Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from John Wayles Eppes, 4 August 1800

From John Wayles Eppes

Eppington Aug. 4th. 1800.

Dear Sir

We left Mont-Blanco on the 23d. of last month and expected by this time to have been safely landed at Monticello—We have been detained here however in consequence of the situation of my Father who has been so much injured in one of his legs by a kick from a horse as to be unable to move from home at a time when a heavy and serious business hangs over him—I went to Richmond for him a few days after coming up and am very apprehensive he will be obliged to raise in some way or other immediately the greater part of £2600 as security for Mr. Hylton—I do not know that my presence here will be useful to my Father after this week. While however my exertions can be atall useful or save him a single pang under his present difficulties nothing earthly would induce me to leave him—

Maria continues in good health and joins me in affectionate greetings to yourself and all at Monticello—We have remained below longer than we wished or intended and our feelings now plead powerfully for the immediate commencement of our journey—I hope we shall see you on the 15th—

adieu yours sincerely

Jno: W: Eppes

RC (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); endorsed by TJ as received 17 Aug. and so recorded in SJL.

Francis Eppes served as security for Richmond merchant Daniel L. Hylton, who was married to Eppes’s sister, Sarah. Before the Revolution Hylton owed the Bristol firm of Farell & Jones nearly £1,500 sterling, part of which Hylton paid under Virginia’s sequestration law. In 1790 William Jones brought suit. When Jones died, the suit was continued by his administrator, John Tyndale Warre. In 1796 the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision of the U.S. Circuit Court for Virginia and declared Hylton responsible for the entire debt and ordered him to pay over $6,000. Hylton and Eppes defaulted on the bond rendered for the judgment in late 1797. Payment of this and other debts left Hylton without property, and he went to debtors’ prison when other claims were filed against him (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 , 3:4–7; 5:295–9, 314–17, 327–9; MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 1:340).

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