Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Craven Peyton, 7 September 1803

To Craven Peyton

Monticello Sep. 7. 03.

Dear Sir

I now send you the deed, and a copy of the Virginia law made by D. Carr, which will serve to instruct your agent in Kentucky what is to be done. I think it should be made the interest of Fontrees to stay in Kentucky till a court sets, before which mrs Henderson may appear & acknolege the deed, or the witnesses be summoned & prove it. the deed being proven, he should bring it back to have it recorded here. the deed is full, & sufficient. we have only to have it recorded to secure us in the sole right to a mill. the decision of the question must be put off till the deed is brought back. Accept my friendly salutations.

Th: Jefferson

RC (NjP: Andre De Coppet Collection); at foot of text: “Mr. Craven Peyton.” PrC (ViU). Enclosure: Elizabeth Henderson Deed for Dower to Craven Peyton, 18 Sep. 1802 (Vol. 38:578). For other enclosure, see below.

virginia law: perhaps the law of October 1748, “An act concerning Water Mills,” which detailed the process by which an interested party could petition for the right to land on an opposing side of a water run in order to build a mill. The law also made provision for cases where entailed land had been sold, how it should be created in fee simple, and how recorded by the court. On 2 May 1803, TJ asked Peyton to employ Dabney Carr to petition the county court for permission to build a mill on the site near Milton (William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, 13 vols. [Richmond, 1809-23], 5:55-60; TJ to Peyton, 2 May 1803).

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