Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Craven Peyton, 3 October 1801

From Craven Peyton

Shadwell 3d October 1801

Dear Sir

from the Inclosd papars you will see how very fortunate you have been on balloting for the different Lots as they were laid of by the Commissioners. No 9. drawn by J L. Henderson most certainly includes the Mill seat. but in drawing no difference was made by the Commissioners, the House of Thorpe you will observe is likewise drawn. & leaves a ballance due the Legatees of £84.0.0. in laying of this Land no part of yours was interferd with as on a former survey. the instruments which you give me will not answer as deeds may be had but for your own safety have inclosd the instrument agreeable to request. As henderson is disappointed in getting the Mill seat I think he may be baught out. I wish you to say how far I may bid. there has been several applications for the Houses which are occupied by Thorp & Faris togethar with the four lots of Land, whatevar you wish done with them & will let me no by next mail I will do with pleasure, I am in hopes you will considar it so much more to your interest to improve the Mill seat at Milton in preference to this, that you will decline hear, the expence from this time would not amount to more than One third, you will please let me no how you approve of the proceedings.

I am with much Respt. Yr. Mst. Obt.

C Peyton

RC (ViU); endorsed by TJ as received 6 Oct. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) Report of division of lands among Henderson family heirs, 1 Oct. 1801, listing four tracts, the “Upper Field Lands of Bennett Henderson Desd” (49 acres), “Back Lands” (1,020 acres), “Lower Field” (58.25 acres), and “Lands below the Town” (20 acres); dividing each tract into ten allotments of equal or near-equal acreage; and listing the name of the family member who received each numbered parcel, with each of the ten children of Bennett Henderson receiving one parcel in each tract (Tr in ViU, entirely in Peyton’s hand, including names of David Anderson, David Higginbotham, and John Sneed, the commissioners who performed the division, endorsed by TJ: “Henderson’s partition. a copy of the report of the Commissioners as returned to court”; MS in same, in an unidentified hand, signed by Anderson, Higginbotham, and Sneed, with emendations in TJ’s hand, giving the total acreage beside the heading of each tract). (2) Declaration of Trust with Craven Peyton, 25 Sep. 1801.

Mill Seat: in the “Lands below the Town,” a strip of two-acre plots between the edge of the town of Milton and the bank of the Rivanna River, James Henderson received lot No. 9. That parcel was the potential location for a mill, as mentioned in TJ’s and Peyton’s letters of 8 and 16 Oct., respectively. TJ wrote “mill seat” by that lot on the plat of the Henderson land division he received from Peyton (plat listed as enclosure, Peyton to TJ, 6 Nov., and see illustration).

No Part of Yours was Interferd with: TJ already owned property that bordered on the “Back Lands” and “Upper Field” tracts of the Henderson lands (same).

Instruments which you give me: the Form of Deeds for Henderson Purchases, printed at the end of September. The instrument enclosed by Peyton in the letter above seems most likely to have been the 25 Sep. indenture between him and TJ.

John Henderson was the family member disappointed in his hope of obtaining the prospective mill site.

Houses Which are Occupied by Thorp & Faris: in the division of the estate, Sarah Henderson Kerr received both a five-acre parcel in the “Upper Field,” upriver from Milton, which had “Thorps House valued to £140.0.0,” and a six-acre parcel in the “Lower Field,” downstream from the town, where the “Farras House” stood (Enclosure No. 1, above).

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