Dabney Carr (1743–1773)

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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Dabney Carr (1743-1773) was one of Jefferson's closest friends. Carr was born at Bear Castle, a thousand acre farm in Louisa County, Virginia. His childhood is unknown. However, he met Jefferson at the Maury school in Albemarle county. Both men went to the College of William & Mary and studied law. In July 1765, Carr married Martha Jefferson, Jefferson's sister, on July 20, 1765.

The Carrs moved to Goochland county and Dabney focused on politics. He won a seat to the House of Burgesses in 1771 and in 1772. By 1773, relations with the colonists and royal authority were becoming strained with the Stamp Act, the Townshend Act, the burning of the British revenue schooner Gaspee in Rhode Island, and the creation of a special court that could sent colonists to England for trial. Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore held a special session and patriots such as Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, and Jefferson, took the opportunity to develop a resolution to create an inter-colony correspondence committee. Carr delivered the resolution on March 12 and it would create a standing committee to maintain correspondence with other colonies and obtain intelligence on Parliament's actions regarding the colonies. It passed and it began work the next day.

This resolution helped create a Continental Congress by 1774. However, Carr did not live to see its consequences as his health failed and he died on May 16, 1773. Jefferson buried his friend in the Monticello Graveyard.

See Also

Further Sources

  • Simpson, Jr. William S. "Dabney Carr: Portrait of a Colonial Patriot," Virginia Cavalcade. 23 (Winter 1974): 5-13.