Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Peyton Short, 16 October 1799

To Peyton Short

Monticello Oct. 16. 99.

Dear Sir

Inclosed is a letter I lately recieved for you from your brother, which doubtless informs you he is in good health. I also inclose you a paper he forwarded me shewing his title to 656. as. of military lands he bought of Capt. Paskie. he says he has before written to you on this subject and desires me to send on this paper to you. you know that Colo. Skipwith had for some time the management of certain lands of his here. he is extremely anxious there should be a settlement with Colo. Skipwith, and (knowing I could not undertake it, & besides that I know nothing [of] the transactions) he wrote me that he would request you; the first time you should come into the state, to undertake this settlement for him with Colo. Skipwith. I [sinc]erely wish you could make it convenient to do this, as the longer it lies over the more difficult it will become. should you undertake it I will furnish you with […] extracts from Colo. Skipwith’s letters to him, which he has sent me, and which will throw great light on the subject. I have no doubt you are getting his Western lands on a proper footing, & will of course advise him thereof. Colo. Skipwith was lately here in good health. report referred his visit to mrs Farley’s presence in this neighborhood, [&] his intended visit to Williamsburg on her return corroborates the report. I hope the watches I forwarded by mr Fowler from mr Short to his sisters got safe to hand. I am with great esteem Dear Sir

Your most obedt. servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC: William Short Papers); faint; at foot of text: “Peyton Short esq.”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso. Enclosure: probably William Short to Peyton Short, 3 July 1799, summarized in William Short’s record of his correspondence from 26 Apr. 1799 to 30 Aug. 1800 (same). Other enclosure not found.

Elizabeth Hill Byrd, a daughter of William Byrd III, was the widow of James Parke Farley. Originally from the island of Antigua, Farley had come to Virginia to attend the College of William and Mary. He and Elizabeth Byrd married in 1771, and he died six years later. Henry Skipwith, whose wife Anne Wayles Skipwith, TJ’s sister-in-law, had died early in 1798, married Elizabeth in the latter part of 1799. He was 48 years old, she 44 or 45. It was her third marriage, she having been married to the Reverend John Dunbar after Farley’s death. She had four daughters from her marriage to Farley (TQHGM description begins L. G. Tyler, ed., Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Richmond, 1919–52, 34 vols. in 33 description ends , 2 [1920], 322; VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893– description ends , 6 [1899], 357; 9 [1902], 81, 233n; WMQ, description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892– description ends 1st ser., 11 [1902], 96; Latrobe, Virginia Journals, description begins Edward C. Carter II and others, eds., The Virginia Journals of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 1795–1798, New Haven, 1977, 2 vols. description ends 2:554; 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 l:342n; Mary Jefferson Eppes to TJ, 1 Feb. 1798; TJ to William Short, 13 Apr. 1800).

Concerning the watches that William Short sent from France to his sisters in Kentucky, see his letter to TJ, 6 Aug. 1798, and Elbridge Gerry to TJ, 12 Nov. 1798.

A letter from Peyton Short to TJ, written on 5 May 1797 and received on 15 June of that year, is recorded in SJL but has not been found.

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