An Account of James Monroe's Land Holdings
© Copyright and All Rights Reserved
By Christopher Fennell
III. Other Land Holdings in Charlottesville
Monroe owned three other lots in the town of Charlottesville, which he had purchased from George Nicholas sometime in 1788 or 1789. Virginia historian Edgar Woods stated Monroe's "first purchase of real estate [in Albemarle] was from George Nicholas in 1790. He then bought from [Nicholas] Lots Seventeen and Eighteen in Charlottesville, with the Stone House which Nicholas had erected thereon." Woods claimed that this house was Monroe's first residence in Albemarle (Woods 1901: 279-80). Other historians agree, but place the date of purchase in 1789, as shown in Monroe's correspondence with Jefferson and Madison in 1788 and 1789 (e.g., Ammon 1971: 74; Rawlings 1952: 30-31). The Stone house later became the Central Hotel, in which French Colonel Lafayette was entertained when visiting Jefferson and Monroe. These lots are now the location of Nos. 402-414 East Market Street (Rawlings 1952: 30).
Monroe sold these lots to Peter Marks in 1790 for 1,500 pounds. The difficulties created by Nicholas' failure to record and convey deeds on his properties overshadowed Monroe's later sale to Marks. As part of the transaction with Marks, Monroe pledged 3,000 pounds security for the perfection of the ownership claim and clear conveyance to Marks. Monroe also received security from Marks, in the form of ownership over 33 slaves, in relation to the ten-year mortgage for Marks' purchase of the lots from Monroe.
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