Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Robert Porterfield, 1 February 1781

From Robert Porterfield

Charleston, S.C. 1 Feb. 1781. Reports the death on 10 Jan. of his brother Col. Charles Porterfield, who was on his way from Camden to Charleston. During his brother’s “almost five months extreme illness, The consequence of a wound he received on the 16th. of August near Camden, His necessary expences amounted to a considerable sum, for the purpose of defraying which, he borrowed of Lord Rawdon, Thirty Guineas which I have made myself answerable to his Lordship for as soon as may be in my power.” Cannot raise such a sum in his present circumstances; asks TJ’s assistance, which he thinks his brother’s “services has merited from the Authority of the State, in whose employ he lost his life.” If TJ should consider this an impropriety, then he requests loan of thirty guineas “in order that my faith with a Gentleman who granted, not only that, but many other favours to my Brother while in great distress may not be broken.”

RC (Vi); 3 p.; addressed and endorsed; printed in CVSP description begins Calendar of Virginia State Papers … Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond description ends , i, 479.

Robert Porterfield, capt., 7th Va. Line, had been captured at the battle of Camden, where his brother Charles was mortally wounded (Gwathmey, Hist. Reg. of Virginians in the Revolution). For TJ’s action on the present appeal, see TJ to Granville Smith, 28 Feb. 1781.

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