Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Richard Adams, 18 December 1794

To Richard Adams

Monticello Dec. 18. 94.

Dear Sir

I received by the post of the day before yesterday a letter from Colo. Skipwith, covering one from you on the subject of a judgment recovered by Mr. Short against Dr. Griffin, and which you advise him may be recovered out of a debt due to Dr. Griffin at Baltimore. Being appointed by Mr. Short his Attorney in fact, and being totally uninformed of the ground on which this demand rests, I must ask your friendly information concerning it, with sufficient fulness to instruct his attorney at Baltimore to proceed on it. I shall chearfully co-operate with you in any thing which you may desire for facilitating the recovery of your own demand as well as Mr. Short’s, which may consist with his interest. You will receive this probably on Saturday evening, and our post comes out early Monday morning; so that if you could have the goodness to write on Sunday the necessary information for me I shall receive it directly. I am with great esteem Dear Sir Your friend & servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC: William Short Papers); at foot of text: “Colo. Richd. Adams”; endorsed in ink by TJ.

Richard Adams (1726–1800), a Virginia merchant and planter who was reputedly Richmond’s largest property owner, had represented New Kent and Henrico in the Virginia House of Burgesses before the American Revolution and had served as representative for Henrico in both houses of the General Assembly during the War for Independence (WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892- description ends , 1st ser., v [1897], 161–2; Sutton, Revolution to Secession description begins Robert P. Sutton, Revolution to Secession: Constitution Making in the Old Dominion, Charlottesville, 1989 description ends , 159–60).

Letter from Colo. Skipwith, covering one from you: Henry Skipwith to TJ, 11 Dec. 1794, recorded in SJL as received 16 Dec. 1794, but not found; and Adams to Skipwith, 6 Nov. 1794, reporting that Skipwith has had a judgment of the Henrico County Court “as assignee of Short” against one Griffin (evidently John Tayloe Griffin); that an execution has been served on Griffin, who released himself by providing a schedule of his estate and invoking the insolvency act; that he is involved as a security for Griffin in a debt due from a gentleman in Baltimore, and a judgment has gone against him for “a pretty Considerable sum,” for which Griffin will give him a judgment; he is determined to try to get paid out of that debt, the “only and best Chance” Skipwith has of being reimbursed; and, if Skipwith agrees, requesting a power of attorney to receive his debt, without which nothing can be done, “as your debt is to be first paid” (Tr in DLC: William Short Papers; endorsed by TJ).

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