Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John Daingerfield, 2 August 1810

To John Daingerfield

Monticello Aug. 2. 10.


Yours of July 17. has been duly recieved. be assured that the delay in the paiment of the hire due to mrs Dangerfield & yourself has been the cause of severe mortification to me.1 I was obliged to apply all my first resources to a large purchase of corn, which the drought of the last year has raised to 5. 6. and even 7.D. the barrel in this & the neighboring counties. but I reserved a fund amply sufficient for your demand, and under my command by the power of distraining. this was the rent of my mill, which I had no suspicion would have remained unpaid so long, by the tenant. his promises obtained indulgences from time to time, till, before I was aware of it, the season of grinding was over, & nothing left in the mill which would answer the rent. the season of work is now about to recommence, and I am waiting only till a sufficiency is recieved in the mill to levy the rent on; when, unless he pays me enough to satisfy your demand (and his arrears are the double of it) I shall distrain, and you may be assured I will not lose a moment in placing the money in the bank of Fredericksburg and of giving you notice of it. this is the earliest resource at my command, and I have thought it my duty to state it to you explicitly, that you might understand the cause of my being in default, and the probable end of it. Accept the assurances of my esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); at foot of text: “Mr John Dangerfield”; endorsed by TJ. Enclosed in TJ to Nathaniel H. Hooe, 24 Sept. 1810.

John Daingerfield (b. 1767), the son of Mary Willis Daingerfield and brother of Sarah Daingerfield Hooe, represented Essex County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1798–1801 (VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893– description ends 32 [1924]: 135; WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892– description ends , 1st ser., 8 [1899]: 96–100; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends , 211, 215, 219). TJ had rented slaves from his family since 1806 (TJ to Mary Daingerfield, 11 Mar. 1809, and note).

Daingerfield’s letter of july 17, not found, is recorded in SJL as received from Coventry in Spotsylvania County on 15 July 1810, implying a mistaken date of composition or receipt.

1Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Bank of Fredericksburg search
  • corn; TJ buys search
  • Daingerfield, John; identified search
  • Daingerfield, John; letters from accounted for search
  • Daingerfield, John; letters to search
  • Daingerfield, John; TJ hires slaves from search
  • Daingerfield, John; TJ’s debt to search
  • Daingerfield, Mary Willis; TJ hires slaves from search
  • Hooe, Sarah Daingerfield (Nathaniel H. Hooe’s wife); TJ hires slaves from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; slaves hired search
  • rent; due from Shoemakers search
  • slaves; hired by TJ search
  • weather; drought search