Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to the Speaker of the House of Delegates, 22 March 1781

To the Speaker of the House of Delegates

In Council Mar. 22. 1781.


I do myself the honor of inclosing you a letter I received yesterday evening informing me of the arrival of a British fleet of force in Chesapeake bay. Should this be confirmed beyond all doubt I shall think it proper to discharge the armed vessels of private property which had been impressed into public service. In the mean time they are coming up to a safer part of the river, and a valuation of them is making so that if any future events should be thought to make the state liable for them, their worth may be precisely established.

I have the honour to be with very great respect Sir Your most obedient & most humble servt,

Th: Jefferson

RC (NjP); addressed, by TJ: “The honble Richard Henry Lee Speaker of the House of Delegates”; endorsed. FC (Vi). Enclosure (missing): Doubtless a copy of James Barron to TJ, 20 Mch. 1781.

The Assembly adjourned on 22 Mch. and there is no record that TJ’s letter was presented to the House before its adjournment (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Mch. 1781, Va. State Libr., Bull., 1928, p. 52).

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