Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Craven Peyton, 16 July 1817

To Craven Peyton

Monticello July 16. 17.

Dear Sir

I returned from Poplar Forest yesterday, and now send you your papers with my opinion on them. the issue of the cause will depend mainly on the question whether you knew of the estate in remr1 conveyed to the daughters? Colo Lewis’s deposition that he informed you of it; is the only testimony against you but your answer, his deed to the contrary and other circumstances will overweigh his assertion in the mind of any man as it does in mine. I have therefore in giving a candid opinion been obliged to speak hard of him. this is intended for your satisfaction; but considering the connection which has been between him and me decency, & the desire of peace dictate that my opinion of his conduct should not be made known, nor become the subject of neighborhood conversation, as it might bring on me useless pain.

I suppose Johnson is employed against you, and therefore recommend to you by all means to employ Sheffy, lately settled in Staunton. he is very able. but think immediately of establishing by new testimony the date of the conclusion of your bargain verbally with Charles Lewis. if that is fixed and you are equally defended, you are in no danger. Yours with friendship and respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; at foot of text: “Mr Peyton”; endorsed by TJ. Enclosures: (1) TJ to Peyton, 8 July 1817. (2) Enclosures described at Peyton to TJ, 26 June 1817 (second letter).

The connection which has been between him and me was Charles L. Lewis’s marriage to TJ’s deceased sister Lucy Jefferson Lewis.

1Abbreviation for “remainder.”

Index Entries

  • Johnson, Chapman; as attorney search
  • law; TJ provides legal advice search
  • Lewis, Charles (d.1806) (TJ’s nephew); property dispute with C. Peyton search
  • Lewis, Charles Lilburne (TJ’s brother-in-law); dispute with C. Peyton search
  • Lewis, Charles Lilburne (TJ’s brother-in-law); family of search
  • Lewis, Lucy Jefferson (TJ’s sister; Charles Lilburne Lewis’s wife); family of search
  • Monteagle (C. Peyton’s Albemarle Co. estate); dispute over search
  • Peyton, Craven; dispute with Lewis family search
  • Peyton, Craven; letters to search
  • Sheffey, Daniel; as attorney search