From Charles Yancey
Richmond 24th decr 1815
we have been as yet principly engaged in Receiving petitions, Making appointments, &c a few bills have been reported, & have passed our house, & some of Considerable Importance depending. One of which, has for its object the call of a Convention. on which there appears to be a Considerable degree of difference in Opinion; but I am inclined to think, it will pass our house in Some Shape or other, & be negatived in the senate, as they are a little further from the people. I confess, when I reflect on the danger of Innovation, I am at a loss what to do. Another of great importance, of which we shall have many respecting the establishment of another Banking association. in this I feel also considerable Imbarrasment. Seeing other states grant Charters to almost every association of the kind. & hearing people of good standing Charge the directors, of being engaged in what is commonly called Shaving of paper, & improperly Curtailing to emberass the man who is much in debt in bank, to make a way to Shave him close, & seeing that by the laws, & usages, respecting banks, Some persons Must ultimately Suffer, is Serious Cause of Alarm. every Measure which would tend to prevent Such evil ought Now to be Adopted, If possible. we have a Committee, appointed to Report on this part of the Governors Communication, Respecting Roads, & internal Navigation, out of which I hope Some Common benefit will result. a petition has been presented, praying the passage of a law, to come at Damages in a Sumary way, from those who have locks On the Rivanna River. & to prevent Dams in future1 across said river, or Any other obstruction, unless granted by the Legislature. Should this by Any probable Means, effect Your Interest, or that of Colo Randolphs, & not benefit this public. Any Communication You, or he, may feel dispossd to Make, would be cheerfully Recd And attended to by Your friend & Mo. Ob. Sert
RC (DLC); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr late president of the United States”; franked; postmarked Richmond, 27 Dec.; endorsed by TJ; with notes by TJ on verso relating to his 6 Jan. 1816 response: “banks roads & canals ✓Rivanna ✓college ✓Miller.” Recorded in SJL as received 2 Jan. 1816.
On 12, 13, and 15 Dec., ten Virginia counties petitioned the House of Delegates for a convention to amend the state constitution in order to expand suffrage to all (presumably white) males who either paid taxes or served in the militia. The select committee to which the petitions were referred presented a bill on 21 Dec. “Requiring the Sheriffs of the different counties and corporations within this Commonwealth, to take the sense of the people upon the propriety of calling a Convention.” The bill was rejected on 9 Feb. 1816 (Vi: RG 78, Legislative Petitions; JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends [1815–16 sess.], 33, 37, 43, 60, 167).
On 14 Dec. 1815 the House appointed a select committee chaired by Charles Fenton Mercer and charged with investigating unchartered banking associations. The committee’s 5 Jan. 1816 report recommended the passage of a law to protect chartered banks from the “abuses of unauthorised Private Banking” (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends [1815–16 sess.], 39, 97–103, 160, 207). “An Act more effectually to prevent the circulation of notes emitted by unchartered banks” became law on 24 Feb. 1816 (Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1815–16 sess.], 46–50).
Yancey and twenty-one other Albemarle County residents presented a petition to the House of Delegates on 21 Dec. calling for a law mandating payment of damages to people detained on the Rivanna River by faulty locks. The Committee on Roads and Internal Navigation ruled the petition to be reasonable on 27 Dec., and the House ordered that a bill be written to that effect (Vi: RG 78, Legislative Petitions, Albemarle Co.; JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends [1815–16 sess.], 62, 73).
1. Manuscript: “futer.”
- Albemarle County, Va.; petitions to General Assembly search
- An Act more effectually to prevent the circulation of notes emitted by unchartered banks (1816) search
- banks; in Va. search
- Bill Requiring the Sheriffs of the different counties and corporations within this Commonwealth, to take the sense of the people upon the propriety of calling a Convention (1815) search
- dams; on Rivanna River search
- locks (canal) search
- Mercer, Charles Fenton; as Va. legislator search
- Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); mentioned search
- Rivanna River; petitions to General Assembly on search
- Virginia; banks in search
- Virginia; constitutional convention for proposed search
- Virginia; House of Delegates search
- Virginia; suffrage in search
- Yancey, Charles; as Va. legislator search
- Yancey, Charles; letters from search
- Yancey, Charles; petition to General Assembly search