An Account of James Monroe's Land Holdings
© Copyright and All Rights Reserved
By Christopher Fennell
Original Deeds and Records of Monroe Hill at the University of Virginia
The deed books maintained by the Office of the Clerk for the Circuit Court of Albemarle County reflect the following transfers related to the Monroe Hill property. Some of the transfers described below concern parcels on Moores Creek and Meadow Creek, to the north and south of the main Monroe Hill tract acquired from George Nicholas.
- 1800 -- A February 6, 1800 indenture "between Joseph Jones Monroe and Elizabeth his wife of the County of Essex" and "James Monroe of the County of Albemarle" provided:
Witnesseth that the said Jos. Jo. Monroe and Eliz. hence this day bargained and sold to the said James Monroe two certain tracts of land both lying and being in the County of Albemarle for and in consideration of the sum of Two Thousand dollars to them in hand paid the rec[eipt] whereof they do hereby acknowledge . . . The one lying on the waters of Moores Creek [and] Containing by survey Two hundred and fourteen acres bee the same more or less -- being half the land granted to David Reece patent for four hundred acres and purchased of Hudson Martin by said Jos. Jo. Monroe and Bounded as followeth, Begining at pointers on the top of ridge runing North 54 degrees W 132 P. to a white oak thence S 84 [and] W 57 P. to pointers a red oak and pine thence S 35 [and] W 130 P. to pointers of pine, thence S 25 [and] E 100 P. to pointers a pine and white oak, thence S 68 1/2 [and] E 104 P.. Thence N 31 1/4 [and] E. 191 P. to the Begining -- The other Grant Containing one hundred and thirty two acres purchased by said Jos. Jo. Monroe of Michael Hardwick and bounded as follows. Begining at James Warrens Inn corner pine runing thence N. 87 [and] E 16 P. to a white oak by the side of a large branch -- thence on In Harris's line N 52 [and] E 155 P. to Harris's Pointers thence on David Reece N 20 [and] W 8 P. to Warrens Corner a Chestnut the same course continued on Warrens line W 10 P. to his corner red oak S 28 [and] E 104 P. to the first station . . . . This indenture was signed and sealed by Joseph and Elizabeth Monroe on February 6, 1800, and witnessed by Alexander Garrett, Thomas Carr and Lewis Thomas. Deed Book 13, pages 455-56.
The record of this Indenture is interesting in showing the procedures the Court used for ensuring that the wife of a grantor agreed to relinquish her dower rights to one-third of the husband's property. Elizabeth Monroe was unable to "conveniently travel" to the Albemarle Circuit Court for the production and acknowledgment of this indenture in order to have it officially recorded. As a result, two "Gentleman Justices" of the Court, William Wardlaw and James Kerr, visited her and "proceeded to Examine Mrs. Elizabeth Monroe privately and apart from her said husband and [did] certify that she freely and voluntarily relinquisheth all right of dower [in these two tracts of land] and is willing that the same be recorded." The indenture was thus deemed properly produced and acknowledged, and was recorded at the April 7, 1801 Court. John Nicholas was the Clerk of Court. Deed Book 13, page 456-457.
- 1801 -- James Monroe also owned a parcel "on the head waters of Meadow Creek," containing 105 acres. He sold this parcel to Jesse Lewis on February 27, 1801, by an indenture which listed Monroe's current residence as "Henrico County" and stated as follows:
This Indenture . . . Between James Monroe and Elizabeth his wife of the County of Henrico on the one part and Jesse Lewis of the County of Albemarle on the other part Witnesseth that the said James Monroe and Elizabeth his wife for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and eight one pounds two shillings and six pence lawful money to theirs in hand paid Rec[eipt] of which they do hereby acknowledge have granted bargained and sold and by these presents do grant bargain and sell unto the said Jesse Lewis a Certain Tract or parcel of land lying in the County of Albemarle on the head waters of Meadow Creek Containing by survey one hundred and five acres be they hence more or less and bounded as follows, Begining at the forks of the road and runing South Twelve and half degrees East one hundred and seventeen poles to a stake in the corner of Jesse Lewis's fence on James Monroe's line, thence N Eighty one [and] E one hundred and twelve poles to pointers Corner to George Bruce thence N thirty four [and] E one hundred and forty poles to a poplar in a small branch, thence up the branch according to its Meanders fifty six poles to pointers Corner to John Allphin thence S thirty four [and] W ninety two poles to a stake in thirty feet of the old road, thence N sixty three [and] W fifty nine poles along the old road in thirty feet of the edge, thence N Eighty five [and] W fifty six poles to the begining which said lands the said James Monroe and his wife doth convey unto the said Jesse Lewis, with all Houses, woods, waters and other appurtenances thereunto . . . . This indenture was signed and sealed by James Monroe on February 27, 1801, and witnessed by HoreBrooce Trest, William Wardlaw, and Talaferro Lewis. Deed Book 13, pages 511-12. It was produced, acknowledged and recorded at the Albemarle Circuit Court on September 7, 1801. John Nicholas was the Clerk. Deed Book 13, page 512.
- 1803 -- June 18, 1803 deed recording conveyance from James Monroe, by his attorney James Lewis, to William G. Garner. This Indenture agreement stated in pertinent part:
This Indenture made this [June 18, 1803] between James Monroe by James Lewis, his attorney in fact of the one part, and William G. Garner, of the County of Albemarle of the other part, Witnesseth, that for and in consideration of the sum of three hundred Dollars -- to the said James Lewis, attorney in fact for the said James Monroe, in hand paid by the said W[illiam] G. Garner, at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, he the said James Monroe hath bargained and sold and by these presents doth bargain and sell unto the said William G. Garner a certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Albemarle, on the North side of the Three Chopt road leading from Charlottesville to Rockfish Gap, containing by estimation, Twenty acres, more or less, and including the land belonging to the said James Monroe's tract near Charlottesville, which lies on the said North side of the Three Chopt road, except one acre to be laid off at the begining pine, and bounded as follows, viz, Begining at a pine on the main three chopt road runing thence N 55 E 26 poles and three fourths of a pole, to corner pointers, thence N 56 W 160 poles to a branch in the road thence down the main road to the begining . . . . This agreement was signed and sealed by James Lewis, as attorney of fact for James Monroe, and witnessed by James H. Bradshaw, Robert Steele, James Burnley, and John Garner. It was produced and acknowledged by James Lewis, and ordered to be recorded, at the July 4, 1803 session of the Albemarle County Circuit Court. John Nicholas was the Clerk of Court. Deed Book 14, pages 291-92.
- 1806 -- July 5, 1806 deed recording conveyance from James Lewis, attorney for James Monroe, to Kemp Catlett. This Indenture agreement stated in pertinent part:
Witnesseth that the said James Lewis attorney in fact of James Monroe for and in consideration of the sum of fifteen hundred pounds Current Money of Virginia to him in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hath granted bargained and sold an by these presents doth grant bargain and sell unto the said Kemp Catlett and to him and his heirs and assigns forever, one certain tract or parcel of Land lying an being in the County of Albemarle and containing by a late survey six hundred and seventy acres and bounded as follows to wit, Begining at a corner pine on the Stantown road and runing thence along the said Road as it Meanders 168 poles to a Branch thence North 56 degrees W 110 poles to a Stake thence South 81 degrees W 112 poles to a Stak in Jesse Lewis's line thence S. 48 degrees W. 152 po. to a Chestnut Oak thence N. 58 degrees W. 20 po. to pointers thence S. 29 degrees W 38 po. to pointers thence S. 14 degrees E. 66 po. to a stake thence South 29 Degrees E 41 po. to a white oak thence S 18 W 45 po. to a stake thence S 20 degrees W 20 po. to a stake South twenty five degrees W 10 po. to a stake thence S 30 degrees W 54 po. to a white oak in Wheelers Road on John Smith's line thence along the said Road on James Lewis line 304 po. to a corner pine thence S 55 degrees E 121 po. to a large pine in Henry Chiles line thence N 34 degrees E 200 po. to the Begining to have and to hold . . . in fee simple . . . . This agreement was signed and sealed by James Lewis, as attorney of fact for James Monroe, and witnessed by Alex Carrell, Tuplet T. Estes, and Thomas C. Fletcher. It was produced and acknowledged by James Lewis, and ordered to be recorded, at the January 5, 1807 session of the Albemarle County Circuit Court. John Nicholas was the Clerk of Court. Deed Book 15, pages 527-28.
- 1806 -- July 5, 1806 deed recording conveyance from Kemp Catlett to George Divers of 670 acres. Deed Book 15, page 528.
- 1810 -- September 10, 1810 Indenture agreement recording conveyance by James Monroe to Reubin Maury of 290 acres for a purchase price of 348 pounds. This Indenture states in pertinent part:
This Indenture made . . . Between James Monroe of the County of Albemarle on the one part and Reubin Maury of the said County on the other part, Witnesseth that the said James Monroe for and in consideration of the sum of three hundred and forty eight pounds to me in hand paid the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged have granted bargained and sold and by these presents do grant bargain and sell unto the said Reubin Maury one certain tract or parcel of Land supposed to contain two hundred and ninety acres be the same more or less Begining on the South side of Wheelers road being a part of the tract of Land called Haggards tract and a part of which is called Gryenes tract being a part of the land conveyed to me by Joseph Jones Monroe. Begining at pointers in Henry Chiles's corner (formerly William Wardlaw) thence North 55 degrees W 71 poles to a pine on Wheelers road thence along the said road according to its meanders 304 poles to a white oak on the side of the road thence South 30 W 90 poles to a read [red] oak thence South 33 East 100 poles to a pine thence N 82 E 16 poles to a white oak on a branch or creek thence N 47 E 155 poles to pointers thence South 25 E 44 poles to two pines and a white oak thence South 70 E 96 poles to pointers thence North 30 1/2 degrees E 194 poles to the Begining . . . . This Indenture was signed and sealed by James Monroe, and witnessed by Richard Johnson, Joel Shiflett, George Garrett, and W. Larksdale. It was produced and acknowledged by James Monroe, and ordered to be recorded, at the November 8, 1809 session of the Albemarle County Circuit Court. John Nicholas was Clerk. Deed Book 17, pages 50-52.
Correspondence by Reubin Maury mentions his pleasure in have dealings with Monroe, which included the sale of this land. This parcel is located in the area now occupied by the "Piedmont Plantation" historic site and some faculty housing facilities of the University, near Moores Creek and Fontaine Avenue on the south edge of Charlottesville.
- 1810 -- October 1, 1810 deed recording conveyance from George Divers to John Nicholas of 670 acres. Deed Book 17, page 325.
- 1814 -- February 28, 1814 deed recording conveyance from John Nicholas to John Perry of one-half parcel of the land, consisting of 346 acres. Deed Book 19, page 17.
- 1815 -- February 24, 1815 deed recording conveyance from John Nicholas to John Perry of the remainder of the Monroe Hill property. Deed Book 19, page 250.
- 1820 -- January 25, 1820 deed recording conveyance from John Perry to Arthur Brockenbrough, Proctor of the University of Virginia of 48 and 3/4 acres. Deed Book 22, page 170.
- 1825 -- May 9, 1825 deed recording conveyance from John Perry to Arthur Brockenbrough, Proctor of the University of Virginia of 132 acres. Deed Book 25, page 251.
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Last Modified: September 2, 2012