Thomas Jefferson Papers

Statement on Major William Galvan, 2 March 1792

Statement on Major William Galvan

Philadelphia Mar. 2. 1792.

I well remember that Majr. Galvan was sent on to Cape Henry by Genl. Washington to look out for the French fleet, that he was recommended by the Genl. to me to be furnished with every thing necessary. I remember that the morning he was to leave Richmond, he wanted money, and having recd. from me an order on the Treasurer he would not give him any rect. for it, from some punctilious delicacy, and we were obliged to get Mr. Jamieson to receive the money from the Treasurer and give his rect. and then deliver it to Galvan without rect. The Treasurer’s books will therefore shew that such a man was employed, and Mr. Jamieson will recollect it. Perhaps he may also recollect the orders to the sheriffs of Princess Anne and Norfolk within mentioned. I do not. Yet they were very possible.

Th: Jefferson

RC (Vi: Executive Papers).

Attempts to settle the estate of John Willoughby, sheriff of Norfolk when Major William Galvan went there in 1780, led to the discovery of a receipt signed by William Galvan for £10,000 delivered him by Willoughby on 19 July 1780. Virginia’s state auditor refused to credit the Willoughby estate with this sum unless TJ, who had been governor at that time, certified that Galvan had in fact been ordered to apply to the sheriff of Norfolk or Princess Anne counties for funds to defray his expenses. The attorney for the estate argued that the records that would answer these questions in Norfolk had been destroyed or removed by the British during the war (Copy of 19 July 1780 Receipt and Certification signed by Thomas Ritson, 13 Feb. 1792, Vi: Executive Papers. See Vol. 3: 375–6, 399–401, 404, 432). David Jamieson (Jameson), a Yorktown merchant, had been on the Virginia Council of State at the time. When he was shown TJ’s statement, he remembered Galvan’s application for money and had “no doubt that the Majr. was furnish’d with an Order,” but he refused to sign a statement to that effect “in his prest. disorderd state of mind” (William Cary to Thomas Ritson, 27 Mch. 1792, Vi: Executive Papers).

Index Entries