Thomas Jefferson Papers

Mary Stith to Thomas Jefferson, 17 March 1811

From Mary Stith

[17 Mar. 1811]

I have recieved your letter, the subject matter of which I was an entire stranger to.—when you write of plaintiffs & defendants, you make me shudder, not having ever had any thing to do with law, but willingly to obey those of my country. the more I reflect upon it the less I like it.—there is an impropriety in my going to law at my time of life, where there is no children to be benefited by it.—I have a remedy for you which I hope will do better. the property in question can be of no service to me, therefore it is but just to put it into hands that know how to use it. I Mary Stith of the city of Williamsburg do herein invest Thomas Jefferson of Monticello, to all my share in the limestone tract of land. this may not be a perfect conveyancy, but may do as there is nobody to dispute the point with you.—the intimacy in which our parents lived caused our acquaintance to commence at a very early period of life. much of our infancy was spent together

Tr (MHi); extract in TJ’s hand, forming part of PoC of TJ to Robert Anderson, 13 June 1819, prefaced by TJ’s comment that this letter from “miss Mary Stith” was “dated Mar. 17. 1811.” Recorded in SJL as a letter of 17 Mar. received 10 Apr. 1811. Enclosed in a brief covering letter from Bishop James Madison to TJ, 18 Mar. 1811, stating that he had forwarded TJ’s letter “as soon as it was receiv’d” and that Stith’s reply, “owing to her ill Health, I beleive, was not returned till this Morning” (RC in MoSHi: TJC-BC; endorsed by TJ as received 10 Apr. 1811 and so recorded in SJL).

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and limestone survey suit search
  • Limestone Survey (Albemarle Co.) search
  • Madison, James, Bishop; forwards letter search
  • Madison, James, Bishop; letters from accounted for search
  • Stith, Mary; and Limestone Survey tract search
  • Stith, Mary; letters from search
  • Stith, Mary; TJ’s childhood friend search
  • Virginia; limestone in search
  • women; letters from; M. Stith search