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Thomas Garth

Thomas Garth (c. 1740-1812) was a resident of Albemarle County and a contemporary of Thomas Jefferson. The two men shared several business connections. Jefferson's memorandum books are dotted with notations such as "beef had of T. Garth" and "tobacco purchased of Garth."1

From around 1772 to 1775, Garth, along with Shadwell overseer Walter Mousley, leased parts of Jefferson's Albemarle county lands for farming.2 The lease worked well for Jefferson, who reported receiving corn, fodder, and pork from Garth and Mousley.3

By 1775, Garth had sold Jefferson more than 800 acres of land adjacent to Jefferson's property at Shadwell. Jefferson then leased the land back to Garth, and a deed for the sale was not executed until 1783.4 This was the tract that Jefferson would call "Lego."

Between 1776 and 1782, Garth served as Jefferson's steward at Monticello.5 He also appears to have acted as Jefferson's financial agent for the latter's properties in Bedford and Goochland counties.6

Thomas Garth later moved to the western part of Albemarle county where he owned a large tract of land. He was appointed as an Albemarle county magistrate in 1791 and served as sheriff in 1807.7

-Nancy Verell, 10/15

  • 1. MB, 1:252, 1:395.
  • 2. See Jefferson to Francis Eppes, July 30, 1787, in PTJ, 11:653. Transcription available at Founders Online. See also MB, 1:252-53 n71.
  • 3. MB, 1:295, 1:333.
  • 4. Deed for the Purchase of Lego, August 14, 1783, in PTJ, 27:731-33. Transcription available at Founders Online. See also MB, 1:390 n61.
  • 5. MB, 1:252-53 n71. See also Betts, Farm Book, 148-49.
  • 6. MB, 1:252-53 n71, 1:447.
  • 7. Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia (Bridgewater, Va.: C.J. Carrier Co., [1956]), 203. See also Betts, Farm Book, 517.
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