Born: before 1790
Died: after 1828
Family relationship: Son of Dick and Hannah; brother to Dick, Wilson, Spotswood, Jesse, Nelson, a sister (name unknown) and two younger brothers (names unknown)
Charles was born enslaved to the estate of Charlottesville resident Peter Marks, who purchased property from James Monroe in 1790 and mortgaged 33 individuals as part of the agreement. Marks died in 1795 before paying his debt to Monroe. Charles was then purchased for James Monroe by his uncle, Judge Joseph Jones, while Monroe was abroad serving as Minister to France. He was sold locally in Virginia between late 1827 and early 1828. This local sale meant that Charles was not part of the group sale from Highland to the Florida territory in 1828.
More about the transaction between Marks and Monroe: http://www.histarch.illinois.edu/highland/ashlawn3.html
James Monroe and Peter Marks Memorandum of Agreement
“Sepr 26th 1790.
Memorandum of an agreement between James Monroe of the one part, & Peter Marks of the other part, both of the county of Albemarle witnesseth the said James sells to the said Peter his lots & improvments in the town of Charlottesville consisting of the acre of ground whereon his dwelling house stands, & the lot below the main street where his stables &c stand, with all the improvments thereon, for the sum of fifteen hundred pounds. Which the said Peter hereby contracts to pay to the said James at the expiration of ten years from the present date & in the interim to pay him an annual interest on the said sum of fifteen hundred pounds at the rate of 5 pr centm & hereby further engages as a security for the payment of the said sum to give to the said James a mortgage on the said property & upon the following slaves viz Sud, Hannah, and another woman of the name of Hannah, Patt, Jane, Lucy, Jane, Pug, Polly, China, Dinah, Francis, Milley, Sally, Georgiana, Ann, Harryson, Rachael, Critty, Milley, Dick, Armstead, Jesse, Spotswood, Dick (son of Dick), Wilson, Charles, Thomas (or Tom) Nelson, Reuben, Randolph, York & Julius, amounting to thirty three in number. It is further agreed on the part of the said James that the said Peter shall have all the pine plank and other materials excepting the plank already planed for one room & the walnut plank. The said Peter also agrees to give seperate bonds for the annual interest. And it is also agreed that the said agreement shall be fully executed at a future day convenient to the parties. The said James agrees that the said Peter may immediately take charge of the said property, allowing sufficient room for the accomodation of the furniture of the said James & for his family till his houses are ready to receive them on his farm. To all wh they respectively bind themselves their heirs Exrs & admrs firmly by these presents sign’d seald & delivered in presence of
John Steele Jas Monroe (seal)
Tho Bell Peter Marks (seal)
Jos Jones Monroe”
Courtesy of the Papers of James Monroe: http://monroepapers.com/items/show/467
Joseph Jones to James Monroe
“Fredg 16th Janry 1796
P. Marks is also dead I before informed you of the death of his wife. In consequence the Trustees have agreed to sell the negros and Lotts to raise the amount of your demand …
The last Court day was appointed for the Sale, I attended But the business was but in part done one half of the Slaves not appearing, all except three that were present were sold and very high. It was my intention to have bought old Dick his wife and all the children as the best Characters among them but on the day of sale I found there was little hope of effecting my design as Dick had prevailed on one of the Marks to buy him and allow him the privilege of working out his freedom. Hudson Martins wife was anxious to get a boy called Dick abt 15 or 16 years old on acct of his having been brot up among her children and the next youngest boy Wilson I think some other had promised to buy so that the first sold for upwards of £100 and the last for upwards £95.
Hannah the mother and three small Boys I have purchased for you at the price of £145. She is the mother of Jesse and esteemed a good Servant and tolerable good Cook the youngest boy abt a year old the eldest six or seven – Spotswood who lives with Watson and another called Charles who last year lived with Bob Jouett are yet to sell also a very likely young mulatto woman and child a Daughter of Hannahs—also an elderly man called Julius who lived last year with Hog but who was unable to attend the former sale. I shall endeavor to buy for you Spotswood and Charles as the mother and themselves are desirous of being together but they will particularly Spotswood go very high as Watson and others want him and Watson has offered for him 100£ he will sell for at least 120£–Negros are near 50% higher than a few years past greatly I think above their worth but the late high prices of wheat corn and Tobacco have occasioned it, they hire now at 20 pr ann. for a man—dear as they are I shall endeavor to buy Spotswood Charles and Julius as you much want hands and having not hired any for the present year it is indispensably necessary to add to Solomon his wife and Jesse at Hogs some others if to be got.”
Courtesy of the Papers of James Monroe: http://monroepapers.com/items/show/1058
Account Book of James Monroe
May 4, 1802
“pd for two hats for Reuben & Charles 8. -”
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, James Monroe Papers, https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss33217.011_0220_0324/?sp=56
“Coats Breeches — Shirts
Joe / ______ /_______ /_____
Waterman Joe / _____ / ______ /________
Joe Fox /_________ /_______ /
George / __________
Charles /___________ /
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, James Monroe Papers: https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss33217.004/?sp=791&r=-0.157,0.014,1.239,0.697,0
1810 blanket list inside account book of expenses in Paris, June 1794–April 1797
It is curious that Monroe made a list in 1810 within an account book from thirteen years prior; this action could reflect a shortage of paper. This list is most likely based at Highland because Monroe spent 1810 primarily at Highland, and often referred to a “mountain” tract at the property.
“Blankets 1810. mountain
Joe & wife 2. Cyrus 1.
Charles—1. Ralph 1.
Dick— Peter 1.
Billy—1 <Illegible> 1
Joe watermn 1.
Image courtesy of the James Monroe Museum. Transcription courtesy of the Papers of James Monroe.
Albemarle County Deed Book (25:143)
April 5, 1825
James Monroe mortgaged Limestone Farm and 21 enslaved people to John Hooff, Cashier of the Farmer’s Bank of Alexandria for $4,735.76. It is difficult to determine whether the individuals listed are at Limestone or at Highland.
“Have granted bargained and sold aliened released and confirmed and by these presents do grant bargain and sell alien release and confirm into the said John Hooff and his heirs a tract of land in the County of Albemarle and the State of Virginia about three miles below Mill on and about one mile from the Rivanna a branch of the James River consisting of seven hundred and eight acres divided into two farms, with a good framed Dwelling house and other improvements on each. Also the following negro slaves, Jesse, Charles, Nelson a Blacksmith, all young men and brothers, William a Carpenter, Joe and Eve his wife and their four children, Armstead and Zachariah both young men, Toby and Betsy his wife with their three children, Solomon and Nancy his wife, Ned & Peggy his wife.”
James Monroe to James Madison
“OAK HILL Sepr 23d. 1827.
The sale of my slaves, &ca, in Albemarle, it is expected will take place in Novr. so that it will be very pa[in]ful to me, to attend there, at the next meeting You shall however hear from me on the subject.”
Courtesy of Founders Online: https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/99-02-02-1119
Advertisement from the Richmond Enquirer, 2 November 1827
Charles would have been among the enslaved advertised in this sale:
Courtesy of Early American Newspapers Series 1-5 (1690-1922)
James Monroe to Samuel L. Gouverneur
“Oak Hill 11 Jan. 1828
I have to day rec’d, a letter from Mr. Watson, who informs me, that he had sold Nelson & Charles only, the first at £700, the other at £400. The rest of the people, remain undisposed of, and the sale to Col. White, or any other person, is uncertain … By selling my negroes I may obtain bonds & as the people who purchase them will be known to the [illegible] which they will take, and by being at liberty to sell them to whom, I please, I may get better prices for them, as I presume, than if I sold all to one person.”
Courtesy of New York Public Library, James Monroe Papers
James Monroe to Dr. John Brockenbrough
Charles would have been one of “those sold in the neighborhood”:
“Oak Hill February 6, 1828
… Col. White of Florida then offer’d to purchase, the whole number, with the exception of those sold in the neighborhood in payment of debts there, and to take them on valuation, to be made by impartial persons.
…The list which I sent you, which I proposed as a substitute, I thought, presented others much more valuable, the [?] being grown & active servants, most of them, and many of the others infants, or very young – I saved now others to add to them, who will more than make up the difference, between the two [illegible]. Not having retained the names, of those sent, I may include some of them in this, but in that case, I will substitute others, having still some others.”
Courtesy of New York Public Library, James Monroe Papers
James Monroe to James Madison
Charles would have been one of “a few sold there”:
“OAK HILL March 28th. 1828.
I send you a copy of my memoir, which has been reprinted in a pamphlet, under the direction of my friends in Albemarle. I have sold my slaves in that county, to Col: White of Florida, who will take them in families, to that territory. He gives me for them, (with the exception of a few sold there) five thousand dolrs., which are paid, by obtaining for me, a release in that amount, from J. J. Astor, for a loan obtain’d of him in the late war, offerd by himself, on hearing that I was pressd for money—”
Courtesy of Founders Online: https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/99-02-02-1351