Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John C. Carter, 21 August 1814

To John C. Carter

Monticello Aug. 21. 14.


Something upwards of 20. years ago you sold a piece of land adjoining Colle, part of your father’s estate here, to Colo Monroe. the deed says it is bounded ‘on the South by a run on the Eastern side of Dick’s plantation, and running thence to the source of the sd run and thence in a straight line to the top of the S. W. mountains.’ above Dick’s plantation & far up the mountain the run forks into two branches nearly equal in size & in length. were these branches known at the time? was there any contemplation in your mind or any explanation verbal or written, which of the two was intended as the line? or do you recollect any thing which will throw light on the subject? this matter is now in question between Colo Monroe & mr Short, to whom your brother Champe Carter sold the adjacent land. on that sale mr Champe Carter himself directed the surveyor in marking the line, and when he came to the fork, he took the ridge between the two & run straight to the top of the mountain.

It has been said, but I know not on what grounds; having never seen your father’s will, that your sale of that land was not valid until confirmed by your brother Champe. will you be so good as to set me right in that fact, by informing me of the nature of your title and whether mr Champe Carter’s confirmation was necessary? having made the purchase for mr Short and always in his absence acted for him as to the lands, I feel my self bound to do so on the present occasion, and will therefore esteem it as a favor done to myself if you will endeavor to refresh your recollection on this subject, and give me the fullest information in your power Accept the assurance of my esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “John Carter esquire”; endorsed by TJ.

John Champe Carter (ca. 1759–1826) was commissioned an ensign in the 7th Virginia Regiment of the Continental army in 1776 and resigned the following year. Later in 1777 he became a captain in the 1st Continental Artillery. He was captured in 1780 at Charleston, South Carolina, and not released until the end of the war, when he was given the rank of brevet major. Carter was later awarded three-hundred acres of bounty land. His Nelson County estate included thirty-nine slaves in 1820 (Heitman, Continental Army description begins Francis B. Heitman, comp., Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution, April, 1775, to December, 1783, rev. ed., 1914 description ends , 147; Washington, Papers description begins W. W. Abbot, Dorothy Twohig, Philander D. Chase, Theodore J. Crackel, and others, eds., The Papers of George Washington, 1983– , 52 vols.  Colonial Ser., 10 vols.  Confederation Ser., 6 vols.  Pres. Ser., 14 vols.  Retirement Ser., 4 vols.  Rev. War Ser., 18 vols. description ends , Rev. War Ser., 17:342–3; DNA: RG 15, RWP; George Selden Wallace, The Carters of Blenheim: A Genealogy of Edward and Sarah Champe Carter of “Blenheim” Albemarle County, Virginia [1955], 18; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901, repr. 1991 description ends , 164; DNA: RG 29, CS, Nelson Co., 1820; Lynchburg Virginian, 20 Apr. 1826).

For the father’s will, that of Edward Carter, see note to TJ to William Champe Carter, 23 Sept. 1813.

Index Entries

  • Carter, Edward; and Albemarle Co. land search
  • Carter, John Champe; and Albemarle Co. land search
  • Carter, John Champe; identified search
  • Carter, John Champe; letters to search
  • Carter, William Champe; and Highland–Indian Camp boundary dispute search
  • Carter, William Champe; and W. Short’s land search
  • Colle (P. Mazzei’s Albemarle Co. estate) search
  • Highland (J. Monroe’s Albemarle Co. estate); boundary dispute search
  • Indian Camp (W. Short’s Albemarle Co. estate); boundary dispute search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and Highland–Indian Camp boundary dispute search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and W. Short’s property search
  • Monroe, James; and W. Short’s land search
  • Short, William; and Indian Camp search