Thomas Jefferson Papers

James Duke to Thomas Jefferson, 18 June 1822, with Jefferson’s Note

From James Duke, with Jefferson’s Note

Mill Brook 18 June 1822


Mr Killes Hord, who by the1 request of my Brother Richd Duke came up for the purpose of seeing Mr Jefferson, relative to engageing with him as a mechanic, on which subject I have been inform,d you requested my Brother2 to make some enquiry, he however having left home3 the day before Mr Hords arrival here for Richmond. This therfore will inform Mr Jefferson that Mr Hord has ample testimonials of his workmanship & skill & I have no hesitation in saying he is deserving of the recommondations his neighbour has given him both as a mill wright4 carpenter & wheel wright & am man of the utmost integrity

Respectfully you Obt Sert

James Duke

[Note by TJ at foot of text:]

he has a small family.

asks 300.D. a year & to be found.

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received the day it was written and so recorded (with place of composition given as “Mill-brook Alb.” and with the additional bracketed notation: “by Achilles Hord”) in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to William J. Coffee, 10 July 1822, on recto and verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Eqr Monticello” by “Mr Hord.”

James Duke (ca. 1784–1844), artisan and longtime business partner of his elder brother Richard Duke, assisted his sibling in the management of Albemarle County’s extensive Rivanna Mills during the 1820s. He purchased a brick mill and store of his own in the county in 1832 and later established a mill on nearby Rocky Creek. Duke, who owned twenty slaves in 1820 and ten a decade later, also served as an Albemarle County magistrate beginning in 1838 (Walter Garland Duke, Henry Duke, Councilor: His Descendants and Connections [1949], 108; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901, repr. 1991 description ends , 182, 378, 403; James Duke and Richard Duke to John H. Cocke, 20 Apr. 1814 [ViU: JHC]; DNA: RG 29, CS, Albemarle Co., 1820, 1830; Richmond Enquirer, 9 Mar. 1821).

Achilles (killes) Hord lived in 1820 in Orange County with his wife, two young children, and four slaves (DNA: RG 29, CS, Orange Co., 1820). found: furnished with room and board.

1Manuscript: “the the.”

2Manuscript: “Brothe.”

3Manuscript: “hone.”

4Manuscript: “wrigh,” here and later in sentence.

Index Entries

  • Duke, James; identified search
  • Duke, James; letter from search
  • Duke, James; recommends A. Hord search
  • Duke, Richard; family of search
  • Hord, Achilles (Killes); described search
  • Hord, Achilles (Killes); family of search
  • Hord, Achilles (Killes); seeks employment search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search