Thomas Jefferson Papers

Alexander Garrett to Thomas Jefferson, 14 January 1813

From Alexander Garrett

Albemarle Clerks office Jany 14th 13


The Deed from Carter to Wm Short of which you required a certificate of the recordation.—Is not recorded but Deposited in the office for acknowledgment or Proof. but the commission and certificate of the Relinquishment of Dower of Mrs Maria Carter is Duly recorded in the year 1802. Six years Since the Date of the Deed.

David Rodes for
Alex: Garrett

RC (MHi); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr M:Cellar per Boy”; endorsed by TJ: “Garrett Alexr. Jan. 14. 13.”

Alexander Garrett (1778–1860) was born in Nelson County but moved to Albemarle County by 1794, where he served as postmaster of Charlottesville, 1797–99, and as deputy sheriff in the latter year. He was appointed deputy clerk of the Albemarle County Court in 1806, promoted to county clerk in 1815, and made clerk of the Albemarle County Superior Court of Law in 1819. His brother Ira Garrett replaced him in the latter two positions in 1831 and 1852, respectively. Garrett was a successful businessman who owned significant acreage in Albemarle County. He served on a committee appointed in 1814 to revive the moribund Albemarle Academy, an effort that eventually led to its evolution into the University of Virginia. Garrett was proctor of Central College for a few months in 1817 and served as its treasurer from that year until 1819, when he became the first bursar of the University of Virginia. He was a superintendent of the Rivanna Company in 1806, a member of the Albemarle Agricultural Society in 1817, and county representative to the James River and Kanawha Company in 1834. TJ and Garrett were longtime acquaintances and frequent correspondents. Garrett’s second wife, Evelina Bolling Garrett, was a daughter of TJ’s nephew John Bolling. In March 1826 TJ requested Garrett to safeguard a copy of his will. Garrett was present at Monticello when TJ died, acted as an executor for his estate, and was himself buried at Monticello (Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901, repr. 1991 description ends , esp. 201–2; Frederick Johnston, Memorials of Old Virginia Clerks [1888], 27–9; 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 , esp. 2:947; ViU: Garrett Papers; Axelson, Virginia Postmasters description begins Edith F. Axelson, Virginia Postmasters and Post Offices, 1789–1832, 1991 description ends , 3; Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends , 1806–07 sess., 24; Minutes of Albemarle Academy Trustees Meeting, 17 June 1814; Bruce, University description begins Philip Alexander Bruce, History of the University of Virginia 1819–1919: The Lengthened Shadow of One Man, 1920–22, 5 vols. description ends , 1:122, 190, 237–8; True, “Agricultural Society,” description begins Rodney H. True, “Minute Book of the Agricultural Society of Albemarle,” Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1918 (1921), 1:261–349 description ends 263, 269; TJ to Garrett, 29 Mar. 1826; Garrett to Evelina Bolling Garrett, 4 July 1826 [ViU: TJP]; Richmond Enquirer, 11 Apr. 1834; 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 , 1:261; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 26:62–4, 90–3, 27:68–9).

David Rodes (1795–1862) succeeded Garrett as deputy clerk of the Albemarle County Court in 1816. He joined the Virginia militia during the War of 1812 and rose over the next two decades from private to brigadier general. Rodes moved to Lynchburg by 1825 and served as a marshal the following year at its memorial ceremony for TJ and John Adams. He prospered and became active in civic life, winning appointments in 1832 as clerk of the Campbell County Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery and in 1852 as clerk of the newly established state district court for the Second Judicial District. Rodes was also a manager of the Lynchburg Colonization Society in 1837 (Shelley Rodes Patterson, A Short History and Genealogy of the English Family Rodes [1929], 20, 23; VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893–  description ends 7 [1899]: 205; ViWn: David Rodes Collection; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901, repr. 1991 description ends , 306–7; Albemarle Co. Order Book [1815–16], 288; Campbell Co. Order Book, 16:147, 20:108; William Asbury Christian, Lynchburg and Its People [1900; repr. 1967], 85; Richmond Enquirer, 19 Dec. 1833; “Lynchburg Colonization Society,” African Repository, and Colonial Journal 13 [1837]: 62; Lynchburg City Will Book, C:395, E:96–7, 103–5, 146–8, 196–7).

Maria Carter’s relinquishment of dower of 8 Dec. 1796 was recorded in October 1802 (Albemarle Co. Deed Book, 14:52–3).

Index Entries

  • Agricultural Society of Albemarle; members of search
  • Albemarle Academy search
  • Bolling, John (TJ’s nephew); family of search
  • Carter, Maria Byrd Farley (William C. Carter’s wife); and W. Short’s land search
  • Carter, William Champe; and W. Short’s land search
  • Central College (Charlottesville); proctor of search
  • Central College (Charlottesville); treasurer of search
  • Garrett, Alexander; as Albemarle Co. clerk search
  • Garrett, Alexander; identified search
  • Garrett, Alexander; letters from search
  • Garrett, Evelina Bolling (Alexander Garrett’s second wife); family of search
  • Indian Camp (W. Short’s Albemarle Co. estate); TJ tries to sell for W. Short search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and W. Short’s property search
  • Rodes, David; identified search
  • Rodes, David; in Albemarle Co. clerk’s office search
  • Short, William; and Indian Camp search
  • Virginia, University of (Charlottesville); bursar of search