From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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Elk Island[1] is a long island located in Goochland County, Virginia. It hugs the north shore of the James River from about 2 1/2 miles northwest of Pemberton to 1 1/2 miles east of Columbia. This island, very productive agriculturally, has many Indian artifacts and was patented by John Woodson and Charles Fleming on June 16, 1714.[2] Part of the land was later owned by Thomas Jefferson, who purchased 307 acres in 1778 that included the house owned by John Wayles. On September 21, 1778, Jefferson bought Elk Hill and 307 acres from Henry Skipwith. It was at this Elk Hill that General Cornwallis made his headquarters for a week in June 1781. In 1782, Jefferson purchased 312 adjoining acres, including the grist mill on Byrd Creek.


  1. This article is based on research notes, "Elk Island", Jefferson Library.
  2. Patent, Vol. 10:166.

Further Sources

  • Goochland County Historical Society Magazine, 3(1): 6.