Dudley Chase



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Dudley sends Chase two copied letters. In the first, he summarizes to Chase the reply he received from Richard Jeffries regarding the Moore lands in Mason County, Virginia, noting several inconsistencies in Jeffries's response. He tells Chase that he should decide for himself whether or not to redeem the lands once he has received a response from the auditor, verifying Jeffries's claims. The second letter is a copy of the response letter Dudley received from Jeffries.




Richard Jeffries, Mason County, Richmond, Virginia, James Moore, T. Moore and Sample, J. Moore and Semple, James E. Heath, Moore land


“Washington Feby. 11th 1831

Copy. “Very Dear Brother,

“I wrote under date of 2nd ins, & inform’d you of my doings in complying with your request in regard to the lands in Mason Co. Virginia, & promised early information to you on my receiving an answer from Jeffries. I yesterday rec’d. that answer & enclose the very thing for your own inspection, (having taken a copy for my own use, probably a useless caution) ----- Dear Brother, I observe, in the note superadded to the copy of the memdn. From Jeffries which you sent me, you say “my wish is that you enquire if this said Clerk of the Fed. Court in Richmond speaks the truth & is demanding nothing more than the laws require to send him the amount of the redemption money for the land in which James Moor’s name is concern’d, and I will remunerate you for the same the moment I get the account.” Yours &c. [draw] you will see from Jeffries’ letter what he says about James Moor. You will also observe, that instead of the sale in the name of “J. Moore & Semple” (as in your copy) he now writes “in the name of T. Moore and Sample.” The quantity of land & the say of sale are alike in both communications, but the am’t of the price of sale differs in the sum of one dollar, and the fee of the Clerk is 3 percent in the copy, but 5 per Cent in the enclosed letter. You will also please to enquire of the Auditor, and why he did not enquire. Under some fears about the sale of the land for other taxes, as I stated to you in my last, & fearing also lest Mr. Jeffries should not furnish information, on that head, which I had requested of him, I made enquiries to learn how the matter might be in that particular. I learn’d that land in the state of Virginia is an ordinary object of state taxation, & that sales are often made of delinquents’ land, for the payment of State taxes, and that all such sales are return’d to the 1st Auditor, Richmond, Virginia, where redemptions are made & entered &c. The Gentleman of whom I made enquiries gave me the name of James E. Heath Esqr. 1st Auditor. And in a case supposed (like the one you have in hand) he tho’t it very likely that some of the land might have been sold, but could give no opinion as to the probability of its being forfieted [sic] or not. I have [in] mind to write to sd. Auditor, and make the necessary enquiries. In the meantime, as the matters are situated, and as the time of redemption does not expire ‘till 26th of May next, and in order to obtain the sd. Auditor’s answer (which may contain important information for you to progress, in deciding to redeem or not, or in directing yr. operations after you shall redeem the land) I conclude not to send on the redemption money immediately, but to wait a few day [sic], for the answer, & leave it for you to do as you then think best. I shall leave this city as soon as 4th of March & shall not be able, before that day, to close this business, I shall consult Judge Cranch in my stead, of all which I shall not fail to give you due & timely notice, that you may seasonably communicate your order to such agent, furnish him with means to redeem the tract in view, &c, as you shall judge most expedient.

Copy -- “Richmond Feby. 7th 1831

“Sir, I recd. Your letter of the 1st inst. This morning, upon examination, I do not find any land lying in the County of Mason, sold, for direct taxes, in the name of James Moore. I find that a tract of 41,994 acres of land, in that County, was sold for the direct taxes, in the name of “T Moore & Sample” and purchased on behalf of the U. States at $35;98. The sale was made on the 12th of July, 1819. If this should be the land, to redeem it, there would be [to] [be] paid $35,98. with interest at 20 pr cent pr. acre, from the 12th of July 1819 ‘till payment, and a commission to the Clerk, of 5 pr. cent on the whole amount of purchase money & interest. This land is liable for no other taxes of the U.S. but it may be liable for taxes of the State. I would enquire of the Auditor, for you, if there were any such Taxes - But as this, probably is not the land about which you are enquiring, I think it is unnecessary, at this time. A check on the Bank of U.S here would be recd. for redemption as perfectly satisfactory.

I am, very respectfully,

Sir, your Mo. Obt.

Richd. Jeffries”

Letter to Philander Chase



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