Thomas Jefferson Papers

Benjamin Harrison to Thomas Jefferson, 11 July 1817

From Benjamin Harrison

Berkley July 11th 1817,

Dear Sir,

By the last Mail, I received your letter of the 26th ult and avail myself of the first opportunity to Richmond of answering it. The Manuscript in question I have ever thought worthy of publication and am much pleased that it has fallen into such hands—I shall approve entirely of any use which you may think proper to make of it, but would recommend its not being published immediately as I have every reason to hope that I shall be able to obtain a copy of a Manuscript on the same subjects and by the same Author which is in the possession of Mrs Harrison of Brandon; From what I have heard of this work; it is much fuller on the subject of the Carolina Boundary than either of those which you have seen, and contains a great variety of Anecdotes illustrative of the manners of the Period at which it was written—Should I not be disappointed, you may expect the Copy by the first safe conveyance which is afforded me, after its completion—

With sentiments of the highest respect

I am yr hum St

Ben: Harrison

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thos Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 16 July 1817 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to John Vaughan, 2 Aug. 1817, on verso; addressed: “Thos Jefferson Esqr Monticello Albemarle”; stamped; postmarked Richmond, 12 July.

The manuscript owned by Benjamin Harrison was a text of William Byrd (1674–1744), “The Secret History of the Line,” while that belonging to Evelyn Taylor Byrd harrison, of Brandon, was a copy of “The History of the Dividing Line,” Byrd’s more serious history of the 1728 expedition to survey the boundary of Virginia and North Carolina (TJ to Wilson Cary Nicholas, 16 Oct. 1816, and note).

Index Entries

  • Byrd, William (1674–1744); The History of the Dividing Line search
  • Byrd, William (1674–1744); The Secret History of the Line search
  • Harrison, Benjamin (1787–1842); letters from search
  • Harrison, Evelyn Taylor Byrd; and W. Byrd manuscripts search
  • North Carolina; boundary with Va. search
  • The History of the Dividing Line (W. Byrd [1674–1744]); manuscript of search
  • The Secret History of the Line (W. Byrd [1674–1744]) search
  • Virginia; boundary of with N.C. search