Thomas Jefferson Papers

Cesario Bias to Thomas Jefferson, 21 September 1820

From Cesario Bias

Richmond Sept. 21st 1820.


Your letter of the 16th Inst to B. Peyton was yesterday received. The iron and tin, you wished sent up, have been to day procured and forwarded to Mr Leitch: the iron, (the longest I could get) is 5½ feet. And was got on a credit of 60 days, the tin was a very saleable article and could not be got on a credit of any definite period; the seller said he would settle it with Mr Peyton on his return. Copies of the bills are herewith sent you.—   Your note for $3000 to be renewed at the Farmers Bank on the 4th of Oct. will be attended to. the curtailment of $500 of which you speak will have to be met; it is hoped Mr Eppes will make the deposit by that time as it might be of some inconvenience to advance the sum, even for a few days; funds being low at present.   The package of Books which you mention as having arrived at Richd Mr Gibson says has not come to hand as yet—Your request shall be attended to—so soon as the Books arrive.

Yours Respectfully

Cesario Bias

 Capt B. Peyton,
          Bot of Haxall Brothers & Co
21st Sept.   24 Sts Sheet Iron wg 258 at 15¢  $38.70.
 B. Peyton
       Bot of Robert Gordon
21st Sept.
1 Box Tin $14–


RC (MHi); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Bias; with postscript in same clerk’s hand on verso; endorsed by TJ as a letter from Bernard Peyton “by Cesario Bias” received 24 Sept. 1820 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Frederick W. Hatch, 9 Sept. 1821, on verso; addressed in same clerk’s hand: “Mr Thomas Jefferson Monticello”; franked; postmarked Richmond, 21 Sept.

Cesario Bias (d. 1866), businessman and farmer, was born in Venice, Italy, and immigrated while young to the United States. He worked as a clerk for Bernard Peyton in Richmond, 1820–22, visited TJ at Monticello in the latter year, and then apparently moved to the Shenandoah Valley. By 1830 Bias had settled in Shelby County, Tennessee, where he was a successful merchant, insurance agent, and bank president, and an active parishioner in Memphis’s First Presbyterian Church. He returned to Virginia by the middle of the 1850s and purchased Red Sweet Springs in Alleghany County. Bias operated a hotel and bath there and served as the community’s postmaster. In 1860, shortly before he sold his business interests and retired to a farm in Charlotte County, he owned ten slaves, real estate worth $100,000, and personal property valued at $27,000. Late in 1865 Bias relocated to Richmond, where he died after a brief illness (Frances Beal Smith Hodges, The Genealogy of the Beale Family, 1399–1956 [1956], 104–5; Bias [for Peyton] to TJ, 9 Apr. 1822; Peyton to TJ, 29 Apr. 1822; Tennessee Genealogical Society, “Ansearchin’” News 16 [1969]: 121; DNA: RG 29, CS, Rockbridge Co., 1830, Tenn., Shelby Co., 1840, 1850, Va., Alleghany Co., 1860, 1860 slave schedules; Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States [1855], 147; Richmond Daily Dispatch, 28 June 1866; gravestone inscription in Warm Springs Cemetery, Warm Springs).

Index Entries

  • Bias, Cesario; as clerk for B. Peyton search
  • Bias, Cesario; identified search
  • Bias, Cesario; letters from search
  • building materials; iron search
  • building materials; tin search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); and loan to TJ search
  • Farmers’ Bank of Virginia (Richmond); TJ’s loan from search
  • Gibson, Patrick; and goods for TJ search
  • Gordon, Robert; and tin for TJ search
  • Haxall Brothers & Company (Richmond firm) search
  • iron; sheet search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; loan from Farmers’ Bank of Virginia search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; loan from J. W. Eppes search
  • Leitch, James; agent for TJ search
  • Peyton, Bernard; and goods for TJ search
  • Peyton, Bernard; and payments to TJ search
  • Peyton, Bernard; and TJ’s loan from Farmers’ Bank of Virginia search
  • tin; TJ buys search