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Ira Chapman Garrison

Ira Chapman Garrison (c.1819-1892) was the manager of Monticello for Uriah Levy by March 1853.[1] In that month, he reported the birth of Augusta, daughter of Aggy West, at Monticello. Between 1853, when births and deaths started being recorded in Virginia, and 1859 he reported all the births and deaths at Monticello as "agent" or "manager" for Uriah Levy.

Chapman married Ann (Nancy) C. Collins on December 8, 1840. In 1852 he was appointed guardian of the children of his brother, Ralph Garrison.[2] Ralph’s children and Burwell Collins, an older man, lived with him.

In a June 4, 1858 letter from Uriah Levy to George Carr, his attorney, Uriah wrote in part: "[I] hope you will see that he [Garrison] is economical in his expenditure of money and materials. He has always done well in this particular and I have found a very good man whose services I wish you to retain unless you think it advisable to change...Mr. Garrison is an excellent man but he will need your counsel and advice...” In a Sept 17, 1858 letter from Uriah Levy to George Carr, Levy stated in part, ”...Mr. Garrison has written to me [and] afflicts me very much by the announcement of the death of my faithful servant Aggy [West]...shall I ever hear that our part of Virginia has produced good crops? The wheat has turned out badly, the tobacco crop will or has failed, the oats are all straw...”

By the fall of 1860 Ira had left Monticello.[3] Ira continued to live in Albemarle County, and in the 1870s bought 30 acres on the Rivanna river opposite the Ferneyhough Mills, near Stony Point.[4] He died in 1892; by his will, he left his estate to his wife for life and then his farm was to go to his nephew, James Marsh.[5]


  1. Original article by Sam Towler, May 2009.
  2. Albemarle County Minute Book, 1850-1854, 229. The Minute Book also records that the county paid $10 to have one of the children, Lewis, transported to the “Deff & Dum” Asylum at Staunton (423).
  3. James N. Bailey’s deposition in 1883 in the Albemarle Chancery case of Wheeler vs. Bailey. Bailey (Joel Wheeler’s adopted son) stated Joel Wheeler had gone to Monticello in the fall of 1860.
  4. Albemarle County Deed Book, 75:229. This is the first recorded purchase of land by Garrison in the county.
  5. Albemarle County Will Book, 30:118. Marriage records show James Marsh’s mother was Susan Garrison, a daughter of Ralph Garrison of Albemarle. Susan Garrison lived at Monticello with Ira.

Further Sources

  • George Carr Papers, (1745) 1801-1939, Accession #4869 to 4869-c, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
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