John Coles II (1745-1808) was an Albemarle County merchant, colonel in the county regiment, and farmer who conducted business with Thomas Jefferson, including buying nails from Jefferson. Coles' brother, Isaac (1747-1813), was a Congressman from Hanover County. John Coles married Rebecca Tucker and had five sons, two of which were Isaac and Edward, both born at Enniscorthy, the family estate in Albemarle.
In 1769, Coles was appointed overseer or surveyor of roads from Green Mountain road to the Hardware River. According to John Hammond Moore, Coles was also elected to a safety committee during the Revolution to enforce the resolutions, that were handed down by the First Continental Congress, to restrict trade with England in the area.
Jefferson represented Coles in a family suit in 1770-1771 and again in 1774. Coles gave refuge to Jefferson and his family when Colonel Tarleton sent a detachment of dragoons to capture Jefferson at Monticello. The family dined with Coles at Enniscorthy before they headed northwest to Amherst County the next day.
1770 August 9. "John Coles (Alb.) Isaac Coles (Halifx.) George Mutter & Sarah ux. (Hal.) Henry Tucker et Mary ux. (Hal.) v. Walter Coles (Hal.). Make these parties pls. or defs. as may be proper to determine in friendly way the question as to the slaves appointed by Mr. Coles. I am to state the three several claims to the court & take their opn. wch. parties agree shall be decisive."
1770 November 6. "Edwd. Champion Travis (Jas. city) v. John Coles et Rebecca us. (Alb.). An appeal brot. to the prest. court frm. Jas. city. Appear for defs."
1771 August 31. (List of balances due June 1. 1771). "Coles John. Albem. L10."
1771 September 3. "Bot. of John Coles 10. barrels corn at same price Colo. Carter sold me."
1773 December 3. "Pd. G. Wythe for Jno. Coles L5."
1774 February 10. "John Coles (Alb.) v. Richd. Oglesby (Amh.). Ent. cav. or petn. for 200 as. Alb. on the So. side of Little Eppes's cr. and on the head of Hudson's cr. patd. (if patd. at all) by def. about 4 or 5. y. ago."
1774 March 29. "Accepted John Coles order on me for L7 in favr. of Messrs. Trent (afterwards paid by John Coles himself.)"
1775 March 28. "Advanced to Treasurer of my own money to make up the Congress money...do. for John Coles 20/."
1776 December 18. Pd. Ben Harris for a gin for Colo. Coles 10/."
1777 October 15. "Left with T. Garth for Edward Carter L90 in part of L190. to which the 483 acres of land I bought of him were valued by N. Lewis & J. Coles."
1796 June 6. "Received from Colo. Coles on acct. of nails L4-11."
1796 September 3. "Recd. from Rand. Jefferson a negro boy Ben, Peter's son who is to valued by John Coles & James Cocke, and I am to pay the valuation to Donald & co. in discharge of their acct. agt. him."
1797 September 20. "Colo. Coles & Mr. Cocke have valued the two boys I bought from Rand. Jefferson (Carey & Ben) at L155."
1798 November 5. "Recd. from Colo. Coles (by his son) L6-3-3 for nails. There is a mistake in our acct. to be examined."
1798 December 3. "Recd. from Colo. Coles in full for nails 15.D. & afterwds. delivd. him 26 lb X & 20 lb XVI on a new account."
1799 January 28. "Gave Wm. Richardson ord. on J. Barnes for 29.D. Note 11.5 D. of this is for spectacles for Colo. Coles..."
1799 April 1. "Recd. from Colo. Coles the 11.5.D. for spectacles ante Jan. 28."
1799 November 4. "Recd. of Colo. John Coles in full for nails L8-9-8 1/2."
1800 September 18. "Recd. from Colo. J. Coles in full for nails 50/6."