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Dabney Carr

Dabney Carr
Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court
In office
February 24, 1824 – January 8, 1837
Personal details
Born (1773-04-27)April 27, 1773
Goochland County, Virginia
Died January 8, 1837(1837-01-08) (aged 63)
Richmond, Virginia
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Carr
Alma mater Hampden-Sydney College
Profession Lawyer, writer, judge

Dabney Carr (April 27, 1773 – January 8, 1837) was a Virginia lawyer, writer and a justice of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.


Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Dabney Carr, 1826. Library of Congress

Carr was born at Spring Forest, a Goochland County, Virginia, plantation just three weeks before the death of his father, also named Dabney Carr, brother-in-law and close friend of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson took an active role in the support and education of his nephew after his father's death. He attended Hampden-Sydney College and returned home to study law with William Wirt, who was just one year older. The two men remained friends for the rest of their lives. An extensive collection of their letters can be found in the Manuscripts Department, Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He married his paternal cousin, Elizabeth Carr in June 1802. His nephew, Dabney Smith Carr, was a newspaper publisher and later was U.S. Minister to the Ottoman Empire (1843–49).

Carr started practice in Albemarle County and, in 1811, became Chancellor of the Winchester District. Using the pseudonym Obediah Squaretoes, Carr contributed an article to William Wirt's The Old Bachelor (1814). In 1824, he was elected a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals and held this office until his death.

He is interred in Richmond's Shockoe Hill Cemetery.


External links

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