Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Short, 2 April 1803

From William Short

New York, 2 Apr. 1803. Replying to TJ’s letter of 23 Mch., he advises TJ not to sell the land the president recently purchased. He prefers waiting for TJ’s payments to him, rather than causing regret. Before departing for Kentucky, Short will leave a power of attorney for his New York brokers, Lewis & Lawrence, who will receive payments and apply them on his behalf. He promises to send TJ a copy of his statement on the debt between them as soon as he can transcribe it. He wishes he could see the president, but a visit will have to wait for his return. It is possible, though barely, that he might choose to return to Europe by way of the Mississippi. He mentions John Durrett’s offer for a portion of his Albemarle land and also a proposal to sell all of the land to John Wickham.

FC (DLC: Short Papers); 1 p.; entirely in Short’s hand, consisting of an entry in his epistolary record. Recorded in SJL as received from New York on 7 Apr.

Short’s stockbrokers Francis Lewis and Augustus H. Lawrence kept the firm’s office at 40 Wall Street, New York (Joseph A. Scoville, The Old Merchants of New York City, 3d ser. [New York, 1865], 104; Longworth’s American Almanac, New York Register, and City Directory, for the Twenty Seventh Year of American Independence [New York, 1802], 252).

John Wickham had expressed interest in Short’s Albemarle land to George Jefferson, but Jefferson informed Short that Wickham would probably only purchase the property if he could “get it at less than its value” (George Jefferson to William Short, 10 Mch. 1803, in DLC: Short Papers).

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