Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson Randolph to Thomas Jefferson, 31 August 1814

From Thomas Jefferson Randolph

Richmond Aug 31th 1814

My Dear Grandfather

You are no doubt anxious to hear what we are doing and what are our expectations as it respects defence, and the arrival of the enemy. Our governor as pompous, perhaps, as patriotic, has taken the field, and is encamped at fairfaild, two miles from town, with Mr Lee Mercer, H. Nelson, aid, and about 2500, men under the immediate command of Gen. Cocke. There are 2,000 at Camp Holly 10 miles below this under Gen. Porterfield and about 5 or 600 in town, local militia and volunteer corps; making an aggregate of about 5,000. Volunteers, are hourly arriving. They are to be organised, both horse and foot under command of my father as a legion to meet the enemy, where he lands, and fight him incessantly until he reaches the town, at the same time impeding his march by breaking up bridges and felling trees in the road. There is no confusion here, because the enemy is not at their doors, and not1 from a confidence in the march, or activity in their preparation. they rest satisfied, as the enemy did not destroy private property at Washington, that they will not here, The federalists allways the least active in their preparation are as usual more violent and abusive upon every miscarriage. I have made yet, no disposition of myself I find all my young friends and acquaintances here and will be able to fix myself agreably, God forbid, that I should have been last to come forward in defence of my country, for which I shall always be proud to sacrifice my life

Your most devoted and affectionate grand son

Th: J. Randolph

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 2 Sept. 1814 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Thomas Ritchie, 27 Sept. 1814, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson, Esquire Monticello Albemarle”; franked; postmarked Richmond, 31 Aug.

Virginia governor James Barbour was accompanied by inspector general Charles Fenton mercer and aides Benjamin W. Leigh (Lee), Hugh nelson, and Philip N. Nicholas (Richmond Enquirer, 3 Sept. 1814; Butler, Virginia Militia description begins Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812, 1988 description ends , 21–2, 304).

1Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • Barbour, James; and War of1812 search
  • Camp Fairfield (Henrico Co.); Va. miltia at search
  • Cocke, John Hartwell; militia service of search
  • Leigh, Benjamin W.; aide to J. Barbour search
  • Mercer, Charles Fenton; as inspector general search
  • militia; organization of search
  • Nelson, Hugh; aide to J. Barbour search
  • Nicholas, Philip Norborne; aide to J. Barbour search
  • Porterfield, Robert; commands troops search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); letters from search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); military service of search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); military service of search
  • War of1812; militia activity search
  • War of1812; volunteer troops search
  • Washington (D.C.); British destruction in search