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Ash Lawn-Highland Plantation

Page history last edited by Karmella Haynes 12 years, 9 months ago





Albemarle Co., VA


Date Constructed/ Founded



Associated Surnames

Buckner, Garrett, Goodwin, Johns, Massey, Monroe


Historical notes

Originally Ash Lawn-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. 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 Slave Workplaces




Associated Free Persons


  • James Monroe - owner; fifth President of the United States 
  • William Petty - overseer for James Monroe


  • Edward O. Goodwin - owner; purchased Highland from James Monroe in 1826


  • Bernard H. Buckner - owner; purchased main part of Highland from Edward Goodwin in 1834


  • Alexander Garrett - owner; purchased Highland from Bernard Buckner in 1837 and changed the name to Ash Lawn; subsequently the ownership of the property changed several times


  • John Massey - owner


  • Jay Winston Johns - owner; purchased Ash Lawn from the Massey family in 1930; bequeathed the property (to be preserved as a historic site) to the College of William and Mary in 1974



Associated Enslaved Persons


  • none recorded yet



Research Leads and Plantation Records


  • none reported yet



Miscellaneous Information


  • none







Users Researching This Workplace


  • none recorded yet


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