Highland Plantation


Location: Albemarle County, Virginia
Date Constructed/ Founded: 1793
Associated Surnames: Buckner, Garrett, Goodwin, Gouverneur, Hay, Johns, Massey, Monroe, Petty
Historical Notes: Originally Highland plantation was part of a larger estate called “Blenheim” owned by Champe Carter and his wife Maria. A 1793 deed shows that James Monroe had purchased a parcel of land from the Carters. The land was called Highland by James Monroe. Under his direction, the farm expanded from 1,000 to 3,500 acres. J. Monroe also owned Oakland Plantation in Loundes Co., VA. The Monroe family settled at Highland Plantation in 1799. Around 1800, the success of the Haiti Revolution led by T’oussaint L’Ouverture inspired Virgina slaves to organize a large revolt (“Gabriel’s Rebellion”) which involved an estimated 20,000 – 50,000 slaves from adjacent counties in Virginia. Early in his term as Governor of Virginia (ca. 1800), James Monroe had learned of the planned insurrection and lead a repression against the slaves that had organized under the leadership of Gabriel, a blacksmith. James Monore was nominated for presidency in 1816. Highland Plantation was re-named Ash Lawn in the 1840’s, after the Monroe family had lost ownership of the land. The property was eventually bequeathed to the College of William and Mary.
Associated Pages: Oak Hill Plantation (Loundon Co., VA)


1774: To James Monroe (son) – Ralph (boy), several other field hands (unnamed) [Will of Spence Monroe, 1774]

1800: 18 over age 16 (b.bef.1784); 3 age 12 – 16 (b.1784-1788) [James Monroe, Personal Property Tax Lists …]

1810: 49 slaves [1810 United States Federal Census, St Anns, Albemarle Co., Virginia, James Monroe]

1820: 6 slaves – 2 males, age 14 – 25 (b.1795-1806); 2 men, age 26 – 44 (b.1776-1794); 1 man, age 45 and over (b.bef.1776); 1 woman, age 45 and over (b.bef.1776) [Washington DC, James Monroe (U.S. President)]
Note: also 1 free colored boy under age 14 (b.1807-1820), 1 free colored male age 14 – 25 (b.1795-1806)


Monroe family: James Monroe (b.1758-d.1831) – owner, Fifth President of the United States (1817-1825); Elizabeth Kortright Monroe (b.1768-d.1830) – wife (m.1786); James Monroe, Jr. (b.1799-d.1801) – son

Petty family: William Petty (b?-d.?) – overseer for James Monroe

Hay family: George Hay (b.?-d.?); Eliza Kortright Monroe (b.1786-d.1840) – wife, dau. of J. and E.K. Monroe

Gouverneur family: Samuel L.Gouverneur (b.?-d.?) – Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur (b.1802-d.?) – wife,dau. of J. and E.K. Monroe

Goodwin familyEdward O. Goodwin (b.?-d.?) – owner; purchased Highland from James Monroe in 1826

Garrett familyAlexander Garrett (b.?-d.?) – owner, purchased Highland from Bernard Buckner in 1837 and changed the name to Ash Lawn Plantation


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  • Ash Lawn-Highland Plantation originally submitted by Scott Rode



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