Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Goodrich, 20 January 1777

From John Goodrich

Jany 20th 1777.


I have been confined to a small Room upwards of two months which has much Impaired my health. Your Inquiry the Reason of the Alteration of my confinement will much Oblige me. I have been very Ill Treated by Mr. Jouette Sundry times. Your favour in allowing me to Board at Some Other house in this Place will oblige your Obedient

John Goodrich Senr

P.S. One George Bruce of the Guard have Sundry times threatned my life, and is extremely Abusefull. Your Notice hereof will Oblige


RC (DLC). Addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Present.” Endorsed: “Goodrich’s lre.”

John Goodrich and his sons were under frequent consideration by the Virginia Convention and House of Delegates from 1775 to 1778: first, for payment for powder supplied to the colony by the Goodriches, for which John Goodrich, Sr., was imprisoned by Governor Dunmore, and later for violations of the non-importation agreement and actions unfriendly to the American cause (VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography description ends , xv [1907–1908], 160–5; Sabine, Loyalists, i, 480–2; Conv. Jour. description begins Proceedings of the Convention of Delegates … in the Colony of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Dec. 1775, 1816 edn., p. 95–6). TJ first became concerned with the Goodrich affair in his capacity as county lieutenant, when John Goodrich, Andrew McCan, and other prisoners of war were transferred from the Williamsburg jail to Charlottesville, 22 July 1776 (Va. Council Jour. description begins Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia, ed. H. R. McIlwaine description ends , i, 81–2). On 2 Nov. 1776 TJ reported for the Committee of Propositions and Grievances on the petition of John Goodrich, Jr., on behalf of himself and company (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Oct. 1776, 1828 edn., p. 37; MS: Vi, in clerk’s hand, corrected by TJ). Thereafter Goodrich was moved to the home of Nicholas Lewis, where he remained until he escaped, 18 Aug. 1777 (Va. Gaz. description begins Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg, 1751–1780, and Richmond, 1780–1781). Abbreviations for publishers of the several newspapers of this name, frequently published concurrently, include the following: C & D (Clarkson & Davis), D & H (Dixon & Hunter), D &N (Dixon & Nicolson), P & D (Purdie & Dixon). In all other cases the publisher’s name is not abbreviated. description ends [Purdie], 22 Aug. 1777). Goodrich was apprehended shortly after his escape and in 1778 was again sent to Charlottesville for imprisonment. The following letters relating to Goodrich’s confinement and escape are found in TJ’s papers: Margaret Goodrich to Mary Lewis, 12 Aug. 1777 (DLC: TJ Papers, 3: 374); John Goodrich to Nicholas Lewis, 18 Aug. 1777 (same, 3: 382); John Goodrich to Mary Lewis, 19 Aug. 1777 and enclosure, namely, Goodrich’s bill to the colony of Virginia, 10 Aug. 1777 (same, 3: 373, 384). See also Patrick Henry to TJ, 26 Feb., 31 Mch. 1777; List of British Prisoners and Their Quarters, 25 Sep. 1777; Patrick Henry to TJ, 21 Feb. 1778; Edmund Randolph to TJ, 22 Feb. 1778.

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