Thomas Jefferson Papers

Littleton W. Tazewell to Thomas Jefferson, 29 April 1810

From Littleton W. Tazewell

Williamsburg April 29. 1810


I came to this place with a view of finally settling the account of Robert Cary & Co with Mr Benjn Waller, the late agent of that firm, who from his ill health is no longer able to continue his agency—In the adjustment of this account, some difficulty has arisen, relative to the several payments made by you, on the different bonds given by you to Mr Welch, as the surviving partner of that firm—This difficulty has thus arisen—Mr Waller and myself being joint agents formerly, the several payments made by the different debters, were sometimes recieved by the one, and sometimes by the other of us—The sums recieved by the one, were frequently immediately paid over to the other, for the purpose of purchasing bills or stock to be remitted—In this way it has happened, that each of us in several instances, has given a credit to Mr Welch for the same sum of money; and sometimes the bills or stocks purchased, being transferred from one to the other for the convenience of remitting, Mr Welch is sometimes charged by both with the same remittance. To correct these errors, I shall be very much obliged to you if you will be so good as to send to me by mail to Norfolk, as soon as your leisure will permit, a memorandum of the several sums paid by you, and at what periods—By this Memorandum, its sums, and dates, we shall easily be enabled to ascertain, by whom, the payment was recieved, and by whom remitted—

Besides the aid which this Memo. will afford to us, in the Settlement of Mr Waller’s account, it will enable me to ascertain with certainty the precise sum due by you at present—Having done this, I will forthwith transmit to you the statement, which I presume you would like to have, as also the bond or bonds which may be discharged by the payments made—

I am very respectfully Sir Your mo: obdt servt

Littn: W Tazewell

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 1 June 1810 and so recorded in SJL.

Littleton Waller Tazewell (1774–1860), attorney, was a native of Williamsburg who received an A.B. degree from the College of William and Mary in 1791, studied law under John Wickham, was admitted to the bar in 1796, and settled in Norfolk in 1802. In the Virginia House of Delegates he represented James City County, 1798–1800, and Norfolk, 1804–06 and 1816–17. Tazewell sat in the United States House of Representatives, 1800–01, and the United States Senate, 1824–32, opposed reform at a state constitutional convention, 1829–30, and was governor from 1834 to 1836, when he resigned rather than forward to Congress legislative instructions favoring Andrew Jackson. Generally supportive of Republican positions, Tazewell’s vocal opposition to the Embargo did not impair his relationship with TJ, who corresponded with him on the development of a state university, selected him as one of his counsel in the controversy over the Batture Sainte Marie, and sought his advice while preparing his pamphlet on that case (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; Norma Lois Peterson, Littleton Waller Tazewell [1983]; TJ to Tazewell, 5 Jan. 1805 [ViU: TJP]).

In 1798 Tazewell’s nephew Benjamin Carter Waller (1757–1820), the late agent for Robert Cary & Company, engaged John Wickham to collect the remaining debts due from the Wayles estate to Wakelin Welch, to whom TJ also owed a smaller sum in his own right (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 31 vols. description ends , 27:606–7, 30:459; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:951, 1034, 1201, 1258).

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; account with W. Welch search
  • Tazewell, Littleton Waller; and TJ’s account with W. Welch search
  • Tazewell, Littleton Waller; identified search
  • Tazewell, Littleton Waller; letters from search
  • Waller, Benjamin Carter; agent for Robert Cary & Company search
  • Welch, Wakelin; TJ’s account with search
  • Wickham, John; and TJ’s debt to W. Welch search