Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Carter Bassett Harrison, 16 October 1799

To Carter Bassett Harrison

Monticello Oct. 16. 99.

Dear Sir

The late mr Benjamin Harrison was some years ago (I believe as far back as 1784) attorney in fact for mr William Short. after some time mr Harrison turned over these affairs to Colo. Skipwith. on behalf of mr Short, for whom I at present act, I am to solicit from you a copy of mr Harrison’s account at his turning over the business to Colo. Skipwith, with the sequel to it; for there was an article or two still remaining after the first settlement with Colo. S. and which mr Harrison promised mr Short he would also transfer to him. I do not mean to give you the trouble of any settlement of accounts but only to ask the favor of a copy of them as they stood on mr H’s books, which I doubt not were accurate. it is necessary to enable mr Short to settle some other accounts with which [that] is blended, and particularly as a material for settlement with Colo. Skipwith. being to write to mr Short some days hence, you would particularly oblige me by an immediate answer. I am Sir Your most obedt. servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC: Short Papers); faint and blurred; at foot of text: “The execr. or admr. of Benj. Harrison decd.,” with “Carter Harrison” added in ink (see TJ to George Jefferson, 17 Oct.), TJ also using Harrison’s name in his endorsement in ink on verso and in SJL.

A lawyer, Carter Bassett Harrison (d. 1808) sat in the U.S. House of Representatives in the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Congresses, 1793–99, and had served in the Virginia House of Delegates. His brother Benjamin Harrison, Jr., who died during 1799, had tended to William Short’s financial affairs for a period in the 1780s during Short’s absence in Europe. Another brother was William Henry Harrison (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends , 1142; VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893– description ends , 35 [1927], 89–93; Shackelford, Jefferson’s Adoptive Son description begins George Green Shackelford, Jefferson’s Adoptive Son: The Life of William Short, 1759–1848, Lexington, Ky., 1993 description ends , 136; Vol. 30:351–2, 411, 459–60, 495, 558).

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