Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Resolution of the President and Directors of the Literary Fund, 6 August 1821

Resolution of the President and Directors of the Literary Fund

At a meeting of the President & Directors of the Literary Fund on Monday the 6th August 1821.

Ordered1 that the Auditor of Publick Accounts issue a warrant on the Treasury in favor of Thomas Jefferson Esquire Rector of the University of Virginia for the Sum of Twenty nine thousand one hundred dollars loaned to that institution under authority of an act of the General Assembly passed the 24th day of February last entitled “An Act concerning the University of Virginia”.


J Brown Jr: Accountant
to the Literary Fund
} Th: M: Randolph

MS (Vi: RG 12, Literary Fund Disbursements); in James Brown’s hand, signed by Thomas Mann Randolph and Brown; with TJ’s Request for Warrants for Money for University of Virginia, [ca. 15 Aug. 1821], on verso. MS (Vi: RG 27, Virginia Literary Fund Minute Book); in Brown’s hand, signed by Randolph. Enclosed in TJ to James E. Heath, 15 Aug. 1821.

James Brown (1780–1859), merchant and public official, was a native of Virginia who often signed himself as “Junior” although the first name of his father, who was clerk of the Virginia Court of Appeals, was John. Brown began his career by 1802 as a Richmond shopkeeper and auctioneer. He was appointed accountant of the Literary Fund by its directors in 1821, and eight years later he became the fund’s superintendent. In 1823 the Virginia General Assembly elected Brown second auditor, a newly created position that oversaw the state’s investments in public works. He simultaneously served as secretary of the Board of Public Works, 1823–51. Brown retired from public office the following year. He owned six slaves in 1820 and five in 1830 and 1840. Brown died in Richmond after a train ran over his ankle and foot (DVB description begins John T. Kneebone, Sara B. Bearss, and others, eds., Dictionary of Virginia Biography, 1998– , 3 vols. description ends ; Richmond Virginia Argus, 16 Oct. 1802; JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends [1821–22 sess.], 67 [21 Dec. 1821]; [1822–23 sess.], 28, 216 [11 Dec. 1822, 25 Feb. 1823]; [1823–24 sess.], 65 [19 Dec. 1823]; [1852–53 sess.], 113 [23 Dec. 1852]; DNA: RG 29, CS, Richmond, 1820–50; Richmond Daily Dispatch, 4 Jan. 1859; gravestone inscription in Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond).

This document was likely returned to Randolph in a letter of 7 Aug. 1821 from Anthony Robinson, the teller of the Bank of Virginia, which relayed the opinion of William Dandridge, that bank’s cashier, that “there is no authority lodged with him to justify his obtaining from the Auditor a warrant on the enclosed order” and that “It must therefore be enclosed to Mr Jefferson for his endorsation—In the mean time If checks should be presented at this Bank from the Bursar of the College, I am directed to pay them” (RC in ViU; addressed: “Thom: M. Randolph Esqr Governor”; with unrelated calculation by TJ on address leaf).

1Paragraph in Minute Book MS begins “Present The Governor and The Lieutenant Governor The president delivered to the Board a bond tendered by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia for the Sum of Twenty nine thousand one hundred dollars (that being the amount of a payment lately made by the United States to the State of Virginia) after deducting the agents Commission (& remaining unappropriated by the Board) which bond appearing to be in conformity with the act of the last Session of the General Assembly entitled ‘An Act concerning the University of Virginia’ was approved by the Board; Whereupon it was Resolved that the said bond be accepted, and.”

Index Entries

  • An act concerning the University of Virginia (1821) search
  • Brown, James (1780–1859); as Va. Literary Fund accountant search
  • Brown, James (1780–1859); identified search
  • Dandridge, William (ca.1782–1830); as cashier of Bank of Virginia search
  • Daniel, Peter Vyvian; as director of Va. Literary Fund search
  • Garrett, Alexander; as University of Virginia bursar search
  • Heath, James Ewell; as Va. auditor of public accounts search
  • Literary Fund; and loans for University of Virginia search
  • Literary Fund; and U.S. debt to Va. search
  • Literary Fund; resolutions of the president and directors search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); as Literary Fund president search
  • Robinson, Anthony; as Bank of Virginia teller search
  • United States; debt to Va. search
  • Virginia, University of; Administration and Financial Affairs; funding for search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; and loans for University of Virginia search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; and General Assembly search
  • Virginia; treasury of search