Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Wayles Eppes to Thomas Jefferson, 21 January 1810

From John Wayles Eppes

Washington January 21. 1810.

Dear Sir,

I enclose to you a letter from Colo: Bently of Virginia—You will find among your papers another letter from him previous to your leaving the city of Washington last spring—You mentioned I think when I presented the former letter to you, “that the papers by which the release must be drawn were at Monticello—that you would execute it and forward it to Colo: Bently”1— His post office is Powhatan Ct House—

Our business here progresses slowly—Mr Macons bill will probably pass in a day or two with a considerable majority—although a sort of foundling without any acknowledged sponsor it appears to grow night and day—Indeed it has been said it grows most at night—

with my respects to the family and friendly greetings to yourself

I am yours sincerely

Jno: W: Eppes

RC (ViU: TJP-ER); endorsed by TJ as received 24 Jan. 1810 and so recorded in SJL.

Eppes enclosed a letter from William Bentley to Eppes, Powhatan, 23 Dec. 1809, which began: “The papers that I inclosed to to you [thus in manuscript] the last Winter session of Congress, to be presented to Mr Jefferson to obtain his permission for the commissioner who sold a Tract of Land, under a decree of the H. Court of Chancery, which belonged to the Estate of Wm Ronald Decd, and which was Sold to satisfy a Debt due to Mr Jefferson; and of which I becaem the purchaser; you informed me that he could not act on them, untill a reference could be had to papers, which were at Monticello. If you have had any farther information from him on that Subject, I will thank you for it,—If he has not made known his decission to you, I will esteem it favor, if you will communicate with him by letter, (or in person, if more convenient) and procure his Consent in writing, that the Surviving Comr (for there is but one out of three now living) may pass a Deed to me,—The survivor is Mr James Pleasants jr—the death of him would involve me in many difficulties.—If the account of monies paid by me, which accompanied the other papers, agrees with my former Statement, there cannot be much due; but whatever there is, I will Settle with the Comr or with any other person to whom I shall be directed.” The letter concluded with an unrelated request for assistance from Eppes and William B. Giles involving a transaction between Bentley and Richard B. Lee (RC in MHi; addressed: “The Hble John W. Epps in Congress”; franked and postmarked; endorsed by TJ).

Bentley had written Eppes another letter of a similar nature on 9 Jan. 1809 (MHi).

1Omitted closing quotation mark editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • Bentley, William (of Virginia); and Beaverdam lands search
  • Congress, U.S.; and Macon’s Bill No.1 search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); and W. Bentley search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); letters from search
  • Giles, William Branch; assistance requested from search
  • House of Representatives, U.S.; and Macon’s Bill No.1 search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; account with W. Bentley search
  • Lee, Richard Bland search
  • Macon, Nathaniel; and Macon’s Bill No.1 search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); papers stored at search
  • Pleasants, James; and W. Ronald’s estate search
  • Post Office, U.S.; and Va. post offices search
  • Ronald, William; estate of search
  • Virginia; post offices in search
  • Willis Creek tract (Cumberland Co.); title to lands at search