Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Frederick W. Hatch, 8 December 1821

To Frederick W. Hatch

Monticello Dec. 8. 21.

Dear Sir

In the antient Feudal times of our good old forefathers when the Seigneur married his daughter, or knighted his son, it was the usage for his vassals to give him a year’s rent extra in the name of an Aid. I think it as reasonable when our Pastor builds a house, that each of his flock should give him an Aid of a year’s contribution. I inclose mine as a tribute of justice, which of itself indeed is nothing, but as an example, if followed, may become something. in any event be pleased to accept it as an offering of duty, & a testimony of my friendly attachment and high respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (PPAmP: DCAR, Sol Feinstone Collection); at foot of text: “revd mr Hatch.” PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of John Vaughan to TJ, 7 Aug. 1820; endorsed by TJ.

In his financial records for this day TJ recorded sending Hatch a $20 contribution “as an Aid in building his house” (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, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1381).

Index Entries

  • feudalism; and gifts to feudal lords search
  • Hatch, Frederick Winslow; house of search
  • Hatch, Frederick Winslow; letters to search
  • Hatch, Frederick Winslow; TJ gives money to search