PROPERTY OF A NEW YORK COLLECTOR
“John Henderson dec.[ease]d 1043. acres of land on the Southwardly side of the Rivanna river | Beginning at a Poplar on the bank of the sd rivers then | down the same with the several meanders thereof as followeth.” Jefferson adds: “Note. this copy is from a survey of J. Slaughter in 1796. so defaced as to be illegible in several places.” Jefferson has also noted the scale as “100. po[lls]. to the inch”.
In Jefferson’s Land Roll of 1810, he listed among his property “one contiguous body” of 5,212 acres radiating out around his 1,000 acre Monticello farm. The two parcels furthest south in this body—being in Milton, Virginia—had recently been purchased from the heirs of Bennett Henderson, with great expense and trouble (see lot 2109). The present remarkable survey was made for his own records to corroborate the bounds of his own land, and it is perhaps also indicative of his intention to purchase the Watson parcel as well. In fact, it is still not known if Jefferson bought this land. John Henderson, Sr., named in this survey, was likely the father of Bennett Henderson. As noted, Jefferson’s dealings with Bennett’s heirs were complex, and often contentious, but by 1812, Jefferson had gained control over a large portion of former Henderson property, and he continued to buy more throughout the decade. This map may have aided in that effort.
Examples of Jefferson’s draftsmanship are primarily found in institutions, with very few remaining in private hands.
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