Thomas Jefferson Papers

Joseph C. Cabell to Thomas Jefferson, 12 January 1817

From Joseph C. Cabell

Richmond. 12th Jan: 1817.

Dear Sir,

Your favour of 1st inst is now before me. With the nature & object of the petition you allude to, I was already acquainted from having received an explanatory letter from your grandson, covering a copy of the remonstrance. I had also conversed as well with him as with mr maury. I advised mr maury without delay to have an interview with his colleague, and to endeavor to obtain his co-operation. He took this course & his colleague yielded a ready assent to the justice of the remonstrance. Very soon after this mr maury became ill & for some time has not left his room. During this interval his colleague has changed sides and prepared the select committee for1 a report favorable to the petition. But at the date of my last enquiry, the subject was suspended till mr maury’s return to the House: when I expect he will be able to procure the rejection of the petition, or at least the modification you desire. Should it come to the Senate, you may be assured of my endeavors to have the bill altered in the manner you wish, which appears to me entirely conformable to reason & justice.

Should Count Barziza’s petition succeed in the House of Delegates, I will not fail to pay every attention in my power to it, when it comes to the Senate.

Doctor Smith has received information that Say’s treatise on political economy has been translated into English. He shortly expects a copy from England. Under these circumstances I consider myself absolved from my promise to you.

I imagine you would be pleased to see a copy of the Bank bill which has recently passed the2 House of Delegates: & I accordingly enclose one. This bill is now under the consideration of a committee of the Senate consisting of the four members from beyond the Ridge, and the Senator from Loudon. I think it will be much altered in the Senate, and perhaps it will fail entirely in the end. you will perceive that the part respecting the Literary fund merely gives banking powers to the present Literary fund, & in no other respects adds to the fund. The late Governor’s original scheme of augmenting the fund to $2,000,000, by an addition of 6 pr Cent stock, to be created by the commonwealth, & of giving banking powers to the whole, has been defeated.3 This Bill has engrossed nearly the whole attention of the Assembly since our meeting. It has not yet been accompanied in its progress by symptoms of great exasperation, but should it fail, as I think is probable, except as to a few western banks, there will be much heat & violence. The petition from Port Royal is written by Col: Taylor.

I never received, untill within the last few days, the late Governor’s letter of 18th Oct: appointing me one of the visitors of the Central College. I shall at all times be ready to attend to any business to which the appointment may give rise.I4 fear it will be difficult if not impracticable to procure money for that Institution. The prevailing opinion seems to be to establish schools first, and colleges afterwards.Besides, when I was at Staunton the very spot where the University was to be placed, was pointed out to me. And Should there be a bank at Staunton, you may expect to hear it called the Central Bank.

I am, dear sir, faithfully yours,

Joseph C. Cabell

RC (ViU: TJP-PC); endorsed by TJ as received 19 Jan. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Hutchins G. Burton, 28 Feb. 1817, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson esq. Monticello”; franked; postmarked Richmond, 14 Jan. Enclosure: copy, not found, of “An Act to establish sundry new Banks within this Commonwealth” (Richmond, 1817; see JSV description begins Journal of the Senate of Virginia description ends [1816–17 sess.], 28).

TJ’s grandson was Thomas Jefferson Randolph, while Thomas W. Maury’s colleague also representing Albemarle County in the Virginia House of Delegates was Charles Yancey. TJ hoped to secure a modification in the route of a proposed turnpike between Rockfish Gap and Moore’s Ford in Albemarle County.

Philip I. barziza’s petition was reported as rejected by the House of Delegates’ Committee for Courts of Justice on 8 Jan. 1817 on the grounds that “the question is purely a judicial one, and no escheat to the Commonwealth has accrued, and that, therefore, the Commonwealth has nothing to release” (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends [1816–17 sess.], 140–1).

The first English edition of Jean Baptiste Say’s treatise on political economy was published in London in 1821.

On 7 Jan. 1817 the bank bill enclosed to TJ was committed to state senators George J. Davisson, Alfred H. Powell, Chapman Johnson, and Francis Preston from beyond the Blue ridge and Cuthbert Powell, the senator from loudon County. It passed into law on 5 Feb. 1817 as “An Act to establish two new banks within this Commonwealth,” the Northwestern Bank of Virginia, at Wheeling, and the Bank of the Valley in Virginia, at Winchester (JSV description begins Journal of the Senate of Virginia description ends [1816–17 sess.], 28; Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1816–17 sess.], 55–70). An 11 Dec. 1816 petition from port royal requested that a bank be established in that town (Vi: RG 78, Legislative Petitions, Caroline Co.).

For the late governor’s letter, see notes to Wilson Cary Nicholas to TJ, 18 Oct. 1816, and its enclosure.

1Cabell here canceled “the rejection.”

2Cabell here canceled “Sena.”

3Preceding two words interlined in place of “been essentially defeated.”

4Cabell here canceled “apprehend.”

Index Entries

  • Albemarle County, Va.; roads in search
  • An Act to establish two new banks within this Commonwealth (1817) search
  • Bank of the Valley in Virginia (Winchester) search
  • banks; in Va. search
  • Barziza, Philip Ignatius; and L. L. Paradise estate search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; and Central College establishment search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; and J. B. Say’s writings search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; and petition of P. I. Barziza search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; and proposed Albemarle Co. road search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; and Va. banks search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; letters from search
  • Central College, Board of Visitors; members of search
  • Central College; funding for search
  • Davisson, George J.; as Va. state senator search
  • Johnson, Chapman; as Va. state senator search
  • Maury, Thomas Walker; and proposed Albemarle Co. road search
  • Maury, Thomas Walker; health of search
  • Nicholas, Wilson Cary (1761–1820); and Central College search
  • Nicholas, Wilson Cary (1761–1820); as Va. governor search
  • Northwestern Bank of Virginia (Wheeling) search
  • Paradise, Lucy Ludwell (John Paradise’s wife); estate of search
  • political economy; works on search
  • Port Royal, Va.; proposed bank for search
  • Powell, Alfred H.; as Va. state senator search
  • Powell, Cuthbert; as Va. state senator search
  • Preston, Francis; as Va. state senator search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); and proposed Albemarle Co. road search
  • roads; in Albemarle Co. search
  • roads; in Va. search
  • Say, Jean Baptiste; Traité d’Économie Politique search
  • Smith, John Augustine; and writings of J. B. Say search
  • Staunton, Va.; as potential location for state university search
  • Taylor, John (of Caroline); and Va. banks search
  • Traité d’Économie Politique (J. B. Say) search
  • Virginia, University of; site of search
  • Virginia; banks in search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search
  • Virginia; House of Delegates search
  • Virginia; Literary Fund search
  • Virginia; road proposed in search
  • Virginia; Senate search
  • Wheeling, Va.; banks in search
  • Winchester, Va.; banks in search
  • Yancey, Charles; and proposed Albemarle Co. road search