In 1788, James Monroe purchased farmland, within the present day limits of the City of Charlottesville, to live closer to his friend Thomas Jefferson. In 1799, James Monroe sold his first farm and established his Highland plantation within proximity of Monticello.
In 1816, the Virginia General Assembly established a charter for Central College within Albemarle County. That same year Thomas Jefferson is elected to Central College’s Board of Visitors and to be the Rector of the College. In 1817, the Board of Visitors, for Central College, purchased the land within James Monroe’s first farm. On October 6, 1817, Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe were present when the cornerstone was laid for Central College in Charlottesville, Virginia.
On February 21, 1818, the Virginia General Assembly approves funding for a publicly funded university that was to be called the, University of Virginia but does not determine a location for that institution. On January 26th, 1819, the Virginia General Assembly votes to establish the Univeristy of Virginia within the site of Central College. Thomas Jefferson is elected to be the Rector for the newly formed Univeristy of Virginia.