Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from James Currie, 7 April 1791

From James Currie

Richmond, 7 Apr. 1791. He had the honor and the pain of receiving TJ’s friendly letter by Mr. Hamilton, and while sorry to learn the situation he could never make acknowledgments enough for TJ’s “uncommonly friendly and very pointed attention to the business.” After deliberating with anxiety, he ventured to impart the contents of TJ’s letter to [Griffin], which he received with some emotion and wrote the enclosed. He says there are reasons which forbid Potter’s admitting possession and knowledge of the property mentioned. He will explain when he meets you and until then he desires secrecy and will “make all appear clearly to your satisfaction as my friend.” Currie will leave to TJ to decide whether to reveal contents of his letter to Potter privately. If property is sacrificed to do him justice, he will let TJ decide whether to make the purchase. Once secured, it will be in his power to be generous to him. He will write again by him “and leave the whole to your talents for real business and experienced friendship to myself. Pray secure me if possible.”—P.S. Mrs. Eppes’ family all well. Mrs. Skipwith has been here a month “to try the Effects of Electricity &ca. for some very serious nervous Complaints of some standing. I am sorry to say not with all the advantage I could wish. It has much mended Miss Skipwith’s hearing.”

RC (DLC); addressed: “The Honble. Thomas Jefferson Esqr. Secretary of State” postmarked: “free” and “Richmond April 8”; endorsed by TJ as received 14 Apr. 1791 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: John Tayloe Griffin to TJ, 7 Apr. 1791, informing him that he had read TJ’s letter to Currie; that when he drew the bills he had in Philadelphia, as Potter knew, over $21,000 in public securities, of which twothirds were in final settlement certificates and one-third in indents and state certificates; that he pledged his faith and honor as a gentleman to apply these to the settlement of the bills and to no other purpose; that he asks TJ to postpone further application to Potter until he arrives in Philadelphia, which will certainly be between the 15th and 20th of April; and that thereafter, again pledging these effects to the discharge of the bills, he desires no further indulgence (RC in DLC; endorsed by TJ as received 14 Apr. 1791 and so recorded in SJL). Griffin failed to depart as promised. His journey, he wrote from Richmond on the 15th, was postponed by important and unforeseen business. Again he promised to set out the following week and asked TJ to hold the bills, promising to discharge them on arrival. But it was not until May that he arrived with Currie’s letter of 13 Apr. 1791 (Griffin to TJ, 15 Apr. 1791; RC in DLC; endorsed by TJ as received 21 Apr. 1791 and so recorded in SJL). Two years later he was still importuning TJ for favors and afraid to enter Philadelphia for fear of a debtor’s prison (see Griffin to TJ, 16 June 1793; TJ to Griffin, 18 June 1793). See TJ’s instructions for Remsen, 16 May 1791.

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