Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to John Woodson, 4 January 1781

To John Woodson

Richmond Jan. 4. 1781


The Enemy having last night passed far up James River and seeming to point immediately to this place or [Peters]burg I must desire you without a moments delay to send every Man of your County able to bear Arms to rendezvous at Westham. Let them come in small detachments as they can be collected and not wait to be formed into companies. I am Sir Yr mo hb Servt.

Th: Jefferson

RC (Edna Byers, Decatur, Georgia, 1960); in a clerk’s hand, signed by TJ; torn at fold; addressed: “To The County Lieutenant of Goochland”; with notation above this in unidentified hand: “John Woodson the person to whom this is addressed.”

Colonel John Woodson (d. 1789), the county lieutenant of Goochland, was also TJ’s uncle, being married to Dorothea Randolph, the sister of TJ’s mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson (WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892– description ends , 1st ser., x [1901–02], 187).

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