Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Lomax, [before 27] February 1799

From Thomas Lomax

Port-Tobago [before 27] Feby. 1799.

Dear Sir:

You will no doubt, be surprised at receiving a Letter from one, whose Name you will scarcely be able to recollect; but who frequently thinks of you, with great Esteem, & Pleasure. I have always thought it wrong to intrude upon the Time of a Person importantly engaged in public-Affairs, by a trifleing private Correspondence; and should not trouble you now, was it not at the paticuler Request of a very worthy Gentn. a Neighbour of mine, Mr. Robt. Baylor, who has some dispute respecting the renting of your Place Elk-Hill, for payments made a Mr. Mullins, and for which he has not been credited. He is a Man of fair Reputation, and Respected by his Acquaintances, and says, he wishes the Affair to be adjusted with as little Expence & trouble to both Parties, as possible; but as he is a Stranger to you, is apprehensive, that you may have some Suspicions of his Sincerity—What has become of the Principles of 1776? Is it possible, that we have degenerated so rapidly, as to have forgotten them? I fear, and apprehend much for our Political Existence, and now think, tho’ once I could not have beleived it, that France has inflicted a deep Wound […] […]m, and aided the Friends of Monarchy. I wish my […] unconnected with all Foreign Politicks, and for her Citiz[…] […] in defending & supporting her Constitution; which at […] would have lasted her, with Vigour, through a Virtuous […] [res]pectable old Age. Poor Tazewell, we have [met] with a Rep[…] Loss in him. If you can find leisure, or Inclination to write me any Thing, that you think will be comforting, I shall feel myself under an Obligation—I am with Sincere Esteem & Respect

Dear Sir Yor. Mot. Obdt. Hmbl. Servt.

Tho. Lomax

RC (MoSHi: Jefferson Papers); mutilated; dated only as “Feby. 1799”; endorsed by TJ as received 27 Feb. 1799 and so recorded in SJL.

Thomas Lomax (1746–1811), a planter and attorney, lived on the property he called Port Tobago, in Caroline County near the town of Port Royal and the Rappahannock River. He sat on the county committee of safety and other committees before and during the American Revolution and was a county magistrate. A member of the Virginia Senate in 1776, he also served for three terms in the General Assembly, 1778–79 and 1781, two of them with John Taylor as the other representative from Caroline County. In the latter year Lomax was elected to the state council (Thomas Elliott Campbell, Colonial Caroline: A History of Caroline County, Virginia [Richmond, 1954], 234, 236, 239, 244, 246–7, 260, 266, 344–5, 348–9, 467; 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 , 124, 129, 133, 141; Ralph Emmett Fall, People, Postoffices and Communities in Caroline County, Virginia 1727–1969 [Roswell, Ga., 1989], 267; CVSP, description begins William P. Palmer and others, eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers …Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond, Richmond, 1875–93, 11 vols. description ends 2:659; VMHB, description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893– description ends 23 [1915], 408n).

A letter from Robert Baylor to TJ, written on 17 Feb. 1799 and received from Essex on 27 Feb., is recorded in SJL but has not been found. For the collection by Henry Mullins of rents for TJ’s Elk Hill plantation, see TJ to Mullins, 25 Sep. 1792.

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