Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson’s Agreement to Convey Bedford County Lands to Charles L. Bankhead, 29 October 1810

Agreement to Convey Bedford County Lands to Charles L. Bankhead

Whereas Thomas Mann1 Randolph & Martha his wife by due conveyance from myself were seised in fee Simple of a parcell of Land in the County of Bedford, part of my tract of land called Poplar Forest, containing as conjectured by protraction but not known by actual Survey 1000 Acres of which parcel the said Thomas M. & Martha have conveyed to Anne Moseley 840 Acres being the part on the West side of Wolf Creek retaining the residue thereof on the East Side of the said Creek of unknown contents & the said Thomas M & Martha being bound for valuable considerations to convey to Wilson Jefferson Cary of Fluvanna 500 Acres of Land on the Eastern Side of the said Creek & adjacent to those sold to the said Anne Moseley which said 500 Acres have been Sold by the said Wilson J. Cary to Charles Lewis Bankhead their Son in Law & the said Thomas M. & Martha in part towards the execution of their obligation aforesaid have this day conveyed to the said Charles Lewis & his heirs the residuary parcel beforementioned of unknown contents on the Eastern Side of Wolf Creek and whereas I had heretofore for good consideration engaged to convey to the said Thomas M. & Martha another parcel of the same tract of poplar Forest adjacent to the parcel before conveyed to them & bounded by a line begining at the end of a line N 10° W 11 poles & running direct to the northern boundary of the Said poplar Forest tract supposing by protraction but not knowing by actual mensuration that the same would contain 450 acres and the said Thomas M. & Martha being further engaged for good considerations to convey to Anne Cary Bankhead their daughter & wife of the said Charles Lewis in fee simple other 500 Acres adjacent to the parcel of 500 Acres which are to be conveyed to the said Charles Lewis in his own right—now therefore I Thomas Jefferson in consideration of the sum of Five shillings to me in hand paid & of other good causes & considerations do hereby oblige myself so soon as sufficient surveys of the premises can be made to convey to the Said Charles Lewis Bankhead & his heirs in his own right so much of the said parcel promised, but not yet actually conveyed to the said Thomas M. & Martha as with the said residuary parcel this day conveyed as aforesaid by them to the said Charles Lewis will make up the same Five hundred Acres to be bounded by a straight2 line running from the eastern angle of the triangular grant aforesaid & that I will convey to the said Anne Cary Bankhead & her heirs all the residue of the said Tract so promised but not yet conveyed & as much more adjacent thereto as shall make the same 500 Acres this last additional parcel being to be bounded by such lines as I shall deem convenient3 to myself, declaring in further explanation of the premises that the sum of these agreements is that the said Charles Lewis shall have from the said Thomas Mann Randolph & myself one parcel of4 Land adjacent to & Eastward of those Conveyed to Anne Moseley of Five hundred Acres in his own right & as by purchase from the said Wilson J. Cary & that he shall hold one other parcel of 500 Acres adjacent to & Eastward of the proceeding parcel of the same Size in right of the sd Anne Cary & her heirs. In witness whereof I the said Thomas Jefferson have hereto set my hand & Seal this 29th day of October 1810

Signed Sealed & delivered in presence of Willson Jefferson Cary  Thomas J. Randolph, William Bankhead, John Bankhead }   Th. Jefferson seal

At a Court held for Bedford County at the Courthouse the 24th day of April 1811

This obligation from Thomas Jefferson to Charles Lewis Bankhead was proven by the Oath of Thomas J Randolph, William Bankhead, & John Bankhead three subscribing witnesses & Ordered to be recorded

  J Steptoe C,B,C—

Tr (Bedford Co. Deed Book, 13:586).

Charles Lewis Bankhead (ca. 1790–1833), the son of TJ’s friend John Bankhead, of Caroline County, married TJ’s eldest grandchild Ann Cary Randolph on 19 Sept. 1808. Four of their children reached adulthood. Bankhead read law with TJ for several years but never practiced. The Bankheads purchased Carlton, an 800-acre farm adjacent to Monticello. Despite his attempts to make a living by farming, Bankhead’s abuse of alcohol and generally belligerent behavior prevented him from enjoying any success. TJ sought to ease a looming financial crisis in 1815 by adding 130 acres to the couple’s holdings and assigning trustees to manage the estate. Amid growing fears that Bankhead was mistreating his wife, relations deteriorated between him and her family, especially his brother-in-law Thomas Jefferson Randolph. In 1819 Bankhead nearly killed Randolph in an altercation outside the Albemarle County courthouse. Bankhead was arrested, forfeited his bail money, and left the county, but he returned a few years later (Shackelford, Descendants description begins George Green Shackelford, ed., Collected Papers to Commemorate Fifty Years of the Monticello Association of the Descendants of Thomas Jefferson, 1965 description ends , 1:71–5; John Vogt and T. William Kethley Jr., Albemarle County Marriages, 1780–1853 [1991], 2:602; J. E. Warren, “Bankhead Family,” WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892– description ends , 2d ser., 9 [1929]: 310; TJ to John Bankhead, 20 Feb., 28 Oct. 1815, 14 Oct. 1816; Deed of Trust to John Bankhead and others, 1 Apr. 1815; Charles L. Bankhead to TJ, 7 Feb. 1819; TJ to Wilson C. Nicholas, 8 Mar. 1819; Martha Jefferson Randolph to Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge, 24 June 1833 [ViU: Coolidge Correspondence]; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 11:286; Richmond Enquirer, 25 June 1833).

On this day, 29 Oct. 1810, the Randolphs sold to Bankhead the residue of the Bedford County lands they had received from TJ as a wedding present in 1790 (Thomas Mann Randolph and Martha Jefferson Randolph’s Conveyance of Bedford County Land, [before 19 Feb. 1810], and note). Thomas Jefferson Randolph, John Bankhead, and Joseph Slaughter completed a sufficient survey of the lands east of Wolf Creek conveyed to Charles L. Bankhead in April 1811 (Tr of survey in ViU: TJP-ER; entirely in TJ’s hand; at head of text: “A survey of the lands of C. L. Bankhead. Apr.   1811. by Ths J. Randolph, J. Bankhead & Slaughter. scale 40. po. to the inch”).

1Manuscript: “Man.”

2Manuscript: “sraight.”

3Manuscript: “conveninent.”

4Manuscript: “of of.”

Index Entries

  • Bankhead, Ann (Anne) Cary Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter; Charles Lewis Bankhead’s wife); and Bedford Co. land search
  • Bankhead, Charles Lewis (Ann Cary Randolph Bankhead’s husband); and Bedford Co. land search
  • Bankhead, Charles Lewis (Ann Cary Randolph Bankhead’s husband); identified search
  • Bankhead, John; witnesses document search
  • Bankhead, William search
  • Bedford County, Va.; C. L. Bankhead to buy land in search
  • Bedford County, Va.; Randolphs sell land in search
  • Bedford County, Va.; Wolf Creek search
  • Cary, Wilson Jefferson; buys land search
  • Cary, Wilson Jefferson; witnesses land conveyance search
  • indentures search
  • Moseley, Anne; buys Bedford Co. land search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); attempted sale of part of search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); sells land in Bedford Co. search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); and C. L. Bankhead search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); witnesses documents search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); sells land in Bedford Co. search
  • Slaughter, Joseph; surveys Bedford Co. land for TJ search
  • Steptoe, James; clerk of Bedford Co. search
  • Wolf Creek (Bedford Co.) search