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To Thomas Jefferson from David Higginbotham, 20 August 1802

From David Higginbotham

Milton August 20th. 1802

Dear Sir

The bearer hereof Mr. Isham Henderson of Milton, being desirous to obtain the loan of such books as may be usefull in the study of Law, not being in Circumstances to purchase them, I beg leave to recommend him to your favour as a young man of integrity and good deportment having no doubt but that should you be pleased to favour his request, he will take special care of the books with which you may intrust him

I am Dear Sir Your Mo Ob:

David Higginbotham

RC (ViU); endorsed by TJ: “Henderson Isham. lent him 4th. Blacstone Ruffhead: Jacob’s L. Dict” and “June 7. 08. wrote to C. Peyton to recover it.”

David Higginbotham (1775–1853), an Albemarle County merchant, had been the factor for Brown, Rives & Co. and had recently established a trading house in Milton with John Watson. He later emerged as one of TJ’s larger creditors and in 1813 purchased William Short’s Indian Camp property in a triangular arrangement that transferred TJ’s obligations from Higginbotham to Short. Higginbotham renamed the property “Morven” and upon his death left an estate worth more than $100,000, including 56 slaves (William Montgomery Sweeney, “Higginbotham Family of Virginia,” WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892– description ends , 1st ser., 27 [1918], 124; MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:944, 988; RS description begins J. Jefferson Looney and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, Princeton, 2004–, 7 vols. description ends , 4:154; Vol. 30:29; Vol. 35:28).

ISHAM HENDERSON, a son of Bennett Henderson and one of the sibling heirs who in March 1801 had indirectly conveyed part of the Henderson property in Milton to TJ, eventually moved to Kentucky, where he was a successful lawyer and politician (Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, Charlottesville, 1901 description ends , 226–8; Lewis Collins and Richard H. Collins, History of Kentucky, 2 vols. [Covington, Ky., 1878], 2:339; Z. F. Smith, “Dueling, and Some Noted Duels in Kentucky,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 8 [1910], 84; Vol. 35:xlvi–iii, 342–4, 455n).

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