Gunston-Hall October 9th. 1791.
Your Brother Thomas, calling to see Colo. Cooke, & some other of his Friends in Stafford, did not get Home, until last Night; when I recd. yr. Letter by him, covering a Letter from Mr. Griffin; from which I imagine some Opinion, or Attestation, from the Attorney of the United States for the District was necessary in a Representation to the Secretary of the Treasury; otherwise I can perceive no Reason, why the Judge cou'd not immediately have made such Representation. Not having seen the Act of Congress, I can form no decisive Opinion upon the Subject. Shou'd the Prosecution go on; which I presume it will; unless stop'd by an Order from the Sceretary of the Treasury (as one Young, a poor Devil of a Scotchman, as ravenous as a famished Cat, was the Officer who first made the Information) you will be put to a good deal of Charge; besides the Trouble, perhaps, of personal Attendance at the District Court of the United States in Richmond, next December; and, plain as the Case is, Determinations at Law are always uncertain. It may therefore be adviseable for you to wait on the Secretary of the Treasury, in Philadelphia, and represent the Case to him yourself; in which, I think, there can be no Impropriety, under the Circumstance of the Judge's not being able to [do] it, without the Attorney of the Virginia District, and that Office happening at this time to be vacant.
It wou'd therefore be well to bring up with you authenticated Copys of the Petition, Manifest, & Depositions, annexed to it. The Reason I have not written to you lately is, that I did not expect my Letters wou'd find you in Richmond. I long to see you exceedingly; and so does all the Family. Your Brother Tom tells me, he thinks you will get the Ship dispatch'd, so as to be at Home by the End of this Week. As Tom did not proceed straight Home from Richmond, he tells me, he put your Letters, respecting the Ship Washington into the Mail at Fredericksburg.
I wou'd thank you to bring me up three or four Almanacks for the Year 1792; and if there is not in them a List of the present Members of both Houses of the Virginia Assembly, I wish you would endeavour to procure me such a List; I presume it may be got at one of the Printing Offices.
I am dear John, Your very affecte. Father