Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Robert Kinnan, 19 November 1806

Washington Nov. 19. 06.


I have recieved your letter of the 10th. and see with regret expressions of dissatisfaction at the close of a long business which had so far been conducted with perfect harmony. nor can I, on a review of my conduct, believe it has given just cause for any. on the death of mr Wayles I sold property sufficient to pay my portion of his debt. had mr Evans, by accepting the bonds when tendered him, yielded the accomodation, which was afterwards yielded, his principals would have been paid, & that property saved to me. after the war, I urged a settlement for 6. years before it was obtained, & sold property again to the amount of my portion of the debt as nearly as could then be estimated. after the reciept of this by mr Hanson, some balance appeared still due; & I immediately (in 1805.) made a proposition to you. you took time to consult your principals and in June 1806. you offer terms in these words ‘I will, on your ordering payment here of the balance of £108–15–0 currency, with the interest due thereon from 7th. May 1800. until payment, deliver up your bond to any person you may appoint to recieve it, with a reciept for the sum I may recieve. this I hope will be satisfactory to you, & thereby formally close this long standing weighty business.’ altho’ nothing is here said about the time of paiment, yet undoubtedly a reasonable time, & not an indefinite one, must have been understood, & I considered the undertaking I sent you in July to remit it ‘as early as I could, but that the term should not exceed a year’ as a reasonable time considering the sum & all circumstances. if it was not it was a fair subject of a counterproposition from you. not hearing from you on the subject I presumed it agreeable to you. under this expectation your letter of Nov. 10. finds my funds otherwise engaged for two or three months to come. I cannot therefore do more than say that I believe I shall be able to pay the balance stated the first week in February, but if I do not, I will certainly pay it the first week in March. this will make a term of 7. instead of 12. months from July, and of 3. months, a little more or less from the notice you gave me that the promptitude of paiment is a circumstance of importance in this [. . . .] settlement. I trust that on a revisal of the subject you will find this term not unreasonable, & I tender you my salutations.

Th: Jefferson

MHi: Coolidge Collection.

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