Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Notes on a Conversation with James Steptoe, [ca. 12 May 1812]

Notes on a Conversation with James Steptoe

[ca. 12 May 1812]

Stith’s entry why lost?

mr Steptoe’s informn

Bedford cty erected in 1752

Ben Howard was clerk, lived in Buckingham, exercised by deputy & never came here

Isham Talbot was his deputy & also deputy surveyor.

The entries made in the clerk’s office were never recorded in books, nor otherwise kept than in loose papers

Talbot was suspected of playing his two offices into one another, & also of combining with Mead an under surveyor. both were impeached before the Govr & Council.

Steptoe succeeded Howard in 1772. not an entry had been ever recorded before that. he has regularly recorded those subsequent to his coming in: but none before that time now exist; altho’ Stith made many entries & much land is held under him.

Stith died about 1804. and continued Surveyor of Campbell until his death.

the division of Bedford & Campbell took place about 1783.

Scott came into county in 1784.

Questions to be resolved

does Tullos’s land join Scott’s

his lre to me being without direction, prove that B. Clark was my manager at that time.

MS (ViU: TJP, TB [Thurlow-Berkeley no.] 1136 [546-f]); written entirely in TJ’s hand on a narrow scrap; undated, but probably composed about the same time as TJ’s Notes on Poplar Forest and on Scott v. Jefferson and Harrison, [ca. 12 May 1812]; blank entries numbered 12 through 17 on verso, possibly indicating days of the month.

Benjamin Howard became clerk of Bedford County in 1754. isham talbot qualified as deputy clerk of Bedford County in November 1760 and was sworn in the following March. Five months later he qualified as the county’s assistant or deputy surveyor. William mead was among those ordered by the Bedford County Court in 1762, 1763, and 1767 to inspect the clerk’s office and report on their findings. Talbot and Mead were later appointed Bedford County magistrates, but the govr & council removed them in 1785 for nonresidency (Bedford Co. Order Book, 1B:1, 140, 151, 172, 2:54, 3:77, 377; Wilmer L. Hall, Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia [1969], 3:470). Richard Stith died in November 1802, not 1804 (Campbell Co. Will Book, 2:122).

Index Entries

  • Clark, Bowling; and Ivy Creek tract search
  • Howard, Benjamin (Bedford Co. clerk) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; dispute with S. Scott search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Notes on a Conversation with James Steptoe search
  • Mead, William search
  • Scott v. Jefferson and Harrison; TJ prepares for chancery case search
  • Steptoe, James; clerk of Bedford Co. search
  • Stith, Richard; and Ivy Creek tract search
  • Talbot, Isham search
  • Tullos, Richard; and Campbell Co. land search