Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Joseph C. Cabell to Thomas Jefferson, 12 February 1818

From Joseph C. Cabell

Richmond. 12 Feb: 1818.

Dear Sir,

Mr Louis Summers of the county of Kanawha & one of the members of the House of Delegates, proposes to leave town in the morning on his return to his constituents. It is possible that he may have it in his power to call at Monticello on his way thro’ Albemarle. I have taken the liberty to offer him a letter of introduction to you. It would give him great pleasure to become personally acquainted with you: and I beg leave to present him to you as one of the most liberal, enlightened, & upright gentlemen in the circle of my acquaintance. He has shewn every disposition to support your plans both general & particular, for the advancement of Science in this state: and if the Genl Assembly consisted of such men as he is, we should not be, as we are, the victims of local interests, factious views: and lamentable ignorance. I remain, Dr sir, with unabated confidence & esteem your faithful friend,

Joseph C. Cabell

RC (ViU: TJP-PC); endorsed by TJ as received 15 Feb. 1818 and so recorded (with the additional notation [trimmed]: “mr Sum[mers]”) in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Harrison Hall, 3 Apr. 1818, on verso; addressed: “Mr Jefferson Monticello” by “Mr Summers.”

Lewis Summers (1778–1843), attorney and public official, was a native of Fairfax County. He studied law as a young man and was a marshal in nearby Alexandria before moving around 1810 to Ohio and establishing a legal practice. Summers represented Gallia County in the Ohio House of Representatives, 1812–13, and he sat for Gallia and Scioto counties in the Ohio Senate, 1813–14. In the latter year he returned to Virginia and settled permanently in Kanawha County, which he represented in the House of Delegates, 1817–18, and at a state constitutional convention, 1829–30. A strong proponent of internal improvements, Summers served on the Virginia Board of Public Works for a number of years. He was judge of the General Court for the district including Kanawha County from 1819 until his death at White Sulphur Springs (George W. Atkinson, History of Kanawha County [1876], 250–2; “Lewis Summer’s Journal of a Tour from Alexandria, Virginia, to Gallipolis, Ohio, in 1808,” Southern Historical Magazine 1 [1892]: 49–81, esp. 50; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 41 vols. description ends , 37:303; Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Ohio [Zanesville, 1812], 4; Journal of the Senate of the State of Ohio [Chillicothe, 1813], 4; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends , 290, 354; JSV description begins Journal of the Senate of Virginia description ends [1818–19 sess.], 148 [26 Feb. 1819]; [1843–44 sess.], 28 [7 Dec. 1843]; Richmond Enquirer, 8 Sept. 1843).

Index Entries

  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; introduces L. Summers search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; letters from search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; on Va. General Assembly search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Summers, Lewis search
  • Summers, Lewis; identified search
  • Summers, Lewis; introduced to TJ search
  • Summers, Lewis; visits Monticello search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search