Three Notch'd Road

Last updated

A surviving portion of the road located in Short Pump Three Notch'd Road Short Pump.jpg
A surviving portion of the road located in Short Pump

Three Notch'd Road (also called Three Chopt Road) was a colonial-era major east-west route across central Virginia. It is believed to have taken its name from a distinctive marking of three notches cut into trees to blaze the trail. [1] By the 1730s, the trail extended from the vicinity of the fall line of the James River at the future site of Richmond westerly to the Shenandoah Valley, crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains at Jarmans Gap. [2] In modern times, a large portion of U.S. Route 250 in Virginia follows the historic path of the Three Notch'd Road, as does nearby Interstate 64. [3]

Contents

Jack Jouett's Ride

During the American Revolutionary War, a young Virginian named Jack Jouett is credited with an epic nighttime ride by horseback. He sounded a warning alert at Monticello and the town of Charlottesville of secretly approaching British troops seeking to capture the Governor of Virginia and key members of the Virginia General Assembly. Portions of Jouett's famous ride took place on the Three Notch'd Road.

In late May 1781, after General Benedict Arnold, who had defected to the British, had attacked the Virginia capital of Richmond, Governor Thomas Jefferson and Virginia's legislature, including Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Nelson, Jr., and Benjamin Harrison V fled to Charlottesville, Virginia [4] (Jefferson's home, Monticello, was nearby). Learning of this, British General Charles Cornwallis ordered Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton to ride to Charlottesville and capture them. On June 3, with 180 cavalrymen and 70 mounted infantry of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, Tarleton left his camp on the North Anna River, [4] marching his force covertly. With a fast maneuver designed to catch the politicians completely unaware, he had planned to cover the last 70 miles (110 km) in 24 hours. [5]

Captain Jack Jouett of the Virginia Militia, [6] then twenty-seven years old, was asleep on the lawn of the Cuckoo Tavern (or by another account at his father's house) in Louisa County, Virginia that night [5] when he heard the sound of approaching cavalry and spotted Tarleton's British cavalry. [7] Jouett was acutely aware of the military situation; his father and brother Matthew were also captains in the Virginia Militia, as was brother Robert in the Continental Army. [6] He correctly suspected that the cavalry were marching to Charlottesville, where he knew that the legislature was completely undefended. Realizing the only hope for Jefferson and the legislators was advanced warning in time to escape, Jouett quickly mounted his horse, a bay mare named Sallie, [8] and, as the British paused for a 3-hour rest, began the 40-mile (60 km) ride. Lit by a full moon, he had to ride fast enough to beat the British and warn the Virginians. [5] Reaching Monticello about 5:00 AM, Jouett warned Governor Jefferson, and then went on to Charlottesville, where most of legislators were staying at the Swan Tavern, which was owned by Jouett's father. The legislators decided to flee west on the Three Notch'd Road, cross the Blue Ridge, and reconvene in Staunton, 35 miles (56 km) away, in three days. Jouett's warning allowed most legislators to escape, but seven were caught. On the way west, as the British closed in, Jouett used a diversionary tactic to help General Edward Stevens, who was recovering from wounds he received at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, escape. [5] [9] Recognizing their debt to Jouett, the legislature passed a resolution on June 15, 1781 to honor him, and "Jack Jouett's Ride" became a legendary portion of Virginia's history.

Marquis de Lafayette

Late in the Revolutionary War, Marquis de Lafayette, the General commanding the French troops supporting the Continental Army, camped in Albemarle County along the Three Notch'd Road at Giles Allegre's Tavern (Later named Lafayette Hill Tavern, 37°59′17″N78°18′50″W / 37.988085°N 78.31379°W / 37.988085; -78.31379 ) on Mechunk Creek while guarding important munitions stored at the Old Albemarle County Courthouse located at Scottsville on the James River. [10]

U.S. Route 250

The road's routing west of Short Pump overlaid on a modern map (click to enlarge) Three Notched Road Map.png
The road's routing west of Short Pump overlaid on a modern map (click to enlarge)

Much of the current U.S. Route 250 (established in the 1930s) from Short Pump in Henrico County west to Crozet in Albemarle County closely follows its path. In the City of Charlottesville, which was established near the headwaters of the Rivanna River, West Main Street and part of University Avenue near the University of Virginia follow its original course. [1] In the 1960s and 1970s, Interstate 64 was completed nearby, also closely paralleling the Three Notch'd Road.

In Henrico County, Richmond

Another portion of the old road, now known as Three Chopt Road, runs from Short Pump through western Henrico County and the City of Richmond, ending at the former unincorporated town of Rio Vista at the intersection of State Route 147. Research by the Henrico County Historical Society revealed a map of Henrico County dated 1819 showing the road marked as "Three Chopped Road". Years later, they found the spelling of the road changed to Three Chopt on a map of 1853. [11]

Related Research Articles

Goochland County, Virginia County in Virginia, United States

Goochland County is a county located in the Piedmont of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its southern border is formed by the James River. As of the 2020 census, the population was 24,727. Its county seat is Goochland.

Fluvanna County, Virginia County in Virginia, United States

Fluvanna County is a county located in the Piedmont region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 27,249. Its county seat is Palmyra, while the most populous community is the census designated place of Lake Monticello.

Charlottesville, Virginia Independent city in Virginia, United States

Charlottesville, colloquially known as C'ville, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is the county seat of Albemarle County, which surrounds the city, though the two are separate legal entities. It is named after Queen Charlotte. As of the 2020 census, the population was 46,553. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the City of Charlottesville with Albemarle County for statistical purposes, bringing its population to approximately 150,000. Charlottesville is the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area, which includes Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, and Nelson counties.

Albemarle County, Virginia County in Virginia, United States

Albemarle County is a county located in the Piedmont region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its county seat is Charlottesville, which is an independent city and enclave entirely surrounded by the county. Albemarle County is part of the Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2020 census, the population was 112,395.

Short Pump is a census-designated place (CDP) in Henrico County, Virginia, United States. It is a suburb of Richmond, Virginia. The population was 24,729 at the 2010 census.

Shadwell, Virginia CDP in Virginia, United States

Shadwell is a census-designated place (CDP) in Albemarle County, Virginia, United States, located by the Rivanna River near Charlottesville. The site today is marked by a Virginia Historical Marker to mark the birthplace of President Thomas Jefferson. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places along with Clifton.

John Jouett Jr. was an American farmer and politician in Virginia and Kentucky, but may be best known for his heroic 40-mile (64 km) ride during the American Revolution. Sometimes called the "Paul Revere of the South", Jouett rode to warn Thomas Jefferson, then the outgoing governor of Virginia that British cavalry had been sent to capture them. After the war, Jouett moved across the Appalachian Mountains to what was then called Kentucky County. He thrice served in the Virginia House of Delegates, first representing Lincoln County and later Mercer County before Kentucky's statehood. Jouett also represented Mercer County at the Danville Separation Convention in 1788. He later served three terms in the Kentucky House of Representatives, first representing Mercer County, then adjoining Woodford County.

Rivanna River

The Rivanna River is a 42.1-mile-long (67.8 km) tributary of the James River in central Virginia in the United States. The Rivanna's tributaries originate in the Blue Ridge Mountains; via the James River, it is part of the watershed of Chesapeake Bay.

Michie Tavern United States historic place

Michie Tavern, located in Albemarle County, Virginia, is a Virginia Historic Landmark that was established in 1784 by Scotsman William Michie, though in Earlysville. The Tavern served as the social center of its community and provided travelers with food, drink and lodging. It remained in operation, in the Michie family, until 1910, when it came to be owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1927, the Tavern was purchased by the Josephine Henderson, who had it moved seventeen miles from Earlysville to its present location, close to Monticello.

Virginia State Route 53 State highway in Virginia

State Route 53 is a primary state highway in the U.S. state of Virginia. Known as Thomas Jefferson Parkway, the state highway runs 18.32 miles (29.48 km) from SR 20 near Charlottesville east to U.S. Route 15 in Palmyra. SR 53 connects the county seats of Albemarle and Fluvanna counties. The state highway also provides access to the community of Lake Monticello and Monticello, the estate of Thomas Jefferson. The route of SR 53 became a state highway in 1930; the highway receives its present designation in 1947.

U.S. Route 250 in Virginia

U.S. Route 250 is a part of the U.S. Highway System that runs from Sandusky, Ohio to Richmond, Virginia. In Virginia, the highway runs 166.74 miles (268.34 km) from the West Virginia state line near Hightown east to its eastern terminus at US 360 in Richmond. US 250 is the main east–west highway of Highland County, which is known as Virginia's Little Switzerland; the highway follows the path of the 19th century Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike. From Staunton east to Richmond, the highway serves as the local complement to Interstate 64 (I-64), roughly following the 18th century Three Notch'd Road through Waynesboro and Charlottesville on its way through the Shenandoah Valley, its crossing of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Rockfish Gap, and the Piedmont. In the Richmond metropolitan area, US 250 is known as Broad Street, a major thoroughfare through the city's West End and downtown areas.

Cuckoo, Virginia Unincorporated community in Virginia, United States

Cuckoo is a small unincorporated community in Louisa County, Virginia, United States. It is located about eight miles southeast of Louisa, roughly between Charlottesville and Richmond. The Cuckoo Tavern stood nearby, which in 1781 was the beginning of Jack Jouett's ride to warn the Colonists of the arrival of Banastre Tarleton's British cavalry. There was also a large house named Cuckoo built in 1819 for Henry Pendleton on the former property of William Overton Callis. A historical marker is at the spot. Its post office has been closed.

Castle Hill (Virginia) United States historic place

Castle Hill (Virginia) is an historic, privately owned, 600-acre plantation located at the foot of the Southwest Mountains in Albemarle County, Virginia, near Monticello and the city of Charlottesville, and is recognized by the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. Castle Hill was the home of Dr. Thomas Walker (1715–1794) and his wife, Mildred Thornton Meriwether. Walker was a close friend and the physician of Peter Jefferson, and later the guardian of young Thomas Jefferson after his father's death.

Early life and career of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, was involved in politics from his early adult years. This article covers his early life and career, through his writing the Declaration of Independence, participation in the American Revolutionary War, serving as governor of Virginia, and election and service as Vice-President to President John Adams.

Virginia in the American Revolution

The history of Virginia in the American Revolution begins with the role the Colony of Virginia played in early dissent against the British government and culminates with the defeat of General Cornwallis by the allied forces at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781, an event signaled the effective military end to the conflict. Numerous Virginians played key roles in the Revolution, including George Washington, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson.

Albemarle County Public Schools

Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) is a school district serving Albemarle County, Virginia. Its headquarters are in the City of Charlottesville. ACPS serves approximately 14,000 students in preschool through grade 12 in Albemarle County, Virginia, the sixth largest county by area in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A diverse locality of 726 square miles in the heart of Central Virginia, Albemarle County is a blend of primarily rural, but also suburban and urban settings.

Scottsville Historic District United States historic place

Scottsville Historic District is a national historic district located at Scottsville, Albemarle County and Fluvanna County, Virginia. The district encompasses 153 contributing buildings, 1 contributing site, and 4 contributing structures in the town of Scottsville. The district includes commercial, residential, religious, factory and warehouse buildings in a variety of popular architectural styles including Federal, Georgian, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Prairie, Colonial Revival, and Craftsman. Notable buildings include Scottsville High School (1920), Riverview (1817), Chester (1847), Belle Haven, Oakwood, Herndon House (1800), The Tavern (mid-1700s), Scottsville Presbyterian Church (1832), Disciples Church (1846), Coleman's Store (1914), and the Fore House (1732). Located in the district and separately listed are Cliffside and Mount Walla.

Lewis Farm United States historic place

The historic home listed as Lewis Farm, also known as The Farm and John A. G. Davis Farm, is located at Charlottesville, Virginia. It was built in 1826, and is a two-story brick dwelling with a low hipped roof and two large chimneys. On the front facade is a Tuscan order portico with a terrace above. The house was built by individuals who worked with Thomas Jefferson on building the University of Virginia. Its builder, John A. G. Davis, was law professor at the University of Virginia and was shot and killed outside Pavilion X by a student in 1840. During the American Civil War, Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer set up temporary headquarters at the house where he remained for three days.

Dr. Charles Everett, his surname was also spelled Everette and Everard, was an American physician and planter from Albemarle County, Virginia. He was a physician to three American presidents, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison. He was also a private secretary to Monroe. He served twice in the Virginia House of Delegates in the 1810s. He purchased land from Jefferson that had been part of the Shadwell tract that became known as Everettsville. He lived his mid- and later-years on the Belmont Plantation. He owned slaves in the 1800s, and later decided that slavery was a sin. He freed them and his will stipulated creation of a community Pandenarium for them in Pennsylvania, a free state.

Belmont Plantation (Albemarle County, Virginia)

Belmont Plantation, also known as Belmont Estate and Belmont, is a locale in Albemarle County, Virginia, and the site of a 19th-century plantation. It was among the first patents in Albemarle County, patented in the 1730s. Matthew Graves sold a 2,500-acre-tract to John Harvie Sr., a friend of Peter Jefferson and a guardian of Thomas Jefferson. After his death in 1767, the property was inherited by his son John Harvie, Jr. Harvie lived at Belmont for several years, but after he was appointed the Registrar of Land Grants, he moved to Richmond, Virginia and John Rogers oversaw the plantation. Rogers was known for his progressive approaches to agriculture, including methods for improving the quality of the soil after years of tobacco crops.

References

  1. 1 2 "Three Notch'd Road". Charlottesville.org. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  2. "The Route of the Three Notch'd Road : A Preliminary Report" (PDF). Virginiadot.org. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  3. "The Route of the Three Notch'd Road : A Preliminary Report" (PDF). 3chopt.com. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  4. 1 2 Archived August 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. 1 2 3 4 Archived June 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  6. 1 2 "Captain Jack Jouett's Ride to the Rescue : The Colonial Williamsburg Official History & Citizenship Site". History.org. November 5, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  7. "Jack Jouett". Americanrevolution.org. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  8. Archived February 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  9. "Newspaper Article: Jack Jouett, the 'Paul Revere' of the South, Rode to Save Jefferson". Richmondthenandnow.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  10. "Three Notch'd Road - Virginia Historical Markers on". Waymarking.com. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  11. "Henrico County (Virginia) Historical Society - Henrico County's Three Chopt District". Henricohistoricalsociety.org. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
KML file (edithelp)
    KML is from Wikidata