Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Charles Vest, 29 November 1820

To Charles Vest

Poplar Forest Nov. 29. 20.

Th: Jefferson salutes mr Vest with friendship and respect and there being no person now at Monticello to see to the weekly transmission of his mails to this place, he asks the favor of mr Vest1 to do him that kind office, sending weekly by the Lynchburg mail all letters, the Enquirers, and Niles’s Registers directed to him, and to retain all other newspapers pamphlets, books, or other packets of size, till he hears from him again

PoC (Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, on deposit ViU: TJP); on verso of portion of reused address cover of John Binns to TJ, 27 July 1819; dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as a letter to “Vest Charles” and so recorded in SJL.

Charles Vest (d. 1828), merchant, postmaster, and tanner, was active in Albemarle County by 1809, when TJ noted that he had closed his grocery and “become a writer in a merchant’s counting house.” Vest served as postmaster at Milton, 1811–24. He sold TJ a mule in 1812, and several times between 1813 and 1822 TJ paid him for tanning and leather or for stage carriage of books. In 1824 Vest and Nimrod Bramham leased TJ’s Shadwell manufacturing mill. Vest moved to Randolph, Tipton County, Tennessee, in the spring of 1828 and worked there as a merchant before he died of a fever later that year (TJ to Abraham Bradley, 7 Sept. 1809; Axelson, Virginia Postmasters description begins Edith F. Axelson, Virginia Postmasters and Post Offices, 1789–1832, 1991 description ends , 5; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, 2 vols., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends ; Charlottesville Virginia Advocate, 22 Nov. 1828; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 9:348).

On this date TJ also sent an almost identically worded letter to John Winn, the Charlottesville postmaster (PoC in MHi; on verso of portion of reused address cover to TJ; dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as a letter to “Winn John” and so recorded in SJL).

1Manuscript: “mr Winn.”

Index Entries

  • Charlottesville, Va.; postmaster at search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; mail service to search
  • Milton, Va.; postmaster at search
  • Niles’ Weekly Register (Baltimore newspaper) search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search
  • Richmond Enquirer (newspaper); TJ subscribes to search
  • Vest, Charles; as postmaster at Milton search
  • Vest, Charles; identified search
  • Vest, Charles; letter to search
  • Virginia; post offices in search
  • Winn, John (d.1837); Charlottesville postmaster search
  • Winn, John (d.1837); letter to accounted for search