John Forsyth to Thomas Jefferson Randolph


You will do me a favor if you will inform me what will be the terms of the intended sale of the negroes belonging to Mr Jefferson’s Estate. Are they to be sold in family’s or individually.

If the Executor is authorised & willing to part with 50. or all the negroes by private sale on what terms can they be had, or in the per capita, & in families? in cash & in credit—the extent of the credit & the security which will be required to secure the regular payments? This information is wanted for my own use only. The negroes will be purchased, if willing, to go to Georgia without any design to part with them again & will be sent to the upper part of the state to be employed on a Cotton plantation.

As I am from home & the day of sale is not distant a prompt answer to this letter will be necessary to enable me to derive any benefit from the information you may give me.

I am sir with great respect

Your obt Servant
John Forsyth
RC (ViU: Randolph Family Papers, Mss 8937-b); at foot of text: “Thos. Jefferson Randolph Esq Monticello”; endorsed by Randolph: “John Forsyth / Washington Dec 5 1826.”

The sale of seventy of Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest slaves was scheduled to take place on 1 Jan. 1827, while another one hundred thirty slaves were to be sold at Monticello two weeks later on 15 Jan. (Richmond Enquirer, 3 Nov. 1826; Charlottesville Central Gazette, 13 Jan. 1827).