Thomas Jefferson Papers

George Greenhow to Thomas Jefferson, 3 May 1820

From George Greenhow

Richmond 3rd May 1820.

Dr Sir,

I take the liberty to drop a line to you for the purpose of Informing you that Mr Saml Greenhow, my Decd bror departed this life Some years ago (1815) That Having the Management of his Estate and Seeing an advertized letter of the post office for him yr Letter of the 21. last month was handed to me—With a View to your object containd in that letter I have left the same at the Insurance-office from whence all due attention will be afforded, on the business.1 Mr James Rawlings, Suceeded my bror in the Principal agency of that Establishment.

With all due Respect I am yrs

Geo. Greenhow

RC (DLC); addressed: “The Honble Thomas Jefferson Monticello Albemarle”; postmarked Richmond, 4 May; franked; endorsed by TJ as received 6 May 1820 and so recorded in SJL.

George Greenhow (1776–1839), merchant, was born into a large mercantile family in Williamsburg. He studied at the College of William and Mary in 1795. By 1800 Greenhow had moved permanently to Richmond, where he lived on Shockoe Hill, operated a store, and rented and sold property. He also owned a farm in Henrico County. Greenhow’s fluctuating fortunes included at least two insolvencies. He owned four slaves in 1810 and 1830 and nine in 1820. In 1819 Greenhow became a director of a company that proposed to establish a turnpike between Richmond and Hanover Courthouse (Sheila R. Phipps, Genteel Rebel: The Life of Mary Greenhow Lee [2004], 15, 19, 21; Greenhow family Bible [ViWC]; William and Mary Provisional List description begins A Provisional List of Alumni, Grammar School Students, Members of the Faculty, and Members of the Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary in Virginia. From 1693 to 1888, 1941 description ends , 19; Richmond Virginia Argus, 10 Feb. 1807; DNA: RG 29, CS, Richmond, 1810–30; Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1818–19 sess.], 127–8; The Richmond Directory, Register and Almanac, for the Year 1819 [Richmond, 1819], 48; Vi: Business Records Collection, Mutual Assurance Society Declarations, no. 9808; Richmond Whig and Public Advertiser, 30 July 1839; gravestone inscription in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond).

1Omitted period at right margin editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • Greenhow, George; as executor of S. Greenhow search
  • Greenhow, George; identified search
  • Greenhow, George; letter from search
  • Greenhow, Samuel; and Mutual Assurance Society search
  • Mutual Assurance Society; and TJ’s insurance search
  • Rawlings, James; and Mutual Assurance Society search