Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to George Hay, 13 July 1812

To George Hay

Monticello July 13. 12.

Dear Sir

The suit of Samuel Scott of Campbell against Harrison and myself, altho1 palpably groundless, has still a right to go through all the regular forms; and as I had sold the lands to Harrison before the suit, it is my interest, & my anxious wish to quiet him in his title and to force the suit thro’ all it’s forms, as quickly as possible. Harrison having borrowed from Scott a copy of his bill, permitted me to copy it while I was in Bedford, and as soon as I could recieve necessary information on some of the facts I have prepared an answer. this I now inclose you, & pray you to enter my appearance (altho no process has been served on me) and to file the answer. I inclose also a copy of the bill & answer for the use of yourself and2 mr Wirt who will, as of course, join you in the cause. I shall make two visits to Bedford before winter, the first within a month. I suppose that will be too soon for you to be able to send me a general commission for taking the depositions of witnesses. I shall be glad however to recieve such a commission the first moment possible, and that the cause be pushed on to a decree without relaxation; for I doubt if Scott will not try to keep it hanging up for his own gratification; for whenever he is sober enough to think, which is extremely rare, litigation is the only food of his mind.

I have heard it said, or supposed, you wished to purchase a place in this neighborhood. I think Short’s would suit you. it is of about 1300. acres, the price 10.D. with accomodation for the paiments, paying interest from the delivery of the land. I consider it a very great bargain, our sales of a year or two past in this neighborhood having been for 12½ to 16.D. the acre. he has authorised me to sell it, and I should be glad to have in prospect it’s adding so good a member to our society. Accept the assurance of my great esteem and respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (ViU: TJP); at foot of text: “George Hay esq.”; endorsed by TJ. Enclosures: (1) Samuel Scott’s Bill of Complaint in Scott v. Jefferson and Harrison, [before 27 Apr. 1812]. (2) TJ’s Answer to Samuel Scott’s Bill of Complaint in Scott v. Jefferson and Harrison, 11 July 1812, and enclosures.

1TJ here canceled “without.”

2Reworked from “mr Wirt &.”

Index Entries

  • drunkenness; of S. Scott search
  • Harrison, Samuel Jordan; and TJ’s land dispute with S. Scott search
  • Hay, George; and TJ’s land dispute with S. Scott search
  • Hay, George; letters to search
  • Indian Camp (W. Short’s Albemarle Co. estate); TJ tries to sell for W. Short search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and W. Short’s property search
  • Scott, Samuel; intemperance alleged search
  • Scott, Samuel; litigiousness alleged search
  • Scott, Samuel; TJ’s land dispute with search
  • Short, William; and Indian Camp search
  • Wirt, William; and TJ’s land dispute with S. Scott search