Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Patrick White, 25 March 1796

From Patrick White

Petersburg. March 25th. 1796


I received yours of the 15th. informing me that by desire of M. Thomas Shippen of Philadelphia you had drawn on me at ten days sight for a balance due you by the late John Banister deceased. The principal I will pay to the holders of your draft, the Interest I am not Justifiable in paying as Administrator of the said deceaseds Estate not knowing whether or no there will be sufficient personal property to discharge the amount of the claims against said, if there is, as soon as they are discharged I am informed by my Attorney that I am justifiable in paying you the Interest. Indeed I am of opinion that Interest is but a small compensation for your friendship to Mr. Banister when in France. I am Respectfully Sir Yr. O Servt.

P. White

FC (Lb in MiU-C); at head of text: “Thomas Jefferson esqr.” Probably the letter of 20 Mch. 1796 recorded in SJL as received 10 Apr. 1796.

Patrick White, a merchant in Petersburg, Virginia, specialized in the grain and flour trade, first in partnership with Conway Whittle of Norfolk as White, Whittle & Co. and, after that firm was dissolved in 1794, as Patrick White & Co. During the 1790s he shipped produce, primarily tobacco, to his brother Dr. John Campbell White and the firm Campbell & Tenant in Belfast, Ireland, receiving Irish linens and nails in return. White corresponded with leading merchants along the Atlantic seaboard, including Archibald Gracie in New York and Oliver & Thompson in Baltimore. He served as administrator of the Banister estate at Battersea in 1796 (Patrick White Letterbook in unpublished description of collections at MiU-C; White to White & Tenant, 8 Dec. 1794, White to Oliver & Thompson, 17 Jan. 1795, White to John C. White, 19 Nov. 1795 and 6 May 1796, White to David Stewart & Sons, 3, 18 May and 7 Nov. 1796, White to Gracie, 7 Dec. 1796, White accounts with John C. White, 16 Dec. 1795–6 May 1796, all in Lb in MiU-C; Virginia Gazette,& Petersburg Intelligencer, 27 Dec. 1796; Virginia Chronicle and Norfolk and Portsmouth General Advertiser, 6 Oct. 1792, 14 Sep. 1793).

TJ’s letter of the 15th., recorded in SJL as “White draught & Ire of advice,” has not been found.

For TJ’s account with John Banister, Jr., see TJ to John Dunbar, 15 Dec. 1789, and enclosure to TJ to Francis Eppes, 11 Mch. 1792. On 31 July 1796 TJ received notice that White had settled the debt, paying £63.3.8 into TJ’s account with Charles Johnston & Co. on behalf of the Banister estate (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, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , ii, 944).

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