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Beverley Town, Virginia

Beverley Town was in Henrico County, west of Richmond on Westham Creek near the James River.1 Thomas Jefferson inherited land in Beverley Town from his father. In 1814, Jefferson described the town for a prospective buyer, "The town of Beverley was laid off on the 6th of June 1751. under an act of assembly then recently passed. the original plan of the town, signed by Peter Randolph as Commissioner or Trustee, and by Peter Jefferson (my father) who surveyed, and marked the lots and streets by metes & bounds, was recorded in Henrico court, & the No of every lot, and name of the purchaser written within the lot. of this I have a copy ...."2  

Jefferson had inherited the property in Beverley Town following his father's death in 1757. In 1811, his cousin George Jefferson received word that property in the town was to be auctioned off, and wrote, "Mr Thomas Taylor an acquaintance of mine having lately purchased some land near the West-ham ferry, it occurred to me that he would probably purchase the lots which I recollected to have heard you say you owned there."3 In November 1814, Jefferson read an advertisement that lots in the town of Beverley were to be auctioned off the next month. He wrote on December 7 to the auctioneer, Thomas Taylor, "... I think it a duty to give notice that I own 4. or 5. lots in that town, one of which is the ferry lot established by act of assembly, & to which I attach considerable value, notwithstanding it’s present disuse. I had heard that somebody had inclosed the town, but considered the public property in the streets against which no limitation of time could run, as protecting the lots they inclose, and the whole site of the town. as I never saw the advertisement till this morning, & the sale is for the 15th the information which you may be so kind as to give me whether my lots are to be included in this transaction, may come too late for me to notify the bidders either personally or publicly. in that case I would hope you would think it necessary to inform them of it."4

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