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Indian Camp

Indian Camp was an estate once owned by William Short in Albemarle County.

In 1795, Thomas Jefferson bought for Short 1,334 acres of land situated four miles south of Monticello. In Short's absence, Jefferson oversaw the estate, collecting rent and paying taxes as needed. Although the two men did discuss agricultural methods in hopes of Short coming to live at Indian Camp one day, Short never settled on the land.

When Short decided to live in Philadelphia in 1813, he sold the estate to David Higginbotham for over $10,000. Under the terms of the sale, Jefferson transferred a debt of $10,000 that he owed to Higginbotham's mercantile business to William Short. Short subsequently paid off the mercantile debt to Higginbotham. Jefferson then in part repaid Short when he sold his books to the Library of Congress in 1815.

Higginbotham renamed the estate Morven.

Primary Source References

1795 May 25. (Jefferson to Short). "An opportunity also lately occurred of making an advantageous purchase of lands for you. ... The survey which was made yielded 1334 acres. ... I bought the Indian camp for you because you have expressed some partiality for our neighborhood and climate, because there are no lands in this state of equal fertility and equal advantages as cheap as ours, and you can always get them off your hands for the same money and it's interest, should you not like the purchase."1

1813 February 10. "Executed 3. bonds to Wm. Short dated Jan. 31. as follows 1st. 3333 1/3 D. paiable Apr. 30. 1814. 2d. 3333 1/3 D. paiable [Apr. 30. 1815]. 3d. 3600 D. paiable [Apr. 30. 1816]. with int. from Dec. 25 next preceding the day they are paiable. These are by way of paiment of my debt to Higginbotham which they discharge to the 1st. of Aug. 1812. Mr. Short takes them as paiment for the lands he sold to D. Higginbotham."2

Further Sources

  • Morven. Historic Registers. Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
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