Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Petition of Thomas Jefferson and Others to the Virginia General Assembly, [before 13 December 1810]

Petition of Thomas Jefferson and Others to the Virginia General Assembly

[before 13 Dec. 1810]

To The General Assembly of Virginia, the Petition of the Subscribers, Inhabitants of the Counties of Albemarle, Louisa & Fluvanna, Sheweth: that the navigation of The Rivanna river from the Point of Fork to Milton,1 free2 from the obstacles, which at present impede it, is an object of great and general public utility, and would be particularly beneficial to all that tract of country inhabited by your petitioners: That they are willing to subscribe considerable sums for the attainment of this object, provided the Legislature will pass an act, for the incorporation of a company, for that purpose: They pray therefore that such an act may pass, authorising the Company to demand & recieve a toll untill the money by them expended shall be reimbursed with legal Interest. And your Petitioners &C.

Th: Jefferson   Tho. Divers   G: Carr
D: Minor H Lewis G Lindsey
<Jas Monroe> Geo. M. Woods John Key
W D. Meriwether William Garland Zachariah Burnley
P: Carr Jas Kinsolving Richard Overton
Geo Gilmer Mekins Kerr John Watson
Frank Carr John Robertson D Carr
James H. Terrell Thos Garth Christopher Wingfield
James Clark Micajah Wheeler Jo: Jo: Monroe
Reuben Lindsay Jesse Lewis John Nicholas
P. Minor [. . .] Reuben Mansfield
Micajah Woods Thos Smith Twyman Wayt
Jas Old O Norris M Rodes
D. Higginbotham [. . .] Swink Stro Key
Th: M. Randolph Thos Eston Randolph Thomas Wells
John Carr Jno rogers J Bullock
John Gilmer Johnson Rowe Eli Alexander
John Fagg Th L Garth Junr Daniel F. Carr
Jno H, Wood Edmund Davis Hugh Nelson
Danny [Good?] Jos Mills W Wood
Hugh White Rice Garland chiles Terrell
Fredc Gillum Jonathan Shoemaker Charles Vest3
Jesse Davenport Nimrod Bramham
 
Jesse B Key Saml Leitch
Newton Gordon   J W Garth    

MS (Vi: RG 78, Legislative Petitions, Albemarle Co.); in an unidentified hand, signed by TJ and 71 others; some signatures illegible; undated; on verso: “Albemarle Peto Props Decr 14–1810.” Tr (same); lacks signatures; docketed: “Petition from the Counties of Albemarle Louisa & Fluvanna for incorporating a Co to Open the Rivanna River” and (in another hand): “Props Decr 13–1810 (reasonable) + reported.”

This petition was received in the Virginia House of Delegates on 13 Dec. 1810 and immediately referred to the Committee of Propositions and Grievances. The committee reported on 1 Jan. 1811 that the petition was “reasonable,” and four days later it reported a bill for the incorporation of such a navigation company. As enacted on 29 Jan. 1811, the “Act Incorporating a Company for improving the Navigation of Rivanna River” appointed ten commissioners (Nimrod Bramham and Dabney Carr at Charlottesville; John Watson and David Higginbotham at Milton; William Morris and Thomas Poindexter at Louisa Court House; John Timberlake and James Currin at Fluvanna Court House; and John B. Magruder and Samuel Ferguson at Union Mills in Fluvanna County) to receive subscriptions totaling $8,000 in $10 shares to improve the Rivanna River from Columbia to Milton. The corporation, to be known as the Rivanna River Company, was to elect a president and four directors and begin its work as soon as $2,000 had been subscribed. The act prescribed the tolls that the company could begin collecting as soon as the river had been made navigable, required that collection of tolls end when the capital and interest had been repaid to the subscribers, and terminated authorization for the company’s existence on 1 Jan. 1831 (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends [1810–11 sess.], 22, 48, 56; Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1810–11 sess.], 42–9).

1“Shadwell Mill” was first interlined in place of this word and then erased.

2Word omitted in Tr.

3MS ends here, with the three columns of signatures filling the verso of a single folio sheet. The petition may originally have had another page of signatures or another copy may have been circulated, for it was described in 1908 as containing a total of 111 signatures (Virginia State Library, Department of Archives and History, A Calendar of Legislative Petitions Arranged by Counties: Accomac–Bedford [1908; only vol. published], 32).

Index Entries

  • Albemarle County, Va.; petitions to General Assembly search
  • Alexander, Eli; petition to General Assembly search
  • Bramham, Nimrod; petition to General Assembly search
  • Bramham, Nimrod; Rivanna River Company commissioner search
  • Bullock, J.; petition to General Assembly search
  • Burnley, Zacariah; petition to General Assembly search
  • Carr, Dabney (1773–1837) (TJ’s nephew); petition to General Assembly search
  • Carr, Dabney (1773–1837) (TJ’s nephew); Rivanna River Company commissioner search
  • Carr, Daniel Ferrell; petition to General Assembly search
  • Carr, Francis; petition to General Assembly search
  • Carr, G.; petition to General Assembly search
  • Carr, John; petition to General Assembly search
  • Carr, Peter (TJ’s nephew); petition to General Assembly search
  • Clark, James; petition to General Assembly search
  • Columbia (Fluvanna Co.) search
  • Currin, James; Rivanna River Company commissioner search
  • Davenport, Jesse; petition to General Assembly search
  • Davis, Edmund; petition to General Assembly search
  • Divers, Thomas; petition to General Assembly search
  • Fagg, John; petition to General Assembly search
  • Ferguson, Samuel; Rivanna River Company commissioner search
  • Fluvanna County, Va.; Columbia search
  • Fluvanna County, Va.; Magruder’s Mill search
  • Fluvanna County, Va.; petition to General Assembly search
  • Fluvanna Court House, Va. search
  • Garland, Rice; petition to General Assembly search
  • Garland, William; petition to General Assembly search
  • Garth, Jesse Winston; petition to General Assembly search
  • Garth, Thomas; petition to General Assembly search
  • Garth, Thomas L., Jr.; petition to General Assembly search
  • Gillum, Frederick; petition to General Assembly search
  • Gilmer, George (d.1836); petition to General Assembly search
  • Gilmer, John (1782–1834); petition to General Assembly search
  • Good, Danny; petition to General Assembly search
  • Gordon, Newton; petition to General Assembly search
  • Higginbotham, David; petition to General Assembly search
  • Higginbotham, David; Rivanna River Company commissioner search
  • Kerr, Mekins; petition to General Assembly search
  • Key, Jesse B.; petition to General Assembly search
  • Key, John; petition to General Assembly search
  • Key, Strother; petition to General Assembly search
  • Kinsolving, James; petition to General Assembly search
  • Leitch, Samuel; petition to General Assembly search
  • Lewis, Howell; petition to General Assembly search
  • Lewis, Jesse; petition to General Assembly search
  • Lindsay, George G.; petition to General Assembly search
  • Lindsay, Reuben; petition to General Assembly search
  • Louisa County, Va.; petition to General Assembly search
  • Louisa Court House, Va. search
  • Magruder, John Bowie; Rivanna River Company commissioner search
  • Magruder’s Mill (Fluvanna Co.) search
  • Mansfield, Reuben; petition to General Assembly search
  • Meriwether, William Douglas; petition to General Assembly search
  • Mills, Joseph; petition to General Assembly search
  • Milton, Va.; and Rivanna River Company search
  • Minor, Dabney; petition to General Assembly search
  • Minor, Peter; petition to General Assembly search
  • Monroe, James; signature on petition to General Assembly deleted search
  • Monroe, Joseph Jones; petition to General Assembly search
  • Morris, William search
  • Nelson, Hugh; petition to General Assembly search
  • Nicholas, John; petition to General Assembly search
  • Norris, Opie; petition to General Assembly search
  • Old, James; petition to General Assembly search
  • Oldham, James; petition to General Assembly search
  • Overton, Richard; petition to General Assembly search
  • Poindexter, Thomas search
  • Randolph, Thomas Eston (TJ’s cousin); petition to General Assembly search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); petition to General Assembly search
  • Rivanna River; petitions to General Assembly on search
  • Rivanna River Company; act establishing search
  • Rivanna River Company; legislative petition to create search
  • Robertson (Robinson), John (Poplar Forest landowner); petition to General Assembly search
  • Rodes, M.; petition to General Assembly search
  • Rogers, John (of Albemarle Co.); petitions to General Assembly search
  • Rowe, Johnson; petition to General Assembly search
  • Shoemaker, Jonathan; petition to General Assembly search
  • Smith, Thomas; petition to General Assembly search
  • Swink, George; petition to General Assembly search
  • Terrell, Chiles; petition to General Assembly search
  • Terrell, James H.; petition to General Assembly search
  • Timberlake, John; Rivanna River Company commissioner search
  • Vest, Charles; petition to General Assembly search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search
  • Watson, John; petition to General Assembly search
  • Watson, John; Rivanna River Company commissioner search
  • Wayt, Twyman; petition to General Assembly search
  • Wells, Thomas; petition to General Assembly search
  • Wheeler, Micajah; petition to General Assembly search
  • White, Hugh; petition to General Assembly search
  • Wingfield, Christopher; petition to General Assembly search
  • Wood, John H.; petition to General Assembly search
  • Wood, William (of Albemarle Co.); petition to General Assembly search
  • Woods, George M.; petition to General Assembly search
  • Woods, Micajah; petition to General Assembly search