“Order of the Fredericksville Parish Vestry Board.” November 25, 1767.

The Order read: “Ordered that Nicholas Meriwether and Thomas Jefferson see laid off two acres of land about the lower church.” In July 1769 the Board recorded that John Walker had conveyed by deed the two acres to the Vestry. The “lower church” was also called the Walker or Belvoir church; today it is called Grace Church.

Nicholas Meriwether (1736-1772) was the son of Thomas Meriwether (of the Loyal Company) and an uncle of Meriwether Lewis. He lived at Cloverfields and married Margaret Douglas, daughter of Parson William Douglas who was a tutor to both Nicholas Meriwether and Thomas Jefferson. Nicholas and Margaret had a son, William Douglas Meriwether, who inherited Cloverfields and was also a surveyor like his father. When Meriwether Lewis returned to Virginia to obtain an education, he stayed with William, who likely passed on some of his knowledge of surveying to his younger cousin. In a letter of 1790, Lewis mentioned that his cousin might teach him geography. William Douglas Meriwether handled the affairs of Meriwether Lewis after his death in 1809.

William Meriwether owned a copy of Robert Gibson’s A Treatise of Practical Surveying; which is demonstrated from its First Principles, the standard work on the subject at that time. Thomas Jefferson also owned a copy of this book.

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