Thomas Jefferson Papers

Opie Norris to Thomas Jefferson, 19 March 1811

From Opie Norris

Charlottesville 19 Mar 1811

Dear Sir

I am informed that you wish to lease the Shadwell Mills, for another term of years, after the Shoemakers lease is out, I wish to rent them, provided, I can get the Shoemakers to give up the balance of their lease, If you will lease the Mills to me, for 4 years after their term Expires—at the same rent, that the Mills are rented to the Shoemakers, that is to say, Twelve hundred & fifty dollars Per annum—I dont know that I cud get them to give up the balance of their lease, but I think its more than probably—but it is understood that, I am not to be answerable for more rent, than the time I have the Mills—at the rate of Twelve hundred & fifty dollars Per annum, which will not be more than one years rent,—If you incline to let me have the mills, inform me Immidiately—

As I am a Stranger to you, you, can inquire of the following gentlemen who I believe can give you any information that you may perhaps want to know—

Higginbotham, F. Turner, J. Watson, J. Kelly, D. Carr, N. Bramham, A. Garrett, J. Winn, R Overton, B Brown, J Leitch & the neighbourhood generally.

I am with [sure?] respects Yr Mo Set

Opie Norris

RC (MHi); one word illegible; at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Montocello”; endorsed by TJ as received 20 Mar. 1811 and so recorded in SJL.

Opie Norris (d. 1839), formerly of Lancaster County, was a Charlottesville merchant who started business in partnership with John Kelly. Norris was a justice of the Albemarle County Court and became a town magistrate in 1819. He developed land in the Court Square area of Charlottesville and was a stockholder, secretary, and treasurer of the Rivanna and Rockfish Gap Turnpike Company (Lancaster Co. Will Book, 28:134; Lay, Architecture description begins K. Edward Lay, The Architecture of Jefferson Country: Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, 2000 description ends , 135–6; Mary Rawlings, ed., Early Charlottesville: Recollections of James Alexander, 1828–1874 [1942], 9, 11–2, 19, 35; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901 description ends , 70, 83, 106, 242–4, 377; 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 ; Norris to Charles Everette, 18 Aug. 1838 [ViU: John Kelly Papers]; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 13:276; gravestone inscription at Maplewood Cemetery, Charlottesville).

Letters from Norris to TJ of 22 Sept. 1806, 22 Sept. 1808, and 27 June 1810, not found, are recorded in SJL as received from Charlottesville on 22 Sept. 1806, 22 Sept. 1808, and 28 June 1810.

Index Entries

  • Bramham, Nimrod; vouches for O. Norris search
  • Brown, Benjamin; vouches for O. Norris search
  • Carr, Dabney (1773–1837) (TJ’s nephew); vouches for O. Norris search
  • Garrett, Alexander; vouches for O. Norris search
  • Higginbotham, David; mentioned search
  • Kelly, John; vouches for O. Norris search
  • Leitch, James; vouches for O. Norris search
  • Norris, Opie; and Shadwell Mill search
  • Norris, Opie; identified search
  • Norris, Opie; letters from search
  • Norris, Opie; letters from accounted for search
  • Overton, Richard; vouches for O. Norris search
  • Rivanna and Rockfish Gap Turnpike Company search
  • Shadwell mills; lease of search
  • Shoemaker, Isaac; and mismanagement of Shadwell Mill search
  • Shoemaker, Jonathan; and mismanagement of Shadwell Mill search
  • Turner, Fleming; mentioned search
  • Watson, John; vouches for O. Norris search
  • Winn, John; vouches for O. Norris search