Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Harmer, 25 January 1781

From George Harmer

Richmond January 25. 1781

His Excellency the Governor, and Council

Permit me to return you my most sincere thanks for your past favors, and believe me much concerned that I should have occasion to make any further application to you at this time: but as I am informed by my friends, that I could reclaim many of my Negroes on application to the parties who have purchased them, for which purpose it will require a considerable Sum: (I suppose not less than One hundred thousand pounds to regain One half of the number at the price they were sold for) and as it is not in my power to advance any part of the said sum, without your additional kindness, may I presume to hope you will please to add another obligation to those already conferred on, Gentlemen, Yr Most dutiful & Most Humble Servant,

Geo. Harmer

RC (Vi); addressed: “His Excellency the Governor & Council of the Common-Wealth of Virginia”; endorsed.

Your past favors: By an Act of Assembly passed in the May 1780 session George Harmer, who had “left Great Britain in expectation of receiving” the estate of John Harmer, “but the same being now escheated and sold,” was allowed maintenance, payable “out of the sequestered profits of the … estate,” subject to the approval of the Governor and Council, until his case should be reviewed (Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends x, 301). On his part, Harmer signed a parole agreement (MS, Vi; printed in CVSP description begins Calendar of Virginia State Papers … Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond description ends , i, 356). An Act passed in the Oct. 1780 session directed that the slaves sold under the Act concerning Escheats be restored to Harmer, “now a citizen of this commonwealth,” on 10 Jan. 1781 (same, p. 371). Payment was made to Harmer by a warrant of 20 Feb. 1781; see TJ to the Auditors under that date.

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