Thomas Jefferson Papers

Enclosure: Resolutions of the Creditors of Smith & Riddle, 6 July 1819


Resolutions of the Creditors of Smith & Riddle

At a meeting of the Creditors of the late firm of Smith & Riddle,

Richmond, July 6, 1819.   

Joseph Marx, Esquire, in the Chair.

After examining the papers laid before them, containing a statement of the situation of their affairs, it was resolved unanimously,

That while we regret the unfortunate issue of their business, arising chiefly from misplaced and much abused confidence in a Mercantile House of this City, together with misfortunes of other Houses elsewhere, we are satisfied with the correctness of their conduct and integrity of their principles.

Resolved, That the assignment of their property for the benefit of their Creditors, receives our approbation, and that we have entire confidence in the responsibility and integrity of the Assignees, namely, Messrs. James Gibbon, David Barclay, and Charles Palmer.

Resolved, That we recommend the distant creditors not represented in this meeting, speedily to appoint Agents to sign a discharge, and thereby become entitled to the benefit of the Assignment.

Resolved, That in consideration of the assistance that will be required of Messrs. Smith & Riddle in the settlement of their affairs, it is recommended, notwithstanding the provisions in the Deed of Trust, to leave them in full and unconditional possession of their Household furniture & Domestic property.

Resolved, That a Copy of the preceding resolutions, be handed to Messrs. Smith & Riddle, signed by the Creditors present.

The above Resolutions were unanimously adopted by the meeting.


Printed circular (MHi); conjoined with covering letter and second enclosure.

Asa Otis (1786–1879), merchant, was born in Colchester, Connecticut. By 1808 he worked in New York City in the mercantile line, and by 1810 he did the same in Richmond. He entered a business partnership in 1815 with Joseph Otis, who operated out of New York while Otis remained in Richmond. Three years later Nathaniel Dunlop joined them in forming an “Auction and Commission Business.” That partnership lasted until 1833, when Joseph Otis retired and Henry W. Moncure became a partner. Otis was a director from 1824 until 1828 of the Richmond branch of the Bank of Virginia. By 1835 he moved permanently to New London, Connecticut, where he was a director of the New London Bank until 1859. Otis left an estate valued at almost $1,125,000. His bequests included nearly a million dollars to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and large gifts to other religious and educational institutions (William A. Otis, A Genealogical and Historical Memoir of the Otis Family in America [1924], 224; Ming’s New-York Price-Current, 16 Jan. 1808; Richmond Virginia Argus, 8 May 1810; New York Commercial Advertiser, 21 Mar. 1815, 10 Mar. 1818; Richmond Enquirer, 8 Jan. 1824, 12 Jan. 1828, 8 Jan. 1833; The Connecticut Annual Register, and United States Calendar, for 1835 [1835], 87; The Connecticut Register: being a State Calendar … for 1859 [1859], 161; New York Herald, 27 Mar. 1879; Missionary Herald 75 [1879]: 168–9).

Index Entries

  • Barclay, David; as trustee of Smith & Riddle search
  • Gibbon, James; as trustee of Smith & Riddle search
  • Marx, Joseph; as creditor of Smith & Riddle search
  • Otis, Asa; and failure of Smith & Riddle search
  • Otis, Asa; identified search
  • Palmer, Charles; as trustee of Smith & Riddle search
  • Smith & Riddle (Richmond firm); insolvency of search