Thomas Jefferson Papers

Samuel Walkup to Thomas Jefferson, 25 September 1820

From Samuel Walkup

Natural Bridge, 25 Septr. 1820

Dear Sir,

I was appointed, with others to view a way for a road from the “Red mill to Gilmore’s Mill on James’ river by the way of the Natural Bridge.” And as the proposed road will goe through a part of your land I have been requested to know whether you will give your approbation to its being established. It is proposed that the “road leave the great road at the Natural Bridge Tavern, thence passing Barclay’s & Waskey’s land to your line & Ocheltree’s & running nearly with said lines to the small house on your land near the Natural Bridge.” The other persons interested, agreeing to the establishment, the court, directed that your consent should be applied for[.] This road is considered of public utility, and would be as good a way for a road as is common in this country. From your knowledge of the proposed way through your land I am satisfied you would not consider it an injury to you: it is therefore hoped your consent will be granted. If so, please signify the same to me at Post-Office in Lexington

Very respectfully your Hmble servt

Saml Walkup

RC (MHi); edge trimmed; endorsed by TJ as received 29 Sept. 1820 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Archibald Thweatt, 13 May [1821], on verso; addressed: “Th: Jefferson Esq. Monticello”; franked; postmarked Natural Bridge, 27 Sept.

Samuel Walkup (ca. 1783–1852), farmer and public official, may have been the man of that name who published the Virginia Religious Magazine in 1804 and a Lexington newspaper, first known as the Virginia Telegraphe, and Rockbridge Courier, and continued under variant titles, 1803–04 and 1806–08. Walkup owned seven slaves in 1820, thirteen twenty years later, and fifteen in 1850. In addition to raising crops, he was a Rockbridge County revenue commissioner, 1839–47. Walkup owned real estate worth $1,000 in 1850 and personal property valued shortly after his death at almost $6,500 (Oren F. Morton, A History of Rockbridge County Virginia [1920], 217; Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 2:1119; Lexington Virginia Telegraphe, 23 Aug. 1806, 3 Feb. 1808; DNA: RG 29, CS, Lexington, 1820, 1840, Rockbridge Co., 1850, 1850 slave schedules; Rockbridge Co. Will Book, 8:153, 9:14, 282, 392, 10:348, 12:167–8; epitaph in High Bridge Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Natural Bridge).

Index Entries

  • Barclay, Hugh; Rockbridge Co. property of search
  • James River; mentioned search
  • Natural Bridge, Va.; and proposed road search
  • Natural Bridge, Va.; tavern at search
  • Ocheltree, James; Rockbridge Co. land of search
  • roads; in Va. search
  • Rockbridge County, Va.; roads in search
  • Rockbridge County, Va.; taverns in search
  • Rockbridge County Court, Va. search
  • Virginia; roads in search
  • Virginia; taverns in search
  • Walkup, Samuel; and proposed road search
  • Walkup, Samuel; identified search
  • Walkup, Samuel; letter from search
  • Waskey, John; Rockbridge Co. property of search