Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Charles Johnston, 7 September 1813

To Charles Johnston

Poplar Forest Sep. 7. 13.

Dear Sir

I am really afflicted by the use mr Griffin makes of my bonds, passing them off into the hands of those who are unacquainted with the views under which they were given, and particularly their dates arranged. when I was here last I told mr Griffin this bond could not be paid until the ensuing winter, & desired him not to dispose of it. altho’ no promise was made, he was to take no measure till my present visit to this place, & I have been every day expecting he would call on me. however with these things you ought not to be troubled. it is not in my power to pay the bond now, and the funds out of which it is to be paid are now in my barn. they are to be got to Richmond & disposed of to enable me to pay it. I am sorry to be able to give you no better prospects, but any others would be delusive. with this apology to which I am constrained with reluctance, accept the assurance of my great esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (ViU: TJP-ER); at foot of text: “Charles Johnston esq.”; endorsed by TJ.

For the two notes or bonds with which TJ settled his debt on 11 Sept. 1812 with Burgess Griffin, his former Poplar Forest overseer, see note to TJ to Patrick Gibson, 7 Mar. 1813. TJ did not pay his debt to Griffin until the spring of 1815 (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 , 2:1309). TJ had last visited Poplar Forest late in April and early in May 1813 (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 , 2:1288).

A missing letter from Johnston to TJ of 7 Sept. 1813 is recorded in SJL as received the same day.

Index Entries

  • Griffin, Burgess; TJ’s debt to search
  • Johnston, Charles; and TJ’s debt to B. Griffin search
  • Johnston, Charles; letters from accounted for search
  • Johnston, Charles; letters to search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search