Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 23 August 1813

To James Madison

Monticello Aug. 23. 13.

Dear Sir

I have been prevented setting out to Bedford as early as I had counted. I depart tomorrow. in the mean time I have consulted with as many as I could of the leading men of our county on the subject of the Principal assessor, as I proposed in my letter of the 15th. of those consulted who are known to yourself were mr Divers, the mr Carrs, mr Randolph, Bankhead Etc. one character has struck all of these in the very first instance, that of Peter Minor. he is the son of Colo Garrett Minor of Louisa, married to a daughter of Dr Gilmer, and settled about 4. miles up the river from Charlottesville. he is a farmer, an excellent one, a man of sound judgment, honest, independant, and well acquainted with the value of the taxable subjects. he was brought up to the law, but declined entering into the practice, clear of any passions which might produce bias and the strict justice of his character so well known that his decisions will satisfy those submitted to them. I observe the quota of our county is something under 10,000.D. this is to be divided among the owners of taxable property first by the sub-assessors, & then to be equalised by the principal assessor. this is what makes him important. the most abominable and barefaced partialities under the former real tax by Congress have excited attention here on the revival of a similar measure. I suppose the appointment will be made in this county or Nelson, as being the middle of the 4. counties lying in a string along James River. I am not acquainted in Nelson. if they offer a better man than Minor we shall be glad to be under his agency, I hope you continue to gain strength and that on my return I shall find you in good health. affectionate salutations

Th: Jefferson

P.S. I shall see mr Nicholas, Patterson Etc tomorrow. if they suggest a better person than Minor, I will write to you from Warren

RC (DLC: Madison Papers). PoC (DLC); endorsed by TJ: “Madison Presidt Aug. 23. 13.”

The mr carrs were Peter Carr and Samuel Carr. In 1806 Peter Minor married Lucy Walker Gilmer, a daughter of George Gilmer (Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine 2 [1920]: 133; WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892–  description ends , 1st ser., 9 [1901]: 181). By the former real tax by congress, TJ apparently meant the Direct Tax of 14 July 1798 (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, 1845–67, 8 vols. description ends , 1:597–604). Madison ultimately appointed William Armistead, not Minor, as the principal assessor for Albemarle, Amherst, Fluvanna, and Nelson counties (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 2:441, 443 [21, 23 Dec. 1813]).

Index Entries

  • An Act to lay and collect a direct tax within the United States (1798) search
  • Armistead, William; appointment of search
  • Bankhead, Charles Lewis (Ann Cary Randolph Bankhead’s husband); and appointment of principal assessor search
  • Carr, Peter (TJ’s nephew); and appointment of principal assessor search
  • Carr, Samuel (TJ’s nephew); and appointment of principal assessor search
  • Congress, U.S.; mentioned search
  • Divers, George; and appointment of principal assessor search
  • Gilmer, George (d.1795); family of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation from search
  • Madison, James; and appointments search
  • Madison, James; illness of search
  • Madison, James; letters to search
  • Minor, Garrett search
  • Minor, Lucy Walker Gilmer (Peter Minor’s wife) search
  • Minor, Peter; and appointment of principal assessor search
  • Minor, Peter; marriage of search
  • Nicholas, Wilson Cary (1761–1820); and appointment of principal assessor search
  • Patterson, Mr.; and appointment of principal assessor search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visit to search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); and appointment of principal assessor search