Thomas Jefferson Papers

William Daniel to Thomas Jefferson, 4 September 1819

From William Daniel

Sep 4 ’19

Wm Daniel accepts Mr Jefferson’s invitation for tomorrow

RC (CSmH: JF); with PoC of TJ to Francis Eppes, 13 Dec. 1820, on recto and verso; dateline at foot of text; addressed: “Thos Jefferson esqr Poplar Forest.”

William Daniel (ca. 1771–1839), attorney and public official, represented Cumberland County in the Virginia House of Delegates for seven sessions, 1798–1803 and 1811–13, and he held the seat for Amelia, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Nottoway, and Powhatan counties in the state senate, 1805–10. He served on the 1807 Richmond grand jury that acquitted Aaron Burr of charges of treason, and in 1828 he supported the presidential candidacy of Andrew Jackson. From 1813 until his death Daniel sat on the Virginia General Court, serving on the Williamsburg circuit until he resigned for health reasons on 2 July 1816 and was appointed later that year for the Lynchburg district. One of his daughters married George Cabell’s son, and when they both died, Daniel inherited Point of Honor, the Cabells’ home near Lynchburg, where he died (Ruth H. Early, Campbell Chronicles and Family Sketches Embracing the History of Campbell County, Virginia, 1782–1926 [1927], 389–90; 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 ; Richmond Virginia Argus, 23 May 1807; Richmond Enquirer, 30 Sept. 1828; Virginia Law Register 7 [1901]: 1–3; JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends [1813 sess.], 13 [21 May 1813]; [1816–17 sess.], 7, 75 [11 Nov., 9 Dec. 1816]; Daniel to Wilson Cary Nicholas, 2 June [i.e., July] 1816 [Vi: RG 3, Governor’s Office, Executive Papers]; New-York Courier, 11 July 1816; Campbell Co. Will Book, 8:312–4; Lynchburg Virginian, 28 Nov. 1839).

In an 8 Sept. 1819 letter written from Poplar Forest to her sister Virginia J. Randolph (Trist), TJ’s granddaughter Cornelia J. Randolph gave her impression of Daniel: “We have had judge Daniel to dine with us, & I am as much smitten with him as Wayles [John Wayles Baker] is with his daughter, he has the most bewitching squint with two little snakes eyes the colour of which you can not tell from their lying at the bottom of such immense concavities, from which they shine out with an expression that would be quite too piercing if he could ever fix it upon you, but I defy any body to tell from his eyes who he is speaking to, added to this his nose and chin are just far enough apart to allow him to put any thing in his mouth, and it is curious to see him drink a glass of wine, I do not believe he can put the glass to his lips, but pours the wine as some east Indians that I have heard of do, or d[. . .] but his voice—I wont attempt to de[scribe?] that for it is so unlike any thing in nature that it can be compair’d to nothing” (RC in NcU: NPT; mutilated at seal).

Index Entries

  • Baker, John Wayles (TJ’s grandnephew); visits Poplar Forest search
  • Daniel, William; description of search
  • Daniel, William; family of search
  • Daniel, William; identified search
  • Daniel, William; letter from search
  • Daniel, William; TJ invites to dinner search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); visitors to search
  • Randolph, Cornelia Jefferson (TJ’s granddaughter); visits Poplar Forest search
  • Trist, Virginia Jefferson Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); correspondence with siblings search