Thomas Jefferson survey map up for auction
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - A survey map drawn by Thomas Jefferson of land in Albemarle County is heading to the auction block.
The map was scheduled to be sold at auction Saturday by Quinn & Farmer Auctions in Charlottesville, which estimates the map's value at $8,000 to $12,000.
Jefferson drew the map, known as a plat, for more than 1,300 acres known as Indian Camp. He bought the property in 1795 for his friend, William Short, while Short was overseas.
Quinn & Farmer co-president Ken Farmer told The Daily Progress that one of the map's appeals is the idea of holding something once held by someone as well-known as Jefferson.
"If you're into Virginia history, come see it," he said.
The map changed hands several times and most recently hung on a wall at the Brandon Plantation along the James River in Prince George County.
Brandon's last owner, former Virginia Rep. Robert W. Daniel Jr., put up the plantation for auction earlier this year.
After Brandon went to auction, items inside, including the map and other documents, fell to Quinn & Farmer.
Skip Usury, Quinn & Farmer client services manager, told The Daily Progress that an appraiser thought the map was a reproduction at first. But the 1798 watermark was visible when the map was removed from a frame and held to the light.
"There was a surprise that it was real," Quinn & Farmer co-president Matthew Quinn told the newspaper.
Usry and others from the auction firm took the map to the University of Virginia and Monticello to have it examined.
"The archivist at Monticello looked at it and said, 'Yup, that's our guy,' " Usry said.