Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas W. Maury to Thomas Jefferson, 18 February 1812

From Thomas W. Maury

Albemarle 18th February 1812

Dear Sir.

Excuse if you please, the liberty I take, in introducing to your acquaintance the Bearer Robert N. Smith, who is the nephew & ward of The Honble Hugh Nelson, and charged by that gentleman with some communication to you

I am very respectfully Sir.

yr mo: obt

Thos W. Maury

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 19 Feb. 1812 and so recorded in SJL.

Thomas Walker Maury (ca. 1780–1842), attorney and educator, was admitted to the bar in 1800. He was appointed a county magistrate in 1816 and represented Albemarle County in two sessions of the Virginia House of Delegates, 1815–17. TJ attended the school of his grandfather, Rev. James Maury, and some of TJ’s grandchildren attended the younger Maury’s school. He was secretary of the commission that met at Rockfish Gap in 1818 to choose a location for the new University of Virginia. Late in life Maury lost his estate to his creditors (Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901 description ends , 269, 377, 381; MACH description begins Magazine of Albemarle County History, 1940– (title varies: issued until 1951 as Papers of the Albemarle County Historical Society) description ends 18 [1959/60]: 42; 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 , 281, 285; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1377, 1379; Albemarle County Cemeteries description begins Fay Early and Constance Harris, Record of Cemeteries in Albemarle County, Virginia, including Charlottesville, 1968–ca. 1982, 14 vols. in 20 description ends , 3:152; Richmond Enquirer, 8 Mar. 1842).

Robert Nelson Smith (1794–1877), a son of Augustine Smith and Alice Grymes Page Smith, was raised by Hugh Nelson in Albemarle County. In 1815 he married Mary Margaret Fry, also of Albemarle, and two years later the couple moved to Kentucky, where Smith headed a school near Louisville. In 1844 he moved to a farm in Lafayette County, Missouri (Memoir of Col. Joshua Fry, sometime Professor in William and Mary College, Virginia [1880], 49; VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893– description ends 23 [1915]: 89).

SJL records receipt on 6 Aug. 1811 of an undated letter to TJ, not found, from Maury’s uncle Benjamin Maury.

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Maury, Thomas Walker; identified search
  • Maury, Thomas Walker; introduces R. N. Smith search
  • Maury, Thomas Walker; letters from search
  • Nelson, Hugh; and TJ’s statement on the batture case search
  • Nelson, Hugh; family of search
  • Smith, Robert Nelson; carries package to TJ search
  • Smith, Robert Nelson; identified search
  • Smith, Robert Nelson; letter of introduction for, from T. W. Maury search