Thomas Jefferson Papers

Enclosure: Thomas Jefferson’s Account with William Bentley, 26 January 1810


Account with William Bentley

Copy of the statement of paiments furnished by Colo Bentley.

‘the following paiments have been made to mr Hanson, as pr statement given by him to the Commissioners, & by one of them to me.

 £ s d
1797. Aug. 5. then recd through the hands of Andrew Ronald 384– 0–2
Dec. 4. then recd of Wm Bentley in cash 150–
1798. Dec. 13. then recd of Wm Bentley in tobo 198– 1–8
1799. Apr. 5. then recd of Wm Wiseham as exr of Andrew Ronald 191–13–8

the above statement was taken from mr Hanson’s furnished to me

11. May 1801. (copy)1 Thomas Rector’2

  Calculation on the above paiments.

 £ s d
Amount of decree 717– 6– 8
deduct for deficiency of 34. as by stipulation £34. sterl.  45– 6– 8
1790. Oct. 5. 672– 0– 0
1797. Aug. 5. interest 6 Y–10 M 229–12– 0
By then paid 384– 0– 2
Dec. 4. interest 4. Mo.  8–12– 6
526– 4– 4
then paid. 150–
376– 4– 4
1798. Dec. 13. interest 1 Y–0 M–9 D  19– 5– 6
395– 9–10
then paid. 198– 1– 8
197– 8– 2
1799. Apr. 5. interest 3 M–23 D  3– 2–
200–10– 2
then paid. 191–13– 8
Balance remaining due  8–16– 6
Int. on do from 1799. Apr. 5. till paid

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); entirely in TJ’s hand; undated; on verso of PoC of covering letter.

William Bentley (d. after 1819) rose from second lieutenant to captain in Virginia regiments of the Continental army and represented Powhatan County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1791–96. On the recommendation of George Washington, President John Adams appointed him a lieutenant colonel commanding a regiment stationed in Richmond as part of an army expansion intended to meet the growing threat of war with France, and he served from early in 1799 until his unit was disbanded in June 1800 (The Pension Roll of 1835 [1835; indexed ed., 1992], 3:728; Heitman, U.S. Army description begins Francis B. Heitman, comp., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, 1903, 2 vols. description ends , 1:213; 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 ; Washington, Papers description begins W. W. Abbot, Dorothy Twohig, Philander D. Chase, and others, eds., The Papers of George Washington, 1983– , 46 vols.: Colonial Ser., 6 vols.; Confederation Ser., 10 vols.; Pres. Ser., 12 vols.; Retirement Ser., 4 vols. ; Rev. War Ser., 14 vols. description ends , Retirement Ser., 3:228, 240; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 1:299, 305 [31 Dec. 1798, 10 Jan. 1799]).

Bentley’s relations with TJ grew out of his role as administrator of the estate and guardian of the children of William Ronald (d. 1793). In 1790 Ronald bought TJ’s 1,076-acre Willis Creek property in Cumberland County. Bentley later purchased the tract from Ronald’s estate, and delays in paying the money due to TJ eventually led to a lawsuit in the Virginia High Court of Chancery. The court awarded TJ a favorable decision in 1797 and Bentley paid the bulk of what he owed by 1799, but the account was not completely settled until 1822 (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 31 vols. description ends , 17:569–71 [mistakenly entitled “Agreement of Sale for Elk Hill”], 29:476–8; 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 , 1:767–8, 2:1051, 1384; Marshall, Papers description begins Herbert A. Johnson, Charles T. Cullen, Charles F. Hobson, and others, eds., The Papers of John Marshall, Chapel Hill, 1974–2006, 12 vols. description ends , 8:209–16).

1Omitted closing parenthesis editorially supplied.

2Omitted closing quotation mark editorially supplied.

3Manuscript: “507–11–10.” TJ based his subsequent calculations on the correct figure.

Index Entries

  • Bentley, William (of Virginia); account with TJ search
  • Bentley, William (of Virginia); identified search
  • Farell & Jones (British firm); TJ’s payments to search
  • Hanson, Richard; attorney for Farell & Jones search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; account with W. Bentley search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; sells Willis Creek tract search
  • Rector, Thomas search
  • Ronald, Andrew search
  • Ronald, William; estate of search
  • Ronald, William; purchases land from TJ search
  • Willis Creek tract (Cumberland Co.); title to lands at search
  • Wiseham, William; and W. Ronald’s estate search