Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Davis Durrett, 22 December 1812

To Davis Durrett

Monticello Dec. 22. 12.


Mr Sam Carr informed me you had a bay horse which you were disposed to part with at the price of £50, which he thought would match one of mine, and that you would let me have him on trial for 10. days. I therefore send the bearer for him if my information is right. I should be glad to be informed of his age, & his blood by the sire. his dam I understand is of the Seelah blood. as to the time of paiment, I cannot make it till I get my flour to market & sold, say in all April. if a longer term would suit you as well, I would rather take it paying interest. the horse shall be returned in 10. days if I find he does not suit me. the principal object of trial is to see if he will go in a carriage. Accept my best wishes & respects

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); at foot of text: “Mr Durrett”; endorsed by TJ.

Davis Durrett (1789–ca. 1832) was appointed a road surveyor in Albemarle County on 4 Feb. 1811. He served briefly in Norfolk with the militia during the War of 1812 but apparently failed in a bid for a permanent military appointment. Durrett inherited 482 acres of Albemarle County land from his father in 1820 (Mrs. Bert Harter, “Durrett Family,” Virginia Genealogist 16 [1972]: 96–103; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901, repr. 1991 description ends , 183–5; Albemarle Co. Order Book [1810–11], 363, 433, 435; [1815–16], 229, 380; Durrett to John H. Cocke, 31 Jan. 1814 [ViU: Cocke Papers]; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 7:87–9 [father’s will]; Mary Catharine Murphy, comp., Guardians’ Bonds of Albemarle County, Virginia, 1783–1852 [1968], sect. 2, p. 119).

Celer (seelah) descended from English turf stock and was the progenitor of some of TJ’s horses (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 , 2:1230, 1381; TJ to Thomas Jefferson Randolph, 31 Mar. 1815; Betts, Farm Book description begins Edwin M. Betts, ed., Thomas Jefferson’s Farm Book, 1953 (in two separately paginated sections; unless otherwise specified, references are to the second section) description ends , 87; Fairfax Harrison, Early American Turf Stock 1730–1830 [1934–35], 1:99–103, 2:27, 69).

Index Entries

  • Carr, Samuel (TJ’s nephew); and horse from D. Durrett search
  • Durrett, Davis; identified search
  • Durrett, Davis; letters to search
  • Durrett, Davis; sells horses search
  • Durrett, Richard; family of search
  • horses; for sale search
  • horses; owned by TJ search
  • Seelah (Celer; TJ’s horse) search