Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to George Divers, 27 March 1817

To George Divers

Monticello Mar. 27. 17.

Dear Sir

I write to you because you are a Director of the Rivanna company, yet not as a Director, but as an individual and friend for consultation.   the present condition of the locks is such as to call ere long for an entire new rebuilding. before this is proposed, it is certainly desirable, both for the company and myself, that we should know of a certainty on what ground we stand in point of right: and this can only be settled by a judiciary decision. I propose therefore to bring a friendly bill1 in Chancery, on which, with the separate answers of the Directors, the Chancellor will, on motion, and without a day’s delay decide this point authoritatively. with this view I have prepared a bill; and as I am anxious to state in it no fact which is not exact, I inclose it and ask the favor of you to peruse it with attention, and to take notice of any fact you think not correct. I will not give you the trouble of making notes, or writing letters on the subject, to which there is no end. but I will ride up the day after tomorrow if you will be at home,2 & ask a dinner of you, and exchange explanations verbally as to any thing which may need correction.   there are some facts, which being unknown to the Directors themselves, will of course require depositions: particularly with respects to the Inquest of 1805. but for those which are within their knolege, their answers will of course save the time and trouble of calling on witnesses: ever and affectionately yours

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of a note in Joseph Milligan’s hand possibly related to his 21 Feb. 1817 letter to TJ: “Despatched Georgetown Feby 22nd 1817 regular day of the post going to Milton”; at foot of text: “George Divers esq.”; endorsed by TJ. Enclosure: TJ’s Bill of Complaint against the Rivanna Company, [by 9 Feb. 1817].

1Word interlined in place of “suit.”

2Preceding six words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Divers, George; and Rivanna Company search
  • Divers, George; letters to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Bill of Complaint inJefferson v. Rivanna Company search
  • Jefferson v. Rivanna Company; TJ’s bill of complaint in search
  • Milligan, Joseph; letter from accounted for search
  • Rivanna Company; directors of search
  • Rivanna River; inquest on TJ’s mill (1805) search