Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Preston, 4 March 1806

Dundee 4th March 1806

Honourable Sir

I take the liberty, to adress you on a subject which after making all possible inquiry, have not been able to obtain any information.

Trusting, that, as you have it in your power, you will give yourself the trouble to satisfy anxious Freinds, and a disconsolate Mother, respecting James Gickie a young Lad, who went from this place October 1801—A John White of Albemarle Countie who went from this country upwards of 50 years ago he had aquired a considerable property & having no children of his own was disirous that his nearest male relation should be sent to him, & inherate his property. Mr. White having no Correspondents here applied to a Mr. James Brown in Ritchmond who appled to Chas. Bell Merchant, Leith, James Gickie when he was called upon from this to Leith—Bell immediately equiped & put him on board the Brig Betsey, Abel Rawson, of New York, then ready to Sail. The Lad promised faithfuly to write on his arrival, but has not wrote.

He was to go first to Mr. Brown’s Ritchmond then to proceed to his relations Mr. White. Mr. Brown has been wrote to twice but gave no answer—Bell in Leith, when intarrogated denies that he has ever heard from Brown his correspondent respecting the Lad, & says that it is his opinion, the Vessel had gone down at sea—however it is pretty certain that the Vessel arrived safe—from these circumstances his freinds do not know what to think of the matter, it remains with you to satisfy their Anxiety—I humbly beg you will make inquiry what has become of this Lad, and write me as soon as possible—I requested also that you would mention if John White be still alive or if dead who possess his fortune—

Honourable Sir Your most Ob Servant

John Preston

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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