Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John was the eldest of five children born in Albemarle County to a farmer and Scottish immigrant. His father was also named John Harvie (1706-1767), and his mother was Martha Gaines Harvie (1719-1802). As a boy, he was a friend of Thomas Jefferson, and his father became Jefferson's legal guardian after Peter Jefferson died in 1757. John read for the law and was admitted to the bar before settling in Augusta County.
Harvie built a successful law practice. In 1774 he was named as an Indian commissioner to the Shawnee to negotiate a peace treaty after the Battle of Point Pleasant. Augusta County sent him to the Virginia conventions (the revolutionary legislature) in 1775 and 1776. The following year that body sent him as a delegate to the Continental Congress.
For the rest of the revolutionary period Harvie worked as a purchasing agent and supply organizer for Virginia's militia and Continental Army units. In 1780, he moved to Richmond, Virginia and began work as a land developer and builder.
Harvie built a number of buildings in Richmond and public works in the area. While he was inspecting one of these sites (the Gamble House) on February 6, 1807 he died from an accidental fall from a ladder. He was buried in a family plot at his home, and his family's land later became part of the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.
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