Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson’s Memorandum on the Expiration of John H. Craven’s Lease, [ca. 1 January 1810]

Memorandum on the Expiration of John H. Craven’s Lease

[ca. 1 Jan. 1810]

Mr Craven by the lease to him is bound

to sow 50. acres of clover the last year of it.
2. fields of 100. as each in wheat, one of them on fallow the other after corn. the particular fields to be sown result from the rotation stipulated, if that has been faithfully observed.

he is to return

  horses of the value of £91.
cattle 124–10
hogs  7– 6
carts, ploughs & utensils  31–14

Pork 1500. ℔.

corn 245. barrels

Tops. stacks of 70½ feet running measure & ordinary height

 a house body full 20.f. square 9.f. high.

blades. the roof of the same house full

 a middle sized stack of do

straw. from 350. bushels of wheat. [mr Craven has given his whole straw on the condition of our putting it up; which is an execution of this article]

Shucks. 4. railed pens 10.f. square 6.f. high


  The valuers Kemp Catlet & D. Higginbotham.

 day of delivery Jan. 1. 1810.

MS (MHi); entirely in TJ’s hand, including check marks evidently added later; undated; brackets in original. Not recorded in SJL.

John H. Craven (1774–1845), farmer, moved to Albemarle from Loudoun County in 1800. During the next nine years, he leased five hundred acres and forty-five slaves from TJ at Tufton, near Monticello. In 1811 Craven acquired a saw- and merchant mill at Pen Park in partnership with James Dinsmore, and he bought out Dinsmore’s interest in the enterprise four years later. Craven purchased a home at Pen Park in 1819, and he acquired William Wirt’s Rose Hill estate the following year. By 1821 he owned more than 1,500 acres in Albemarle County. Craven served as captain of the Lafayette Guards, the unit that escorted Lafayette to Monticello in 1824. His somewhat strained relationship with TJ largely ended with the expiration of his lease on Tufton, but he later sold the former president hay, oats, and butter, and he was among those who appraised TJ’s Albemarle County estate after his death (Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901 description ends , 104, 173–4, 403; Betts, Farm Book description begins Edwin M. Betts, ed., Thomas Jefferson’s Farm Book, 1953 description ends , 168–71; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends ; Lay, Architecture description begins K. Edward Lay, The Architecture of Jefferson Country: Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, 2000 description ends , 38, 62, 82, 96; Appraisals and Inventories of TJ’s Albemarle County Estate, 4 Oct. 1826 and 11 Jan. 1827 [ViU: TJP]; Fay V. Early and Constance C. Harris, eds., Record of Cemeteries in Albemarle County, Virginia, including Charlottesville [1971–ca. 1982], 1:234).

This document was prepared in connection with an appraisal conducted as Craven’s lease expired (Account with Craven, [after 9 May 1810]). Corn tops, blades, and shucks were often used as fodder at Monticello (Betts, Farm Book description begins Edwin M. Betts, ed., Thomas Jefferson’s Farm Book, 1953 description ends , 228, 244).

SJL records a missing letter of 26 Dec. 1809 from TJ to David higginbotham.

Index Entries

  • carts; and Craven estate search
  • Catlett, Kemp; and J. H. Craven’s lease search
  • cattle; at Tufton search
  • clover; and Tufton search
  • corn; at Tufton search
  • corn; tops, blades, and shucks search
  • Craven, John H.; identified search
  • Craven, John H.; leases Tufton search
  • crops; clover search
  • fodder; for Monticello search
  • food; pork search
  • Higginbotham, David; letters to accounted for search
  • Higginbotham, David; merchant search
  • hogs; at Tufton search
  • horses; returned to TJ search
  • household articles; carts search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and lease on Tufton search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Memorandum on the Expiration of John H. Craven’s Lease search
  • plows.; mentioned search
  • pork; at Tufton search
  • Tufton (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); J. H. Craven’s lease of search
  • Tufton (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); wheat grown at search
  • wheat; at Tufton search