Thomas Jefferson Papers

Statement of Joseph Jones Monroe, 22 June 1812

Statement of Joseph Jones Monroe

Being at Mr Michies house on a promised visit, in the absense of my family, I have seen the whole correspondence between himself Mr Peyton & Mr Jefferson. Having been Mr Michies Attorney, while formerly a resident of this County, and believing him to be, from all my transactions with him, a man both of talents and of honor, I Could not but participate some what in his feelings at this crisis; thinking as I verily now do, that he was about to be made the victim of oppression, perhaps my feelings may have been very acute But as to facts I am perfectly correct Mr M. received a note in answer to his letter of yesterday, which perfectly estonished me. I knew not how to advise. At length the most appropriate answer that we Could devise was sent. It required explination, and none was given, I thought the object abandoned on the part of Peyton, and my advice to Michie was not to go down; at his importunity however we went down in an entire unprepared state, and after the Customary salutations between Peyton and myself, he expressed surprize at my presence and said he expected Michie to meet him singly. A gun was standing against a tree. I told him the course he persued was not all formal, and that Mr Michies note ought to have been answered. He replied that he did not wish to involve others in his disputes that the law was rigid &c—after some discussion he acquissed in my opinion, which was that he would send a verbal challenge by a Gentleman, which I engaged for Michie (being authorized) should be accepted.

I also state that Mr Peyton said he had confidence in me, and he had no objection that the matter should be settled before me, and Mr Michies overseer and nephew1 with guns, saying Mr Michie had one at home.

To this I positively objected for reasons not necessary to be detailed—Michie had no arms, his nephew had a brace of unloaded pistols. The conduct of both the Gentlemen were decorus and firm

Jo Jo Monroe

Tr (ViU: TJP-LBJM); in George Carr’s hand.

Joseph Jones Monroe (ca. 1771–1824), attorney, was James Monroe’s younger brother. He studied at the University of Edinburgh, 1783–89, returned to Virginia and read law with his brother, and was admitted to the bar in 1791. Monroe practiced law in Albemarle County and represented it in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1796, but he relied on his older brother for financial support for most of his life. After serving as commonwealth’s attorney for Albemarle County, 1811–12, Monroe unsuccessfully sought a position in Mississippi Territory. He served as President Monroe’s private secretary in Washington for about two years before moving in 1820 to Missouri, where he participated in local politics. Monroe died in Missouri (Ammon, Monroe description begins Harry Ammon, James Monroe: The Quest for National Identity, 1971 description ends ; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901, repr. 1991 description ends , 212, 281, 380; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 34 vols. description ends , 16:110–1n, 19:631, 29:158, 198; 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 , 203; Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine 4 [1922]: 104–5, 107; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 31 vols.  Congress. Ser., 17 vols.  Pres. Ser., 6 vols.  Sec. of State Ser., 8 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 4:153; Monroe to James Monroe, 23 Apr. 1814; Hugh Nelson’s 8 Apr. 1815 recommendation in Monroe’s file in DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17; JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States description ends , 11:193, 13:212 [29 Jan. 1818, 11 Feb. 1820]; St. Louis Enquirer, 23 June 1821; Charlottesville Central Gazette, 27 Aug. 1824).

Michie’s 21 June 1812 answer to Craven Peyton maintained that Peyton’s previous letter made no sense, because the dispute now involved only TJ and himself; assured him that although a meeting would decide nothing, Michie would be there at the appointed hour; explained that the bearer would await Peyton’s explination of his purpose in asking for the meeting; and concluded that “empty menaces” would not dissuade him from his purpose. On 23 June Peyton wrote Michie “that no further steps will be taken by me for the present” (Trs in ViU: TJP-LBJM; in Carr’s hand).

1Manuscript: “nuphew.”

Index Entries

  • dueling search
  • Henderson case; TJ’s role in search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; dispute with D. Michie search
  • Michie, David; and proposed duel with C. Peyton search
  • Michie, David; claim to part of Henderson lands search
  • Monroe, James; family of search
  • Monroe, Joseph Jones; and possible D. Michie–C. Peyton duel search
  • Monroe, Joseph Jones; family of search
  • Monroe, Joseph Jones; identified search
  • Monroe, Joseph Jones; statement by search
  • Peyton, Craven; and Henderson case search
  • Peyton, Craven; and proposed duel with D. Michie search
  • Peyton, Craven; Jefferson v. Michie search