Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Richard Claiborne, 4 July 1788

From Richard Claiborne

London, 4 July1 1788. Introducing a Mr. Cole, to whom he has mentioned his lands in Virginia and his aim as to sales or settlements, “and as he is a residenter, of large property in Germany, from which Country it was the advice of Your Excellency to me to procure Settlers,” Claiborne would be glad to have TJ give Cole his “general sentiments” on such property—his lands are in “Monongalia, Harrison, Jefferson, and Fayette Counties, and lie on Chat, Hughs’s, Little Kenhaway, Green, and Ohio Rivers”—and on “other advantages peculiar to the Country.” [In postscript:] Offers to TJ “the sincere compliments which are so justly due to you upon this memorable day.”

RC (MoSHi); endorsed; addressed in part: “Hon’d by Mr. Cole”; MS mutilated by breaking of seal, so that some words and letters are lost.

The Rev. John Murray (1741–1815), founder of Universalism in America, wrote from Gloucester, England, to an unidentified correspondent on 23 June 1788: “A Major Cleyburn (who was Aid to General Greene) has been some time in England endeavouring to dispose of Lands, and has in his possession sundry scroles of Parchment signed by Mr. Jefferson, but, having, I presume, no other dependance I left him in Prison for debt” (NjMoW). If Claiborne was in fact imprisoned, he was soon released. Murray was himself trying to attract settlers from England to Ohio. The “sundry scroles” were evidently land grants signed by TJ as governor.

1The date-line, written below the signature and above the postscript, has the day of the month underscored: “London 4th July 1788.”

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