Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to James Steptoe, 15 December 1809

To James Steptoe

Monticello Dec. 15. 09.

Dear Sir

A matter of business calling my son in law, mr Randolph to Bedford, I take the occasion of introducing him to your acquaintance. the excellence of his character being known to you by reputation, I shall, in confirmation of that only assure you that the integrity & honor of his character are entirely equal to the good sense & information which will at once shew themselves to you in his conversation. an urgent occasion to raise a considerable sum of money in the course of a year, and a part of it (2000.D.) within a month has induced me to consent to a curtailing the outskirts of Poplar Forest as the most probable means of effecting it. when I had the pleasure of seeing you in Bedford I did not know of this necessity, or this expedient should have been adopted with the benefit of more time, or some other provision made for this first sum. your knolege of the value of the land, the price it should command according to those of the neighborhood, and of the characters who may be disposed to purchase & likely to fulfill their engagements, induces me to ask your friendly information, counsel & aid to him towards effecting his object which will be cordially acknoleged by me as a great obligation, feeling1 as anxiously interested in his case as if it were my own. I pray you to be assured of my constant esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (J. Ambler Johnston, Richmond, 1952); addressed: “James Steptoe esquire near New London”; endorsed by Steptoe. PoC (CtY: Franklin Collection); endorsed by TJ.

1Word interlined in place of “being.”

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction from search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); attempted sale of part of search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); and sale of part of Poplar Forest search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); TJ on search
  • Steptoe, James; letters to search
  • Steptoe, James; TJ introduces T. M. Randolph to search