Dabney Carr (Virginia assemblyman)

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Dabney Carr (October 26, 1743 – May 16, 1773) was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and brother-in-law of Thomas Jefferson. Two of his sons, Peter Carr, and Samuel Carr were members of the House of Delegates and were, for a period of time, suspected of fathering children with Sally Hemings.


Carr was born on October 26, 1743 to John and Barbara Carr (née Overton) at Bear Castle, a large farm in Louisa County, Virginia. He was educated at Rev. Maury's school, then studied law at The College of William & Mary at the same time as his friend, Thomas Jefferson. Carr married Jefferson's younger sister, Martha, in 1765 and they lived at his plantation, Spring Forest, in Goochland County.

In 1771, Lousia County voters elected Carr to the Virginia House of Burgesses, alongside Richard Anderson, and re-elected him in 1772. In March 1773, Carr proposed the creation of a Committee of correspondence to help coordinate communication between Virginia and other colonies. He died of a fever soon afterward, on May 16, 1773, a few weeks after the birth of his sixth child, Dabney Carr, and Thomas Jefferson finished his legislative term.[1]

Pursuant to a boyhood promise, Jefferson buried Carr on the grounds of Monticello, and helped his widow raise Carr's children.[2][3] His grave marker notes Jefferson "who of all men, loved him most".



  • Dabney Carr at the Jefferson Encyclopedia
  • Encyclopedia of Virginia biography. v.2. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. 1998. p. 63. ISBN 0-8063-1548-2.
  • 'Dabney Carr (1743-1773)', Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, monticello.org

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