Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Brown, 27 October 1799

From James Brown

Richmond 27th. Oct. 1799.

Dear Sir

I did myself the honor to write you by the last mail, to which be referred. you have now annexed a copy mr Short’s account, as it stands on my books. a farther charge of interest on the money since I recieved it, and a countercharge of fees to mr Ronald in suit v. Griffin, (which has been overlooked by me) is yet to come forward, and the balance payable to your order on demand, or invested in stock as you may direct. you have inclosed Mayo, & Mosby’s notes, together with R. Randolph’s bond; as I see little prospect of getting the money soon. with much respect I am Dear Sir Your obedt. servt.

James Brown.

Tr (ViW); entirely in TJ’s hand, including note following signature: “(Copy)”; at foot of text: “To Thomas Jefferson”; also in TJ’s hand on same page, statement, “William Short esq. in acct. currt. with James Brown,” 27 Oct. 1799, showing receipt of £99.5.9 in interest from the Loan Office on Short’s government stocks in 1793, balanced against payments of £17.11.10 for various expenses paid in relation to the suit against Griffin, leaving a balance of £81.13.11 due Short, “sundry other fees in suit v. Griffin to come forward,” noting also that the suit was for Griffin’s obligation on £400 in military certificates and a note for £192 in the same certificates; also on same page in TJ’s hand, Brown’s list of enclosures and note at foot: “All stock transactions were adjusted to the 1st. July 1793. and a copy of the statement rendd. a copy will be forwarded if required”; on recto of same sheet as Tr of Henry Skipwith to Brown, 6 Mch. 1790 (see Enclosure No. 2 listed at TJ to Short, 13 Apr. 1800). Enclosures, not found: note of John Mayo for £100 in military certificates, note of Littlebury Mosby, Jr., for £200 of the same, and Richard Randolph’s bond for £62.10 current money. Tr enclosed in TJ to Short, 13 Apr. 1800. Recorded in SJL as received 31 Oct. 1799.

By the last mail: a letter from Brown to TJ of 22 Oct., received on 19 Dec. 1799, is recorded in SJL but has not been found.

William Short’s claim against the insolvent John Tayloe Griffin originated years before, when Henry Skipwith had managed Short’s business affairs in the United States. Short himself was unfamiliar with the details. In 1794–95 it appeared that the only chance of recovering the claim lay with an obligation owed to Griffin in Baltimore. The notes and the bond, unrelated to the Griffin case, also dated from Skipwith’s management of Short’s finances (Vol. 28:219–20, 241, 355, 491–2, 513; Short to TJ, 24 Aug., 9 Oct. 1798).

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