Thomas Jefferson Papers

Samuel J. Harrison to Thomas Jefferson, 1 October 1817

From Samuel J. Harrison

Lynchburg Oct 1–1817


From the Rapid increase of the Commerce, Wealth & population of Lynchburg—the present Banking Capital thereof, is found to be quite insufficent—In Consequence of which, the Citizens, at a Publick Meeting held yesterday at the Court house; determined to Send Delegates to Philadelphia, for the purpose of Making application to the president & Directors of the Bank of the United States; for the Establishment of a branch thereof, at Lynchburg—a Copy of the proceedings of the Meeting is here enclosed.

The Delegates are expected to go on in the Course of next week—and as you are well acquainted with the local Situasion of Lynchburg—Its unexampled Prosperity, & Rapid increase, in wealth & population; as well as the Rich & extensive Country, Trading with, & Depending upon it for Support—and as it is presumed that you are acquainted with William Jones Esquire, President of the Bank of the United States—May I ask the favor of a Letter to him, if agreeable, or Some other of your philadelphia friends, in favor of our three Delegates, upon this Subject?

I apprehend that you May not be acquainted with those Gentlemen—I therefore take the liberty of Stating, that Mr Watts is a Lawyer of Eminence, & Speaker of the Senate—Messrs Morgan & Pollard, are Distinguished Merchants, & Gentlemen of the first Respectability.

A Letter to Mr Nicholas, President of the Bank at Richmond, would be also Very desireable.

The bearer Mr Lynch will bring your Reply.

Hoping that you will have the goodness to Pardon the trouble that this May give you—

I am Very Respectfully Yr ob. Servt

S J Harrison

In 1816. we exported from Lynchburg about } $3.000000
10.000 Hhds Tobo, Valued at $300 ⅌ Hhd
30.000 Bbls flour or thereabouts } 300000
   Valued at $10 ⅌ Bbl
In 1817. About the Same quantity of Tobo & flour,
Estimated at about Two Millions of Dollars.
   Besides Hemp, Bacon, Iron &c &c—
And our present Bank capital only about ($400,000)

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 5 Oct. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only, with note on verso relating to postscript (opening illegible): “[. . .] is an extraordinary year”; with PoC of TJ to John Quincy Adams, 26 Dec. 1817, on recto and verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire Monticello” by “Mr Lynch.” Enclosure not found.

The Petersburg American Star of 6 Oct. 1817 reported that the “citizens of Lynchburg” attending the publick meeting “unanimously agreed to make application” for a branch of the Second Bank of the United States.

Index Entries

  • bacon search
  • Bank of the United States, Second; proposed Lynchburg branch search
  • banks; in Va. search
  • crops; hemp search
  • flour; in Lynchburg market search
  • food; bacon search
  • Harrison, Samuel Jordan; and proposed Lynchburg bank search
  • Harrison, Samuel Jordan; letters from search
  • hemp; as cash crop search
  • iron; mentioned search
  • Jones, William (ca.1761–1831); as president of Second Bank of the United States search
  • Lynch, Mr.; carries letter search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; bank in proposed search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; economy of search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; flour market at search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; tobacco prices at search
  • Morgan, Mr. (Lynchburg merchant) search
  • Nicholas, Wilson Cary (1761–1820); and Second Bank of the United States search
  • Pollard, Richard; merchant search
  • tobacco; in Lynchburg market search
  • Virginia; banks in search
  • Watts, Edward; as Va. state senator search