Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Richard Claiborne and Granville Smith, 24 March 1781

To Richard Claiborne and Granville Smith

In Council March 24th. 1781


In Compliance with a resolution of the General Assembly of March 16th, I must beg the favor of you as soon as the Impress warrants to which the resolution refers shall have been fully executed to procure from the several persons who have been employed in the Execution of them a report of their Proceedings therein which may be done by way of Calendar under these Heads, to wit: 1st. The Species of Horse impressed, that it, whether a Stone Horse, Gelding, or Brood Mare. 2d. A Description by the Size, Age, and general Appearance, which latter Circumstance I would only wish to have designated by such short Terms as these ‘fine,’ ‘Indifferent’ &c. 3d. The Sum at which they were first valued. 4th. The Sum at which they were revalued. 5th. Whose Property. 6th. In what County Impressed. 7th. By whom impressed. 8th. To whom delivered. Should any other Circumstances in the Course of these Impresses come to your knowlege which might be deemed reprehensible, you will be so good as to communicate them to me. I am &c.,

T. J.

FC (Vi). Tr (Vi); at head of text: “The Governor’s Letter to Richard Claiborne Continental Quartermaster & to Granville Smith State Qr. Master.” Enclosure (Vi): Resolutions of the House of Delegates of 16 Mch., approved by the Senate the same day, authorizing the Governor, with advice of Council, “to appoint two or more persons of discretion and Integrity to affix the true value” on all horses impressed or purchased for the expedition under Lafayette, and requesting that the Governor make an inquiry into the conduct of the persons empowered to impress horses and submit it to the next session of Assembly (printed in 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. 32–3). At the foot of the text of the MS copy in Vi, there is the following notation in TJ’s hand: “under my warrant: name of owner. where impressed. species of horse, viz stone horse, brood mare, gelding. description. viz. size, age, & form, price. how disposed of. by whom impressed.” See TJ to Speaker, 16 Mch. 1781 and note.

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