Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Thomas A. Taylor, 19 February 1795

To Thomas A. Taylor

Monticello Feb. 19. 95


Your favor of Dec. 27. came to my hands only yesterday. I had before received one from Mr. Banks on the same subject, and one from Mr. Hanson, informing me the proposition had been made to him for disposing of the mortgaged lands in Philadelphia, and paying the mortgage debt to any person appointed there. The money being destined to pay a debt to Mr. Hanson, and the bonds put into his hands to collect, on conditions too convenient to me to risk their forfeiture by any intermeddling of mine, I referred Mr. Banks to Mr. Hanson altogether, inclosing my answer to him to Mr. Hanson, open, to be forwarded. In that to Mr. Hanson, I also left it to himself to do as he pleased only expressing my opinion, that I saw no danger in acceding to the proposition if he should require the money to be lodged in his (Hanson’s) name in any of the banks of Philadelphia. I should with great chearfulness give my consent to any measure which would ease you, and not deprive me of the benefit of my stipulations with Mr. Hanson. I hope my answers to him and Mr. Banks will ere this have produced some concert on the subject, my anxiety being that the money should be paid as early as possible. I am with great respect Sir Your most obedt. servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); at foot of text: “Dr. T. A. Taylor”; endorsed in ink by TJ.

Dr. Thomas Augustus Taylor (1744–1822) represented Chesterfield County in the Virginia House of Delegates as a Republican for six terms, 1794–95 and 1797–1801. He agreed to purchase Elk Hill from TJ in partnership with Henry Banks in 1793, but ultimately bought it in his own right when the transaction was finalized in 1799 (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 , iii, 71; Swem and Williams, Register, 41, 43, 48, 50, 52, 55; note to TJ to Daniel L. Hylton, 3 June 1792).

SJL records an earlier letter from Taylor of 20 Mch. 1794 as well as his favor of Dec. 27., which were received from “Ozborne’s” on 21 May 1794 and 18 Feb. 1795, respectively. According to SJL, TJ’s 1 June 1794 reply to the former was written at “Mr Bolling’s” during his trip to Richmond (see note to List of Unretained Letters, [ca. 9 June 1794]). None of these letters has been found. For TJ’s letters from Henry Banks and Richard Hanson, see note to TJ to Banks, 15 Jan. 1795.

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