Thomas Jefferson

1768 – Work began on the estate that would become “Poplar Forest.”

1770’s – Evangelical Anglican Reverend Charles Clay, friend of Thomas Jefferson, pastored Calvinistical Reformed Church, Charlottesville, VA; later ministered in Forest, VA; buried in family cemetery in Forest, VA, at Ivy Golf Course.

1770 – As early as 1770, James Steptoe worked as Thomas Jefferson’s agent in Williamsburg, having met in college at William and Mary. They would be life-long friends.

1773 – Thomas Jefferson acquired the estate that would become “Poplar Forest” from his father-in-law, John Wayles, some 4,800 acres.

1774, May 12 – Letter from John Hook to Thomas Jefferson, sent by way of Mr. Steptoe, offering to sell Jefferson land adjoining his other properties.

1779, January 5 – Letter from John Hook to Thomas Jefferson complaining about the quality of tobacco he purchased from Jefferson’s overseer.

1780, December 25 – Letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Rogers Clark during the American Revolutionary War, indicating that he would be supplied with “1000lb. of Rifle powder from New London and 1500lb of lead from the lead mines,” presumably from the arsenal at New London.

1781, June 4 – Governor Thomas Jefferson fled Monticello, near Charlottesville, from the British, under Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, to Poplar Forest. This was Jefferson’s first arrival at Poplar Forest. He stayed for about 2 months.

1786 – Thomas Jefferson’s “Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom” made Virginia law, disestablishing state support for the Anglican/Episcopal Church. At some point after this, “The Glebe” was sold. The Presbyterians and the Episcopalians both used New London Church.

1806 – During his Presidency, Thomas Jefferson came to Poplar Forest to supervise the laying of its foundation.

1809 – Thomas Jefferson’s Presidency ended, and he began coming to Poplar Forest 3-4 times per year, even though the house was not yet completed.

1812 – Construction of the main house at Poplar Forest completed.

1816 – Thomas Jefferson began bringing his grandchildren to Poplar Forest.

1823 – Thomas Jefferson made his last trip to Poplar Forest to confer the property on his grandson, Francis Eppes.

1826 – Thomas Jefferson died at Monticello, near Charlottesville, VA.

1828 – Francis Eppes, Thomas Jefferson’s grandson, sold Poplar Forest to a neighbor.