Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 25 April 1813

To William Short

Monticello Apr. 25. 13.

Dear Sir

Your favor of Feb. 16. remains still I believe to be acknoleged. as I did not go to the court succeeding it’s reciept myself, I delivered your deed to mr Higginbotham and his mortgage to you, to himself on his way to court to have both recorded, which cannot fail to have been done; but shall be the subject of more special enquiry, mr Carter’s negligence having taught me to take nothing for granted. I send you mr H’s assumpsit for the rent which closes the paper transactions.

Your’s of the 16th inst. just now recieved, finds me within two days of my departure for Bedford. my absence will be of about three weeks; but I will certainly make a point of being at home by the 20th of May and shall be very happy to see M. Correa here. if he comes in the stage, his rout is of course fixed; but if otherwise, the road from Washington by Fauquier court House, Culpeper C.H. and Orange C.H. at this season of the year is far the driest and least frequented & cut by waggons. lying too thro’ a fertile country of substantial farmers will afford some remuneration for the labours of a journey for which I shall be so much indebted. I am sorry at the same time to lose the prospect of your visit, and that of Genl Moreau, for the season at least. mais tout ce qui est differé n’est pas perdu. Genl Moreau is one of the great objects of the attention of the world, which, expects from him, if the hand of heaven should alight on Bonaparte in this world, the reestablishment of legitimate government in France, giving to it’s inhabitants as much liberty as they can bear, and in every case a government of fixed law.

Price called on me a few days ago to desire I would explain to you the delay of recieving your rents, the wheat of the tenants being caught by the blockade unsold. he assures me the rents are entirely safe. I can the more readily credit the cause of the delay, being myself caught in the same situation. I have now between 4. and 500. barrels of flour in Richmond, not a barrel of which is sold, and the fate of which depends solely on the motions of the blockading squadron. I cannot help believing they will see their own interest in withdrawing a little and cruising on the coast, in which case our vessels will go out. they will catch and send them to the markets of their W. Indies and to Quebec1 and the remaining will get to the peninsul & feed their armies and friends there. if they remain in the Delaware and Chesapeake, their islands and armies must starve & their friends in Boston live on potatoes. this will be some consolation to us for the loss of our produce if we cannot get it to market. ever affectionately yours.

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViW: TJP); addressed: “William Short esquire Philadelphia”; franked; postmarked Milton, 28 Apr.; endorsed by Short as received 3 May.

Short’s letter of feb. 16., not found, is recorded in SJL as received from Philadelphia on 26 Feb. and also abstracted in Short’s epistolary record: “to enclose deed [. . .]” (DLC: Short Papers; in Short’s hand; from a portion of his epistolary record containing entries from 24 Nov. 1812 through 8 July 1813). For the deed to mr higginbotham and his mortgage, see TJ to Short, 10 Feb. 1813, and note. David Higginbotham’s enclosed assumpsit for the rent stated that “In consideration of the immediate delivery of the lands called Indian Camp in the county of Albemarle sold to me by William Short, (except so far as they are lawfully occupied by tenants, who are to continue until the end of their leases) and in consideration of the right transferred to me to levy on those tenants the rents they are bound to pay for the present year, I hereby assume to pay at the end of the present year, the amount of those rents to the sd Wm Short, whether the same shall have been collected by me or not. Witness my hand this 27th day of February 1813” (MS in ViU: TJP; in TJ’s hand, witnessed by Carter H. Harrison, with date completed in an unidentified hand; canceled by removal of bottom corner including Higginbotham’s signature; endorsed by TJ: “Higinbotham to Short } Note for rents of Indian Camp for 1813”; subjoined notation by Higginbotham: “paid”).

Short’s letter of the 16th inst., also not found, is recorded in SJL as received from Philadelphia on 21 Apr. 1813. mais tout ce qui est differé n’est pas perdu: “but all that is deferred is not lost.”

1Preceding three words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Carter, William Champe; and W. Short’s land search
  • Chesapeake Bay; British blockade of search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; proposed visit of search
  • flour; at Richmond search
  • Harrison, Carter H.; witnesses documents search
  • Higginbotham, David; and W. Short’s land search
  • Indian Camp (W. Short’s Albemarle Co. estate); sale of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and W. Short’s property search
  • Moreau, Jean; proposed visit of to Monticello search
  • Moreau, Jean; TJ on search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; mentioned search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visit to search
  • Price, Joseph; manages W. Short’s Indian Camp estate search
  • Short, William; and Indian Camp search
  • Short, William; and J. Corrêa da Serra search
  • Short, William; and J. Moreau’s proposed visit to Monticello search
  • Short, William; letters from accounted for search
  • Short, William; letters to search