Thomas Mann Randolph to Peachy R. Gilmer

Dear Sir,

I believe I may say at last that the affairs of our friend Trist, which were left with me to settle, are brought to a close. I need not remind you that the land, which I was especially instructed to sell as well as I could, was sold for the Bonds of diverse persons bearing interest, money at that period being out of the question among us. There was a very considerable gain from that arrangement; as all person’s whose obligations were good answered equally well in keeping down the interest of the debts due; and those inclined to purchase offerred much better terms than in their own Bonds. The unexampled delay, of allmost the average duration of the life of Man, from 1802 untill now, has been caused by it. Henings Bond, one of those assigned by Garret, was paid in Richmond this spring. It cost five per Cent to get an arrangement made with him. The Execution had been out more than 12 years, and had been in the hands of the sherif of Henrico four years, without his being able to do any thing with it. Blackwells Bond, after being a dozen years in Chancery, was finally assumed by Garret himself, to be paid as soon as he could communicate with his Fathers Executers in Kentuckey. He has since been there and returned. I have not yet had any acknowledgement of the payment from John Watson, to whom I had directed it to be made, but it may be considered as fullfilled, and the amounts to my Debit in the account about to be settled. I had taken up money from Watson very soon after I assumed the debts left by Mr Trist. Those two Bonds amount to more than 1500$. as soon as I have got through the fatigues of my Harvest in Henrico and here, I will make out a fair copy of the acct from 1802 to this period. The small notes taken by you for furniture, and lodged with me, are to my debt; but in fact they, for the most part, got lost, like so many Coppers, after many applications for payment to the different persons. There is still one, and only one, account to settle, with the President of the U.S. himself. He was security to the joint Bond given to Waller in W:m.sburg by Bache and Trist. I gave up to him two Bonds, for 100£ each, of his own, with some interest, to take up that to Waller; which proved somewhat more in amount. How much more, he has never informed me; but I have kept up a claim against him of my own for more than 100$, untill a settlement. I endeavoured to make Bache pay the whole amount of Wallers Bond. He got the Horse, young Medley, for which it was given, I received the animal from Allcocke, soon after Baches departure; set it up to sale immediately in Charlotteville; got no bid higher than 120$, for what had cost 790$; refused to take that price, and sent the horse, with a mare which he had purchased very dear from Mrs Birch, which I had no more success in selling, to him [. . .] at Stettle, his Fathers seat near Philada, by my own servant, who brought me a letter acknowledging their arrival in safe & hearty condition. I charged Bache with the amount of the two Bonds for 100£ each of Colo Monroes, in the acct I gave him of the administration of his affairs. The item brought him in my debt but he would never pay any part of the ballance or [re]mit the charge. There was a difference between the [. . .] of the two Bonds and the ballance, but some [. . .] matters of his after the account, defeated my endeavour fully, to get the payment to Wal[ler] made by him, instead of Mr Trists Estate. I cannot tell at this moment how this last will wind up, as it depends upon long calculations of interest; but I hope with something for the old Lady. The young men will do much better with their talents, than with little spots of land, which so often prevent mental efforts in youth. our Chief Justice has often [. . .] that he felt such a reluctance to go to the Bar, that the smallest piece of land would have changed his Destiny. Our young friends are geting all they need, a good education. Nature bestowed on their Mother the most precious of her gifts; such as make Fortune sure.

with most cordial sentiments of friendship & esteem

your Ob.
Tho: M. Randolph
RC (Vi: Personal Papers Collection, Thomas Mann Randolph Papers, Mss 18760); torn at seal; addressed: “Peachy R. Gilmer Esqr Atty at Law Bedford Co by hand of H. B. Trist Esqr”; endorsed by Gilmer: “Colo T M Randolph.”
Peachy R. Gilmer
Date Range
June 9, 1818