Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John H. Peyton, 22 January 1820

To John H. Peyton

Monticello Jan. 22. 20

Dear Sir,

Your favor of Dec. 19. was duly reci[e]ved with a copy of the interlocutory decree in my case with the Rivanna co. this settles the principles of the case, so far as respects my paramount, and their subordinate rights. but the git of the result will be in the application of these principles, which is to depend on the report of Commissioners. their selection therefore is of the last importance, and I suppose it will be made from such persons as the parties will recommend. being confine[d]1 to the house during the winter I have had no communication with the other party, and therefore inclose you a paper, on which I have stated the names of those I would propose, to wit 4. classes of 3 in each class, stating the qualifications and the objections as to each so that the chancellor may decide among them at his pleasure. it would be the most desirable of all possible things to have the 1st class if we could get them. they are so competent & compleatly unliable to any suspicion of prejudice or interest, that their opinions would be acquiesced in with perfect contentment by every body. Clarke is 60. miles off, Fleming 45. Scott 25. perhaps if it were left to themselves to appoint a day they might come and if they failed, it would recur to the Chancellor to name others. however in this he will decide. I suspect the other party will recommend persons of the 4th class. that is to say persons living above my mill and on the waters of the river to which they all look to a future2 extention of the navigation. there is not a person in the county so located, who does not feel himself as much interested as the defendants themse[lve]s. however as the Chancellor may think otherwise, I have named thr[ee] of those in whom I should confide as much as any so situated. accept my friendly & respectful salutations

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); enclosure on verso, with letter and enclosure on reused address cover of Joseph Milligan to TJ, 17 Feb. 1819 (first letter); three words faint; at foot of text: “Mr Peyton”; endorsed by TJ.

Peyton’s letter of dec. 19, not found, is accounted for at Opinion of John Brown (1762–1826) in Jefferson v. Rivanna Company, [19 Nov. 1819]. Gît (git) is an archaic form of “gist” (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

1Edge trimmed.

2Preceding two words reworked from “an.”

Index Entries

  • Brown, John (1762–1826); Va. superior court judge search
  • Clarke, John (1766–1844); as commissioner inJefferson v. Rivanna Company search
  • Fleming, George; as commissioner inJefferson v. Rivanna Company search
  • Jefferson v. Rivanna Company; commissioners in search
  • Jefferson v. Rivanna Company; Order by Virginia Superior Court of Chancery in search
  • Peyton, John Howe; andJefferson v. Rivanna Company search
  • Peyton, John Howe; letters to search
  • Rivanna River; navigation of search
  • Scott, Charles A.; as commissioner inJefferson v. Rivanna Company search
  • Shadwell mills; and Rivanna Company search