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2020-09-16 10:49:05
Thomas Jefferson
President Thomas Jefferson Works to Pay Off the Debts of His Father-in-Law’s Estate, Which Brought Him Land and Slaves, Including the Hemings Family
27/02/1807. Thomas Jefferson An ALS as PresidentJohn Wayles, the father of Jefferson’s wife Martha, died at age 58 in 1773. He left a huge estate to his three daughters, and the Wayles heirs decided to divide up the estate’s land and slaves among themselves. This appeared to be a sensible decision at the time. The Jeffersons’ share was 11,000 acres and 135 slaves, and among the slaves was the Hemings family (which included Sally Hemings, Martha's half-sister). But the heirs also inherited Wayles’ substantial debt, which in the Jefferson’s share was some _4,000. Converting this figure into a modern estimate would yield a result in the millions of dollars. Much of this was owed to British creditors, such as the London mercantile firm of Robert Cary & Company.In 1774, as the heirs - Jefferson and his brothers-in-law Francis Eppes and Henry Skipwith - studied the estate, they were confident that sales of the less-desirable lands could liquidate the British debts. The plan was sound in 1774, but then came the Revolution the very next year. Jefferson proceeded with his portion of land sales as planned and accepted the purchasers’ bonds with the pledge to pay in installments, as was customary. But the payments ended up being made in the depreciated paper money issued during the war. Under Virginia’s wartime legal tender act, Jefferson was obligated to accept the money, which he would later describe as not worth “oak leaves.” The Treaty of Paris of 1783 worked against the Wayles heirs because it provided that creditors on either side of the conflict were due paym … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: The Raab Collection [United States]
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