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Stuart G. Gibboney

Stuart G. Gibboney (1877-1944) was a New York City lawyer who was the driving force behind the organization and early operation of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and served as its President for 20 years (1923-1944).

After organizing the Foundation, Gibboney began a nationwide campaign to raise one million dollars to be equally divided for the purchase of the house and for an endowment fund dedicated to preservation and education. The final payment on the house was made in 1940, and in 1941, Gibboney reported that $200,000 had been spent on restoration and refurnishing.

Gibboney was born in Wytheville, Virginia. In 1903, he received a law degree from the University of Virginia and moved to New York City to begin his practice. During his career he was a member of several firms including Gibboney, Johnston & Flynn (with fellow Foundation member Henry Alan Johnston); Barber, Watson & Gibboney; and Gibboney and O'Brien. His specialty was banking litigation; during President Wilson's administration, he served as counsel to the federal commission that established the Federal Reserve Board. A life-long Democrat, Gibboney was active in Woodrow Wilson's presidential campaign and in the reorganization of the Democratic Party in New York City.

In addition to organizing the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in 1923, Gibboney was chairman of the Sesquicentennial of American Independence and the Thomas Jefferson Centennial Commission (created in 1926), elected chairman of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission (1939), and appointed to the Thomas Jefferson Bicentennial Commission by President Roosevelt (1940). In 1943, Gibboney retired from his law practice and moved to Charlottesville, where he lived in the Weaver's Cottage. He died in Charlottesville the following year at the age of 66.

-Anna Koester, 1998.  Originally published in Anna G. Koester, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Archives: Collection Guide and Catalog, October 1998, 18-19.

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