To Philip Ludwell Grymes
Washington Mar. 24. 1800. [i.e. 1801]
Before I could answer your letter of Feb. 9. I had to write to mr Copeland & await an answer from him. this has been recieved some days, and I hereby, by virtue of the power of attorney from mrs Ariana Randolph to mr Boardley & myself jointly & severally, do release to you the one moiety of the judgment you conferred to Jenning’s executors on her behalf, satisfactory evidence being produced to me of your having actually paid the other moiety. this judgment I understand settled the annuity to the end of the year 1799. though mrs Randolph readily came into my proposition, made on the ground of justice, of releasing you from one half the judgment, yet I am not certain whether different views of the subject presented her from another quarter, may have left her as well contented at this time. with respect therefore to the annuity incurred and incurring, for the year 1800. & subsequent, I can do nothing, till I know from mrs Randolph whether she continues to view the subject in the same light. my agency having been yielded on a sense of moral duty to a family with which I had formerly been in habits of great intimacy, will of course cease whenever the measures to be pursued do not accord with my ideas of justice. in that case the applications to you will be from some other quarter. in the mean time I would recommend to you to write to mrs Randolph yourself on the subject. probably if you will regularly remit to her annually the moiety of the annuity, you may obtain a quietus against the other moiety. the duties in which I am now engaged will render it impossible for me to multiply letters. accept assurances of my esteem & high respect.
RC (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond); addressed: “Philip L. Grymes esq. at Brandon near Urbanna”; franked and postmarked; added in unidentified hand: “24 March 1800 Thomas Jefferson—Washington—Release to me of one Moiety of a Judgment Confess’d to Jennings Executors on behalf of Mrs Ariana Randolph—by virtue of a Power of Attorney from her to Mr Jefferson.” PrC (DLC). Recorded in SJL at 24 Mch. 1801.
TJ wrote to Copland on 11 Mch. and received his answer of the 15th on 20 Mch.