Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Joel Yancey, 6 February 1804

From Joel Yancey

Albemarle February. 6. 1804

Dear Sir

I have it in contemplation to remove to the Louisiana country, and provided I thought myself qualified for the execution of any public business in that country that wou’d be adequate to the support of a genteel family, I believe I shou’d so far rely on my acquantaince with you as to request the favour of you to mention me that department in whose gift offices of that nature are, provided none shou’d offer that you may prefer, and you shou’d conceive me adequate to the functions of an office of the above description, I wou’d very gratefully acknowledge your assistance1 so far as wou’d exclude Sacrifice of Sentiment. I am very respectfully your

Most Obdt. Servt

Joel Yancey

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); endorsed by TJ as received 10 Feb. and “for emploiment in Louisiana” and so recorded in SJL.

Joel Yancey (1773-1838), a native of Albemarle County, served as one of the sheriffs who collected taxes on lands in the county. In that capacity he received payments from TJ for taxes on property in Fredericksville Parish, including Shadwell. TJ also drew on Yancey as a source of cash, to be repaid through Gibson & Jefferson in Richmond, where the sheriffs deposited their collections. Yancey represented Albemarle County in the Virginia General Assembly in 1805-6. He moved to Kentucky, served in that state’s legislature, and won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Congresses (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ; 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, Richmond, 1978 description ends , 239; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, Charlottesville, 1901 description ends , 357-8, 384; 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 , 2:1024, 1025, 1026, 1027, 1038-9, 1079, 1105, 1106, 1107; Vol. 32:127-8; Vol. 35:349-50; Vol. 38:449; Vol. 41:405; Craven Peyton to TJ, 8 Dec. 1803). Another Joel Yancey supervised TJ’s Poplar Forest and Bedford County lands (RS description begins J. Jefferson Looney and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, Princeton, 2004- , 11 vols. description ends , 4:318n).

1MS: “assitance.”

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