Reuben Lindsay (1747-1831) was a planter and an Albemarle County neighbor of Thomas Jefferson.1 Lindsay came to Albemarle from Westmoreland County around 1776, when he purchased from John Clark 750 acres on the east side of the South West Mountain. By 1796, his "Springfield Farm" consisted of more than 2000 acres; in 1806, he owned 28 slaves, 15 horses, a "stage wagon," and "1 riding carriage."
During the American Revolution, Lindsay was an Albemarle County militia officer. In his capacity as Governor of Virginia, Jefferson favored Lindsay's appointment as county lieutenant, describing him as "a man of as much worth as any in the county."2 Lindsay, however, declined the commission.3
By the end of the Revolution, Lindsay was a county magistrate and he frequently sat on the county bench. He was married twice, first to Sarah Walker (b. 1758), and then to Maria Tidwell, with whom he had three daughters — Sarah, Elizabeth, and Maria.4 Lindsay lived in Albemarle until his death in 1831.
The primary source references provided below indicate that Reuben Lindsay's name appeared regularly in Thomas Jefferson's memorandum books from 1772 until 1823.
- Douglas Evans, 1995. Originally published in Evans, "Jefferson's Neighbors," Monticello Intern Report, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1995.
Primary Source References
1772 August 4. (Legal notation). "Cuningham & co. v. Simpson. Credit def. by Reub. Lindsay's assumpsit 32.9."5
1773 May 5. "Bot. of Reuben Lindsay 5758 lb. tobo. @ 18/ which comes to £51-16-6."6
1773 August 31. "Sent (by Jupiter) to William Moreton being to pay part of the money due to Reuben Lindsay for tobo. purchased ante May 5. £15."7
1773 October 5. "Inclosed to Reuben Lindsay for Wm. Dalton £37-8-2 1/4."8
1808 April 14. (Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge to Jefferson). "Mr. Mrs. and the two Miss Lindsays spent a few days with us [at Edgehill]; the young ladies, Sister Ann, and myself, went over to Monticello ...."21
1809 September 24. "Pd. for finding papers at Mr. Lindsay's 1.D."22