Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to George Hammond, 6 June 1792

To George Hammond

Philadelphia June 6. 1792.

Th: Jefferson presents his respectful compliments to Mr. Hammond: he had not heard of the adjournment of the circuit court at Richmond without deciding the case of Jones v. Walker, and therefore cannot say with certainty why it was not decided. He had been before informed through a private channel that but two of the three judges were arrived in Richmond, and that it would not be decided but with a full court. But he is not certain even of this fact. The question relative to the debts paid into the treasury (which Th:J. understands to be about one ninth of the sum Mr. Hammond mentioned as the whole amount of the debts of that state) being new and important would hardly be decided but by a full court, nor on a first hearing.

Th:J. has recieved an answer from S. Carolina, which did not come in time to be put among the documents sent to Mr. Hammond with his letter of May 29. He begs him to receive it now and to arrange it among the documents as No. 55. b.

PrC (DLC).

Enclosure: Extract of Edward Rutledge to Thomas Pinckney, Charleston, 26 May 1792, declaring that 50 actions brought by British subjects against American citizens for prewar debts have been carried to judgment, as attested by several cases from his own law practice, that “there is not a single instance to be produced wherein a British Creditor of any description has met with more impediment in the recovery of his debt than our own Citizens,” and that the question of interest has not yet been litigated (Tr in DNA: RG 59, DD; in Pinckney’s hand). Pinckney had transmitted this “answer to my enquiry concerning the recovery of British debts” in South Carolina in a brief note to TJ of 5 June 1792 (RC in same; addressed: “The Secretary of State”; docketed by George Taylor, Jr.).

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