Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to William Jones, 26 October 1817

To William Jones

Monticello Oct. 26. 17.

Dear Sir

When I lately addressed you on the subject of a bank at Lynchburg, I little expected to be so1 soon called on to trouble you a second time. these two calls on me however have stood on grounds too peculiar to induce a fear of repetition, and therefore I proceed to obey the 2d as I did the 1st. there is an idea that branches of the National bank will be established at Petersburg & Lynchburg, and the places of cashiers to these banks become of course objects of desire. among the competitors, for the former of preference, is mr Archibald Thweatt, a resident of that neighborhood, who requests me to testify what I know of him, which I do with candor & as a duty. his father was a merchant of Petersburg, where this gentleman was born & brought up. being intended for the bar, his father brought him up in his counting house, as a preliminary qualification, where he learnt the business of accompts in which he is considered among the most accomplished. he then studied the law, & practised it with such success & general approbation, as to have early made & realized a competent fortune to which he retired. but he finds he has neither the skill nor the habits of a farmer, & wishes to get into a business more congenial to his habits, and this is the more so as he has been for some time one of the Directors of the Petersburg bank of Virginia. I know him personally and intimately. he is perfectly clear & independant in his circumstances, of as pure integrity as lives, and indefatigable in whatever he undertakes. he is at present a member of our legislature, & of great influence in it, which he has justly acquired by his merit & talents. I do but perform a duty in bearing witness to these truths, and am sure they will avail this candidate in your mind in weighing him with his competitors: and I do it with the more pleasure as it has furnished2 me another occasion of renewing to you the assurances of my great friendship and respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); on reused sheet also containing an unrelated note in an unidentified hand, dated Georgetown, 21 May 1817, an unconnected account by Joseph Milligan, and notations in another unidentified hand; at foot of text: “William Jones esq.”; endorsed by TJ.

Thweatt had been appointed a commissioner of the Petersburg branch of the bank of virginia in 1804 (The Revised Code of the Laws of Virginia [Richmond, 1819; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 10 (no. 572)], 2:67).

1Word interlined.

2Manuscript: “furnish-.”

Index Entries

  • Bank of the United States, Second; proposed Lynchburg branch search
  • Bank of the United States, Second; proposed Petersburg branch search
  • Bank of Virginia (Petersburg) search
  • banks; in Va. search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation from search
  • Jones, William (ca.1761–1831); as president of Second Bank of the United States search
  • Jones, William (ca.1761–1831); letters to search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; bank in proposed search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation from TJ search
  • Petersburg, Va.; banks in search
  • Thweatt, Archibald; family of search
  • Thweatt, Archibald; seeks appointment search
  • Thweatt, Archibald; TJ recommends search
  • Virginia; banks in search