Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Montgomery & Henry, 30 August 1793

To Montgomery & Henry

Philadelphia Aug. 30. 1793.


I have duly received your favor of Aug. 19. and can with truth assure you that it is the first information I have ever recieved of the existence of such a debt as is therein mentioned. On my annual visits to Monticello, my chief object has been to make an exact statement of every debt great or small due to and from my estate. This I have done chiefly by the information of Colo. Lewis: and thereby made provision for the discharge of them. I have here the statements of the two last years, in neither of which this debt is mentioned. I only repeat to you these circumstances to shew that I was uninformed of it, and that it did not proceed from a want of enquiry. I imagine that Mr. Lewis must have relied on some means of payment which have failed without his knowing it. Be this as it may, the dispositions already made of the monies due to me will oblige me to rely for discharging this on the crop of the present year. I shall be settled at home in the course of the winter, and will take effectual measures for the discharge of it as early as the produce of the year will permit. I am with great regard Gentlemen Your most obedt servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Messrs. Montgomery & Henry.” Tr (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); 19th-century copy.

Alexander Montgomery (b. ca. 1757) was a merchant in Richmond; his partner has not been identified (Marshall, Papers description begins Herbert A. Johnson, Charles T. Cullen, Charles F. Hobson, and others, eds., The Papers of John Marshall, Chapel Hill, 1974–2006, 12 vols. description ends , i, 366n). The firm’s favor of Aug. 19, recorded in SJL as received from Richmond on 26 Aug. 1793, has not been found. TJ’s letter to it of 9 May 1794, also recorded in SJL but missing, probably related to the order on James Brown for £83.5.3 with which TJ succeeded in discharging this debt on 5 June 1794 (MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, forthcoming as part of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 5 June 1794).

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