Thomas Jefferson Papers

Samuel McDowell Reid to Thomas Jefferson, 22 September 1817

From Samuel McDowell Reid

Lexington Sep 22d 1817


Being requested by Patrick Henry, I enclose you a receipt for the taxes on your land in this County for the years 1816–17

Patrick says that he believes that those persons who own land adjoining yours are daily trespassing On you and that if you will send your title papers or Copies of them he will have the land surveyed and endeavour to prevent intruders for the future

I am Sir With great respect Your obt Servt

samuel McD Reid

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 29 Sept. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Receipt for Rockbridge County Taxes, 22 Sept. 1817, indicating that Cyrus Hyde, deputy for the sheriff, John Leyburn, had “Received of Thomas Jefferson Esq by Patrick Henry One dollar & eighty four cents the tax On 157 acres land for the years 1816 & 1817” (MS in MHi; written on a half sheet in Reid’s hand, signed by Hyde; endorsed by TJ [hole in manuscript]: “Sheriff Rockbridge 1.[84] D taxes for 1816. 1817”).

Samuel McDowell Reid (1790–1869), public official, was a native of Rockbridge County. He attended Washington College (later Washington and Lee University), studied law in Staunton, and served in the War of 1812 as an adjutant to Colonel James McDowell. Reid then returned to Rockbridge County, where he served as deputy clerk under his father, Andrew Reid, succeeding him as clerk of the county court, 1831–52, and clerk of the circuit court, 1831–58. He represented Rockbridge County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1859–65. A trustee of Washington College from 1819 until his death, including service as secretary of the board, 1844–53, Reid was also a trustee of the Ann Smith Academy for fifty years and a member of the state’s Board of Public Works. In 1860 he owned real estate valued at $6,000 and a personal estate of $130,000. Reid died at his home in Lexington (Frederick Johnston, Memorials of Old Virginia Clerks [1888], 338–44; Washington and Lee University, Historical Papers 5 [1895]: 33–6; Washington and Lee University Catalogue description begins Catalogue of the Officers and Alumni of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, 1749–1888, 1888 description ends , 37, 39, 66; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends , 471, 480, 486; DNA: RG 29, CS, Rockbridge Co., 1860; Lexington Virginia Gazette, 22 Sept. 1869; Daily National Intelligencer and Washington Express, 24, 25 Sept. 1869).

On 14 Aug. 1817 TJ had given his tenant Patrick Henry $6, of which $1 was for himself and $5 “to be pd. to the Sher. of Rockbridge for taxes past & to come” on TJ’s Natural Bridge property (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, 2 vols., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1337).

Index Entries

  • Henry, Patrick (of Rockbridge Co.); as tenant at Natural Bridge search
  • Hyde, Cyrus; as deputy sheriff search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; pays taxes search
  • Leyburn, John; as sheriff search
  • Natural Bridge, Va.; survey of search
  • Natural Bridge, Va.; taxes on search
  • Reid, Samuel McDowell; and Natural Bridge search
  • Reid, Samuel McDowell; identified search
  • Reid, Samuel McDowell; letter from search
  • Rockbridge County, Va.; taxes in search
  • taxes; TJ pays search