Thomas Jefferson Papers

Citizens of Lynchburg to Thomas Jefferson, 4 November 1815

From the Citizens of Lynchburg

Lynchburg 4th November 1815


We are directed by the Citizen’s of Lynchburg to Solicit the favor of your Company and that of your Companion’s or Visitor’s at a public Dinner which will be given, in the Town of Lynchburg, to Majr Genl Andrew Jackson on Tuesday next—The Citizen’s of Lynchburg are happy to have it in their power to entertain at the Same time two such distinguish’d Citizen’s—

T A Holcombe On behalf of the Citizen’s of Lynchburg—
John H Smith
James B Risque
Rich. Pollard
John Robinson.

RC (MHi); in Smith’s hand, signed by Holcombe, Smith, Risque, Pollard, and Robinson; endorsed by TJ as a letter from “Holcombe et al.” received 4 Nov. 1815 and so recorded in SJL.

John Hill Smith (ca. 1783–1843), attorney, studied at the College of William and Mary and represented King and Queen County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1806–09. He practiced law in Williamsburg, and during the War of 1812 he served in the militia as a captain of riflemen at Yorktown. Smith soon moved to Lynchburg and qualified at the bar of Bedford County late in 1814. He subsequently moved with his family first to Hanover County and then in 1820 to Richmond, where he practiced law, sat on the Virginia Council of State, 1827–31, and served as commissioner of Revolutionary War claims, 1834–36. Smith later moved to Dinwiddie County, where he died (Louise Pecquet du Bellet, Some Prominent Virginia Families [1907; repr. 1976], 1:56–8; William and Mary Provisional List description begins A Provisional List of Alumni, Grammar School Students, Members of the Faculty, and Members of the Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary in Virginia. From 1693 to 1888, 1941 description ends , 37; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends , 244, 248, 252; Butler, Virginia Militia description begins Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812, 1988 description ends , 113; Bedford Co. Order Book, 16:345; JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends [1826–27 sess.], 33 [16 Dec. 1826]; [1830–31 sess.], 161 [11 Feb. 1831]; [1835–36 sess.], 204–5, 257 [10, 21 Mar. 1836]; Resolutions, Laws, and Ordinances, relating to the pay, half pay, commutation of half pay, bounty lands, and other promises made by Congress to the Officers and Soldiers of the Revolution [1838], 331–2; Richmond Whig and Public Advertiser, 7 Apr. 1843; gravestone inscription in Village View Cemetery, Dinwiddie).

James Beverly Risque (1767–1843), attorney, was a native of Fincastle. He studied at Liberty Hall Academy (later Washington and Lee University) in the 1780s, and by 1808 he was practicing law in Botetourt County. Risque later moved to Lynchburg, continuing his legal work there. He was a frequent visitor to Nashville and was an associate and political supporter of Andrew Jackson. In 1821 Risque unsuccessfully sought a federal appointment in the Florida Territory. He died in Lynchburg, leaving a personal estate valued at over $3,700, including nine slaves (Margaret Anthony Cabell, Sketches and Recollections of Lynchburg by the Oldest Inhabitant (Mrs. Cabell) 1858 [1858; repr. with additional material by Louise A. Blunt, 1974], 64–5; Stella M. Drumm, comp., “The Kennerlys of Virginia,” Missouri Historical Society Collections 6 [1928]: 107; Catalogue of the Officers and Alumni of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, 1749–1888 [1888], 52; Richmond Enquirer, 9 Sept. 1808; Jackson, Papers description begins Sam B. Smith, Harold D. Moser, Daniel Feller, and others, eds., The Papers of Andrew Jackson, 1980– , 8 vols. description ends , 2:244–5, 553, 557, 561; DNA: RG 29, CS, Lynchburg, 1820–40; DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1817–25; Richmond Enquirer, 27 Nov. 1827; Campbell Co. Will Book, 9:295, 317–9, 425–6).

Richard Pollard (ca. 1790–1851), attorney, was a native of King and Queen County who studied at the College of William and Mary, 1808–09. By 1812 he was licensed to practice law, and he unsuccessfully sought a position as secretary of the Mississippi Territory. Pollard served in the United States Army, 1812–14, starting as a captain in the 20th Infantry Regiment and rising to major in the 21st Infantry. After leaving the army he worked as a merchant and lawyer in Lynchburg. By 1820 Pollard moved to Nelson County and practiced law in the surrounding counties. He was serving on the board of visitors of the United States Military Academy in 1833. President Andrew Jackson appointed Pollard chargé d’affaires to Chile, a position he held from 1834 to 1841. On his return to the United States, he settled in Albemarle County, where he farmed and resumed his legal career. In 1850 Pollard’s real estate was valued at $15,000. He died in Washington (Alexander Brown, The Cabells and their Kin, 2d ed., rev. [1939; repr. 1994], 473; William and Mary Provisional List description begins A Provisional List of Alumni, Grammar School Students, Members of the Faculty, and Members of the Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary in Virginia. From 1693 to 1888, 1941 description ends , 32; Heitman, U.S. Army description begins Francis B. Heitman, comp., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, 1903, 2 vols. description ends , 1:796; Madison, Papers, Pres. Ser., 4:118; DNA: RG 29, CS, Nelson Co., 1820, Albemarle Co., 1850; Richmond Enquirer, 14 Mar. 1828, 19 Nov. 1850; Washington Globe, 15 June 1833; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 4:427, 430, 434, 5:407 [24, 27 June 1834, 16 July 1841]; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 20:315–6; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 22 Feb. 1851; gravestone inscription at Oak Ridge estate cemetery, Nelson Co.).

On the following tuesday, 7 Nov. 1815, TJ attended the Lynchburg festivities in honor of Andrew Jackson, who was passing through on his way to Washington. The same five-man Committee of Arrangement that had written TJ composed an address inviting Jackson. TJ rode with Jackson in the procession into town. He reportedly declared the event to be “the most extravagant dinner ever he saw.” TJ offered the second volunteer toast (the first being Jackson’s), calling for “Honor and gratitude to those, who have filled the measure of their country’s honor” (Richmond Enquirer, 15 Nov. 1815; Pocahontas Bolling Cabell to Susan Wilcox Hubard, 23 Dec. 1815 [NcU: Southern Historical Collection, Hubard Family Papers]).

Index Entries

  • Holcombe, Thomas Anderson; and festivities for A. Jackson search
  • Holcombe, Thomas Anderson; letter from search
  • Jackson, Andrew; Lynchburg festivities in honor of search
  • Jackson, Andrew; TJ toasts search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; A. Jackson festivities in Lynchburg search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; toasts by TJ search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; A. Jackson honored in search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; citizens of, address TJ search
  • Pollard, Richard; and festivities for A. Jackson search
  • Pollard, Richard; identified search
  • Pollard, Richard; letter from search
  • Risque, James Beverly; and festivities for A. Jackson search
  • Risque, James Beverly; identified search
  • Risque, James Beverly; letter from search
  • Robinson, John (of Lynchburg); and festivities for A. Jackson search
  • Robinson, John (of Lynchburg); letter from search
  • Smith, John Hill; and festivities for A. Jackson search
  • Smith, John Hill; identified search
  • Smith, John Hill; letter from search