Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Anthony S. Gadbury, 15 March 1802

From Anthony S. Gadbury

Alexandria March 15th 1802

Dear Sir

Nothing but the present disagreeable necessity, compels me to trouble you with this letter, not Knowing who so well to apply to; I have been traveling to the western Country, & the Northward, and have got this far on my way home. (Goochland Cty.) and am under the necessity of saying, I am without money or friends in this place, having the misfortune to have one hundred dollars stolen out of my saddle bags in Chillocothe. I have parted with the last article I can (my Watch) and have got to this place, where I have been for fourteen days, during which time I have wrote several letters home, but can receive no answer, probably owing to the death of my Brother, which I have some reason to fear has taken place since my departure, having directed a sacrafice of my property to be made rather than not remit me money, and unfortunately for me I have none of my land warrants or certificates, having left them in the hands of an agent to get surveyed and deeded in the western Country; I have therefore taken the liberty of soliciting you to lend me fifty dollars, which I promise upon honour shall be refunded in three weeks from this time. If any doubts should arise with respect to my complying with the above promise, perhaps the inclosed letter, from a gentleman of respectability to me since my departure; may in a measure serve to remove it,

Your compliance with my solicitation will relieve one who is in distress and who will be under everlasting obligations to you

I am Sir (tho a stranger) yr. Hbl St—

A. S. Gadbury

P.S. please to let me hear from you by return of mail with the inclosed letter.—


RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 16 Mch. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Thomas F. Bates to Anthony S. Gadbury, dated Belmont, Virginia, 7 Dec. 1801, stating that he brought up Gadbury’s furniture as directed, but has not heard from him since his departure; Bates has nothing of substance to communicate, not even on politics, which now seem “happily buried in oblivion”; only “the uncommon drought” and the news of peace in Europe are now to be heard; perhaps Gadbury’s journey “to some of the principal Cities” and contact with “the first Mercantile characters” might enable him to send news; if not, then “a simple journal of occurrences on road, will be pleasing” (RC in MHi; addressed: “Mr. Anthony S. Gadbury” with “Philadelphia” canceled and “Chilicotha N.W. Teritory” interlined in a different hand; postmarked Richmond 7 Dec. and Philadelphia 17 Dec.).

Anthony S. Gadbury was appointed postmaster at Goochland Court House in April 1801, but resigned the office the following September. By late January 1802, Gadbury was reported as having “absconded.” Back home by April 1802, he sought to counter reports circulating that he had left Goochland “with an intention to defraud certain creditors, and was never expected to return.” Gadbury denied the charge and called on his creditors to meet with him on 6 May to arrange a settlement. He thereafter planned to leave the place within six months, “and when I once more absent myself, I never shall return, I candidly believe” (Stets, Postmasters description begins Robert J. Stets, Postmasters & Post offices of the United States 1782–1811, Lake Oswego, Ore., 1994 description ends , 258; Joseph Habersham to Gadbury, 3 Sep. 1801, FC in Lb in DNA: RG 28, LPG; Richmond Virginia Argus, 14 April 1802; Vol. 32:287n).

Index Entries