Archibald Stuart

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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Archibald Stuart[1](1757-1832), lawyer and judge, read law under Thomas Jefferson. The relations between Stuartand Jefferson were friendly, although Stuart was years younger. He attended the College of William and Mary from 1777-1780. In March 1781, Stuart served in the Augusta and Rockbridge militia at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina.

Family tradition that Stuart read law at Monticello is based on this brief notation from a biographical sketch of Archibald Stuart by his son, Alexander Hugh Holmes Stuart:

"...Archibald Stuart spent the greater part of next year (?) in the study of law with Mr. Jefferson" [2]

Since Stuart was a student and soldier up until about 1781, it can be assumed that he was at Monticello after this date. This period was well beyond August, 1774 when Jefferson ceased to practice law; however, it must be noted that Jefferson's interest in it and in young students never wavered. After Stuart become a lawyer, he looked after Jefferson's interests on "the other side of the mountain," which included collecting debts owed for the sale of Monticello nails and paying taxes on the Natural Bridge.


  1. This article is based on James Bear, Monticello Research Report, 1962.
  2. Virginia Historical Society Collections, volume X.