Thomas Jefferson Papers

Alexander Murray to Thomas Jefferson, 1 January 1819

From Alexander Murray

Frimley near Bagshot England January 1st 1819


I did myself the Honor of addressing, and inclosing to you, from the Bahamas some time ago two letters (one from my Deceased mother Lady Dunmore, & the other from my Sister Lady Virginia) calling on her Godfathers in your State to fulfil their promise, of making an ample provision for her—which promise, circumstances had before prevented her from bringing before them—but as both her Parents are now Dead; she has deemed it expedient to nominate, & give to me, & the Bearer John Stevens Esqr, a Power of Attorney, to authorize us to use our endeavours to bring the Subject before the consideration of your State Legislature—in the accomplishment of which object—I feel it would be of the highest importance to her interest, to be able to profit by your friendly aid, & assistance in a case (in which if I am not mistaken you took at the time a very active and kind part) & which from your attention to my Brother Captain Murray, when on a visit to your Country, I am sanguine in the hope, that you will yet be induced to extend it to his Sister, as I feel conscious from your great influence among your fellow Citizens, that if the Subject should be brought forward under yours, & Mr Monroe’s Auspices (to whom I have already written on this head) that the most formidable obstacles to the measure will be removed, & that success would eventually attend this measure of her present application—so protected & recommended

I have the Honor to be &a Yr Humble Servant

A Murray

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 10 Apr. 1820 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with FC of TJ to Mathew Carey & Son, 14 Aug. 1820, on verso; addressed: “Thos Jefferson Esqr &a &a &a &a State of Virginia.”

No letter to TJ from Charlotte Stewart Murray, Countess of dunmore, has been found, nor is one recorded in SJL.

On 10 Apr. 1820 john stevens presented this letter to TJ in person, and in a letter dated Philadelphia, 5 May 1820, he reported to Murray that “I engaged Mr Gilmer to do what might be necessary after I had seen Mr Jefferson, at Monticello the seat of the latter 76 Miles Westwardly I arrived on the 10th. He told me he had some time ago received a Copy of the letter, he did not recollect that any such promise was ever made, altho Lady Dunmore was very much respected by all the Virginians, & expressed something of regret at not being encouraged to pay his Respects to her Ladyship with his daughter at Paris some years afterwards, however he recommended my getting Mr Gilmer whom he knew very well to search the Records, if any such was made he had no doubt it would now be made good agreeably to the fixed value of Land at that time about he thought 3£ Curry per 100 Acres. I immediately wrote Mr Gilmer to write me the result” (Tr in Vi: Personal Papers Collection, Murray Family Papers; at foot of first page: “The Honble A Murray”; at head of text: “Copy No 2”; conjoined with Trs of other documents accompanying a memorial from Lady Virginia Murray to the Virginia General Assembly, Paris, 28 May 1824; memorial and enclosures printed in “Lady Virginia Murray and Her Alleged Claim Against the State of Virginia,” WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892–  description ends , 1st ser., 24 [1915]: 85–101).

Index Entries

  • Dunmore, Charlotte Stewart Murray, Countess of; and claim of V. Murray search
  • Gilmer, Francis Walker; as lawyer search
  • Monroe, James; and V. Murray’s claim search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Murray, John search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Stevens, John search
  • Murray, Alexander; and claim of V. Murray search
  • Murray, Alexander; letters from search
  • Murray, John (1765–1805); visits Monticello search
  • Murray, Lady Virginia; claim against Va. search
  • Stevens, John; agent of V. Murray search
  • Stevens, John; visits Monticello search