Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on Plats of Poplar Forest Boundaries, 14 December 1817

VII. Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on Plats of Poplar Forest Boundaries

1817. Dec. 14. Observations on the lines in this plat.

Beginning at a corner white oak, sometimes called a Spanish oak, well known on Callaway’s road.

S. 88. W. 85. po. fully marked to pointers, & so found by Majr Organ Nov. 27. 1817.

N. 52. W. 125. po. full marked to a post oak fore & aft found by Majr Organ.
 23. po. more without another marked tree terminates it at Clarke’s corner chesnut.

from this corner chesnut Clarke & Cobb’s line is full marked S. 62. W. 72. po. to his corner red oak.

this same line reversed from the Chesnut & continued N. 62. E. is my line to the P.F. by Stith’s survey of the 800. as but we could not find a single marked tree on it. Moseley’s patent gives to this whole line from the red oak corner N. 65. E.1 134. po. from which taking off Clarke’s 72. po. to the chesnut, remain 62. po. to Cobb’s corner. his patent calls the next line N. 37. W. 64. po. which according to the same variation of 3° to the left should now be N. 40. W. by protraction on this plat this course would at 57½ po. pass 6. po. from the spring, & 60. po. from the S. 50. E. line. but his patent calls this line S. 80. W. 68. po. an astonishing variation, which would give me ⅔ of his field.2 I think then it would be fairest to give him his 68. from the S. 50. E. line & his 62. po. from Clarke’s corner chesnut, and uniting them by a strait line, fix that as his N.3 40. W. line. this, by protraction on this plat would be about N. 32½ W.

N. 38. W. the red oak on Cobb’s path near the Western gate, & the Chesnut 19½ po. from it, give the direction of this line.
the patent calls it S. 35. E the seeming pointers 23. po. from the red oak marked, are suspicious
the Southern termination of this line might be fixed, if we could find the next line of P.F. running due E. & then the S. 21. E. 76. po. terminating in Callaway’s road, being a corner in Robertson’s patent.

the following lines from the w.o. corner4 give the relative position of the w.o. & Clarke’s chesnut with the f. & a. w.o. near Cobb’s to wit

 from the w.o. ∠ N. 70. W. 31. po. to the 2. stones.
N. 70. W. 100. po. to my fork. N. 73. W. 69.12 N. 50. W. 49.36. S. 70. W. 3½ po. N. 50. W. 22½ to w.o. f. & aft.

MS (ViU: TJP, TB [Thurlow-Berkeley] no. 1136 [532m–1]); entirely in TJ’s hand; with next document subjoined and TJ’s line of separation editorially omitted; likely filed by TJ with previous document, his Plats of Poplar Forest Boundaries, 14 Dec. 1817, commenting especially on the first of these plats, and endorsed by him on otherwise blank verso: “Plats of experiment to reestablish the lines Cobb cut down, & of the vacant land Dec. 1817.”

For Richard stith’s survey of TJ’s 800 acres of land, see PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 41 vols. description ends , 28:537–8.

1Preceding coordinates interlined.

2Preceding eleven words interlined in place of “this would render it necessary to give 10. po. more to his N. 62. E. line of 60. po. making it 70. po.”

3Reworked from “S.”

4Preceding two words interlined in place of “2. stones.”

Index Entries

  • Callaway, Richard; and survey of Poplar Forest search
  • Clarke, Mr. (Bedford Co. landowner); and survey of Poplar Forest search
  • Cobbs, William; and survey of Poplar Forest boundaries search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Notes on Plats of Poplar Forest Boundaries search
  • Moseley (Mosely), Mr. (Bedford Co. landowner); and survey of Poplar Forest search
  • Organ, John; and survey of Poplar Forest search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); surveys of search
  • Robertson (Robinson), John (Bedford Co. landowner); land patented by search
  • Stith, Richard; as Campbell Co. surveyor search
  • surveying; and Poplar Forest boundaries search