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Charles Lewis Bankhead

Charles Lewis Bankhead (1788–1833) was the son of Dr. John Bankhead of Caroline County and husband to Ann Cary Randolph, Thomas Jefferson's eldest granddaughter. Ann and Charles married on September 19, 1808, at Monticello.1 For most of their married life, they resided at an 800-acre estate called Carlton, just west of Monticello. The Bankheads had four children who reached adulthood. Bankhead read law under Jefferson for several years, but became an alcoholic and turned unsuccessfully to farming.

Primary Source References

1811 May 7. (Eliza Trist to Catharine Bache). "Bankhead has given up the scheme of going to Bedford and has made a purchase of the Farm adjoining Monticello that formerly belonged to Nich. Lewis he gave 16 Dollars an acre which I believe is six more than Browse was to have paid for it."2

1814 August 22. (Eliza Trist to Catharine Bache). "I heard too with great concern that Bankhead has turn'd out a great sot always frolicking and carousing at the Taverns in the Neighborhood."3

1826 January 23. (Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge to Martha Jefferson Randolph). "... it mortifies me that he [Joseph Coolidge] should be baited by a drunken brute like Charles Bankhead ...."4

1833 June 14. (Martha Jefferson Randolph to Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge). "I got a letter from Ben informing me of the death of Charles Bankhead he went one night to Ben’s room accompanied by his servant and told him he had been drunk for some days & was very ill. Ben immediately gave him what he thought the case required; & set up with him till two o clock when he said he was much better. Benjamin went to lie down in an adjoining room leaving him with his servant. at 6 o clock he had an apoplectick fit after which he lived about two hours in a state of absolute insensibility from which it was impossible to rouse him. poor Ellen will be dreadfully distressed for he was really a kind father, and little Willie has shewn a degree of feeling on the occasion that has a good deal affected me."5

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