Thomas Jefferson Papers

Benjamin Shackelford to Thomas Jefferson, 17 January 1813

From Benjamin Shackelford

Culpeper Court House Jany 17. 1813.

Benjamin Shackelford presents his respects & esteem to Thos Jefferson Esqe and acknowledges the receipt of his note & wou’d have most cherefully complyed with its request had Mr Champe Carter been at home, but he is at this time in the Virginia Assembly at Richmond & it is uncertain when he will return, therefore the Boy returns with the Deed.

RC (MHi); dateline at foot of text; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqe Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 18 Jan. 1813 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: TJ to William Champe Carter, 16 Jan. 1813, and enclosure.

Benjamin Shackelford (1731–1817), tavern keeper, was born in King and Queen County and resided for a time in Gloucester County, where he was a captain in the county militia in 1775. He moved to Culpeper Court House after the Revolutionary War and served as postmaster there from 1795 to 1810. Shackelford ran the Bell Tavern until 1805 and continued to operate inns until at least 1809, the last of several times that TJ stopped at his establishment. At his death he was residing with his son at Cleaveland, his home in Culpeper. Shackelford’s personal estate then included seven slaves (Robert B. Shackelford, The Shackelford Family: Its English and American Origins, And Some of Its Branches [1940], 37–8; William J. Van Schreeven, Robert L. Scribner, and Brent Tarter, eds., Revolutionary Virginia, the Road to Independence: A Documentary Record [1973–83], 4:106–7; Axelson, Virginia Postmasters description begins Edith F. Axelson, Virginia Postmasters and Post Offices, 1789–1832, 1991 description ends , 44; 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 , 2:1148, 1201, 1203, 1243; TJ to Shackelford, 8 Feb. 1807 [MHi]; Edmund Bacon’s Account of Thomas Jefferson’s Reception at Culpeper Court House, [13 Mar. 1809]; Culpeper Co. Will Book, H:350–1, K:81–3).

TJ’s note to Shackelford, presumably a brief covering letter for the enclosures now returned, is not recorded in SJL and has not been found. The boy was James Hern.

Index Entries

  • Carter, William Champe; and W. Short’s land search
  • Hern, James (TJ’s slave; b.1776); carries letters for TJ 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
  • Shackelford, Benjamin; Culpeper C.H. tavern keeper search
  • Shackelford, Benjamin; forwards correspondence for TJ search
  • Shackelford, Benjamin; identified search
  • Shackelford, Benjamin; letters from search
  • Shackelford, Benjamin; letters to accounted for search