Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Peter Minor, 15 August 1813

To Peter Minor

Monticello Aug. 15. 13.

Dear Sir

I recieved yesterday the inclosed act for the assesment of Congressional taxes. I see by that that a Collector and principal assessor are to be appointed for our district (Nelson, Amherst, Albemarle & Fluvanna). the former officer is of little concern to those who mean to pay punctually; but the principal assessor is all important; because the sum to be paid by our district being fixed by law, he is to divide it among the taxables of the district according to his estimate of their property. it is highly interesting to us then that a just & capable character, free from party or personal bias be named. if indeed he is to be governed by the state assesment, pro ratâ, this rule for his government would secure us all. this will depend on the instructions from the Secretary of the Treasury.1 if these leave him at large, our only reliance will be on his character. I propose to consult with as many persons as I can, acquainted in the district, to fix on the person whom we shall recommend to the President. may I be permitted to undertake your acceptance of it? the whole duties will be to be performed at your own house except the 25. days hearing appeals, prescribed in the 14th section. besides some smaller perquisites in other sections, the 30th fixes the principal emoluments, which are indeed not a great object, but perhaps not entirely inadequate for services to be done at one’s home & ease. will you think of this, and return me the act with your answer before Tuesday night, as on Wednesday I set out to Bedford, and at Warren and on my road there I shall have an opportunity of consulting with some whose opinions will be of weight. accept assurances of my friendship and respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MoSHi: TJC-BC); at foot of text: “Peter Minor esq.”; endorsed by TJ. Tr (ViHi: Minor Family Papers); in the hand of John Barbee Minor (b. 1852).

The sum to be paid by Albemarle County was set at $9,497.50 in “An Act to lay and collect a direct tax within the United States” of 2 Aug. 1813 (U.S. Statutes at Large, 3:60). The enclosed copy of “An Act for the assessment and collection of direct taxes and internal duties,” 22 July 1813, authorized the following emoluments for each principal assessor: “two dollars for every day employed in hearing appeals and making out lists … and four dollars for every hundred taxable persons contained in the tax list as delivered by him to the collector” (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, 1845–67, 8 vols. description ends , 3:22–34, esp. 34).

1Preceding three words interlined.

Index Entries

  • An Act for the assessment and collection of direct taxes and internal duties (1813) search
  • An Act to lay and collect a direct tax within the United States (1813) search
  • Gallatin, Albert; as secretary of the treasury search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation from search
  • Madison, James; and appointments search
  • Minor, Peter; and appointment of principal assessor search
  • Minor, Peter; letters to search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation from TJ search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visit to search