Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Randolph Jefferson to Thomas Jefferson, 7 December 1809

From Randolph Jefferson

Decemr 7, ’09

Dr brother

I would Esteem it as a singular favour of you if you would be so Good as to lend us your Gigg harness to go as fare as charlotte as one of my wifes brothers lays like to dye and she has a Great desire to Go and see him and they shall be reternd safe back a gane as soon as she gits back which will be in seven or Eight days my wife Joins with me in love to you and family.

I am Dr brother yrs most affectionately

Rh: Jefferson

RC (ViU: TJP-CC); dateline at foot of text; addressed: “Mr Thomas Jefferson pr Squire Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 7 Dec. 1809 and so recorded in SJL; unrelated calculations by TJ on verso.

Randolph Jefferson (1755–1815), TJ’s only surviving brother, inherited roughly twenty-two hundred acres of valuable farmland along the James River and twenty slaves from his father in 1757. He was schooled both privately and in Williamsburg prior to his service as a cavalryman during the Revolutionary War. Jefferson married Anne J. Lewis in 1780 and, shortly following her death in 1808, Mitchie B. Pryor. He lived at Snowden in Buckingham County, just across the James River from Scottsville. Jefferson became a captain of the local militia in 1794 but otherwise held no public office. His relationship with TJ was marked by mutual affection and respect. Late in life Jefferson fell into financial difficulty. After his death TJ became involved in unsuccessful litigation to reinstate a will that he had drafted for his brother in 1808, a later one more favorable to Randolph Jefferson’s widow having surfaced (Bernard Mayo, ed., Thomas Jefferson and His Unknown Brother [1942, repr. 1981], esp. 1–7; Malone, Jefferson description begins Dumas Malone, Jefferson and his Time, 1948–81, 6 vols. description ends , 6:153–6; TJ’s Deposition in Jefferson v. Jefferson, 15 Sept. 1815).

Mitchie B. Pryor Jefferson had eight brothers (VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893– description ends 7 [1900]: 325–6).

Index Entries

  • gigs; harness for search
  • household articles; gigs search
  • Jefferson, Mitchie Ballow Pryor (TJ’s sister-in-law; Randolph Jefferson’s second wife); family of search
  • Jefferson, Mitchie Ballow Pryor (TJ’s sister-in-law; Randolph Jefferson’s second wife); sends greetings to TJ search
  • Jefferson, Randolph (TJ’s brother); identified search
  • Jefferson, Randolph (TJ’s brother); letters from search
  • Jefferson, Randolph (TJ’s brother); TJ loans gig harness to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Family & Friends; relations with R. Jefferson search