Meriwather your Suspicion of his haveing changed my course from the candid one persued by the rest of the party is certainly unmerited by him. those who have confirmed the sale made by James Henderson have received full payment (Isham Henderson received 150£ for his share). James Henderson,s intention was I suppose as each one of the legatees became of age to perchase their sheare and have the deed ratefyed by them. Some Short time previous to my marrying his sister James Henderson passed through this county on his way to Washhita in Louesiana where he now resides, requested his mother to tell me as soon as we were married that he wished to perchase the property in Virginia and was obliedged to have it which Mrs Henderson did Some few months after. I wrote to him mentioning the circumstances offering him the land for sale and requesting an immediate answer. he never answered my letter, his situation when he left this country was mutch embarrased as to mony matters and from all the circumstances which I have been able to collect do not believe he is now in a situation to perchase. The same poast which conveys this to you will likewise convey one to Mr Meriwather—requesting him to suspend acting on the power of attorney untill you can have time to concider the matter fully, if any arrangment can be made which will be satisfactory between us it shal be entierly withdrawn, I have written to Col Greenup—giving him all the information which I possess requesting him to mention a time and place for an interview what I have mentioned respecting the sale made by James Henderson [was] without the consent or knowledge of Mrs Henderson or her daughters and the proceeds not being appropriated to their use and that he never was their Guardian is positive matter, of, fact, and if you wish it such depositions and other papers as go to prove it shal be sant on to you. how and by whom a misrepresentation has been made to you I can not conceive unless by Peyton. Rest assured sir that I feel not the smallest disposi[tion] to disturb your tranquility. and I think when the [ma]tter is fully examined you will do me the justice to attach no blame to my conduct in the business I can not quit the subject without one remarke more Some of your expresions towards my conduct are harsh and certainly unmerited by me I never have quit the path of candure & honor in this, affare and I impute them to the rong information which you have received and the author I leave with you to detect.

With the highest Esteem &

Respect I remain yours &cc

Thomas Hornsby

RC (ViU: TJP); ink stained and mutilated at folds; addressed: “Mr Thomas Jefferson—Albermarle County Sharlotsvill Virginia”; stamped; postmarked Shelbyville, 22 July, and Charlottesville, 5 Aug.; endorsed by TJ as received 6 Aug. 1813 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in TJ to Craven Peyton, 8 Aug. 1813.

Thomas Walker Hornsby (b. 1779) moved with his family to Kentucky in about 1800. In 1805 he married Frances Henderson, the daughter of Bennett Henderson and Elizabeth Lewis Henderson. He lived in Shelby County until at least 1830 (WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892–  description ends , 1st ser., 17 [1909]: 169; Merrow Egerton Sorley, Lewis of Warner Hall: The History of a Family (1935; repr. 1991), 382; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 34 vols. description ends , 31:142n; Kentucky Marriage Records [1983], 743; TJ to Craven Peyton, 12 May 1811; DNA: RG 29, CS, Ky., Shelby Co., 1830).

Index Entries

  • Greenup, Christopher; and Henderson case search
  • Henderson, Charles; and Henderson estate search
  • Henderson, Elizabeth Lewis (Bennett Henderson’s wife) search
  • Henderson, Isham search
  • Henderson, James L.; and Henderson estate search
  • Henderson case; and F. H. Hornsby search
  • Henderson case; claims by minor heirs search
  • Hornsby, Frances Henderson (Bennett Henderson’s daughter; Thomas Walker Hornsby’s wife); and Milton lands search
  • Hornsby, Joseph, Jr. search
  • Hornsby, Joseph; death of search
  • Hornsby, Joseph; on TJ search
  • Hornsby, Thomas Walker; and Milton lands search
  • Hornsby, Thomas Walker; identified search
  • Hornsby, Thomas Walker; letters from search
  • Meriwether, William Douglas; and Henderson case search
  • Milton, Va.; warehouses at search
  • Peyton, Craven; and Henderson case search