"Mr J: came out & joined us—The children ran to him & immediately proposed a race—we seated ourselves on the steps of the Portico, & he after placing the children according to their size one before the other, gave the word for starting & away they flew; the course round this back lawn was a qr of a mile, the little girls were well tired by the time they returnd to the spot from which they started & came panting & out of breath to throw themselves into their grandfather’s arms, which were opened to recieve them; he pressed them to his bosom & rewarded them with a kiss—he was sitting on the grass and they sat down by him, untill were rested; then they again wished to set off; he thought it too long a course for little Mary & proposed running on the terrace—Thither we went, & seating ourselves at one end, they ran from us to the pavillion & back again; “what an amusement,” said I, “do these little creatures afford us;” “yes” replied he, “it is only with them that a grave man can play the fool.” They now called on him to run with them, he did not long resist, & seemed delighted in delighting them."
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Margaret Bayard Smith describing a visit to Monticello

Grampa Jefferkins!

"On the top of the house was a ghan [gong], instead of a bell—why he preferred the Chinese invention, to our mode of calling people together, I cannot tell, except it is on account of its newness and originality. Another was placed in a tree on the lawn, to summon the workmen to their meals."
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Margaret Bayard Smith

Hahaha hah hahahaha haha

Oh TJ

Cockscomb flower in Monticello garden.
yourthomasjefferson:


1.5.1796: “John H. Buck began building a threshing machine for use on my farms. Completed in August of the same year, this first model devised for Monticello was portable, but based on a stationary threshing machine invented by Andrew Meikle in Scotland, and patented by him in 1788. A basic drawing of Mr. Meikle’s thresher is enclosed. 
“Buck begins to work.” — Memorandum Books, 2:935.
Steve Edenbo as Thomas Jefferson: www.YourThomasJefferson.com
Thomas Jefferson on Twitter: @thos_jefferson
Mr. Jefferson’s Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/YourThomasJefferson

yourthomasjefferson:

1.5.1796: “John H. Buck began building a threshing machine for use on my farms. Completed in August of the same year, this first model devised for Monticello was portable, but based on a stationary threshing machine invented by Andrew Meikle in Scotland, and patented by him in 1788. A basic drawing of Mr. Meikle’s thresher is enclosed. 

“Buck begins to work.” — Memorandum Books, 2:935.

Steve Edenbo as Thomas Jefferson: www.YourThomasJefferson.com

Thomas Jefferson on Twitter: @thos_jefferson

Mr. Jefferson’s Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/YourThomasJefferson

#Thomas Jefferson #farming #Monticello #agriculture #threshing #Andrew Meikle

Jeffersongate: The Case of Henry Wiencek

On October 16, Farrar, Straus and Giroux published Henry Wiencek’s third book, Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves. His previous works both dealt with slavery, most notably his well-received An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America. By contrast, his latest work has come under fire from leading Jefferson scholars around the country. Within days of the book’s release, highly critical reviews by academics appeared in online magazines. These reviews started online exchanges that have played out over the last two months and continue to do so.

Historians much more up to the task than myself—including Annette Gordon-Reed, Jan Lewis, and Lucia (Cinder) Stanton—have called into question Wiencek’s use of sources (both primary and secondary), his overall interpretation, and his motives. Therefore, I will not recapitulate all of them here. I have included a chronology with links to all the relevant articles below, with J.L. Bell’s posts at Boston 1775 providing excellent summaries of the most contentious points. Instead, I want to touch on two things: the main part of Wiencek’s argument and how it reflects his broader approach to history and the effects of Wiencek’s treatment of the historiography, both having to do with the larger relationship between popular and academic history.

In Master of the Mountain, Wiencek argues that in the early 1790s Jefferson changed his earlier anti-slavery views and became an avid supporter of the institution, particularly after realizing how profitable slavery was. He also stresses that Jefferson authorized the use of violence at Monticello in an effort to reap the greatest profit possible from his slaves, an aspect of Jefferson which he argues historians have suppressed. Hence, Wiencek argues that Jefferson’s “views and practices on slavery evolved not in moral terms but in commercial ones.” Finally, he adds that Jefferson began to “see slave labor as the most powerful and most convenient engine of the American enterprise” and subsequently “formulated a grand synthesis by which slavery became integral to the empire of liberty.”

An article summing up plenty of the controversy over Wiencek’s book Master of the Mountain, with links to other sources. Go check it out.

Really, I’m not sure what to think of someone who apparently takes a calculation Jefferson made for someone else showing that slavery was profitable and turns it into an epic turning point in Jefferson’s life, where he realized slavery was personally profitable. I mean, you think he didn’t realize slavery was profitable before…? What? And you’d have to be blind to have not to noticed all the historians taking Jefferson to talk on slavery.

"I never said that."

yourthomasjefferson:

Given the penetrating exploration of history evinced by my enlightened coterie here, in this modern iteration of The Republic of Letters, I will venture with some certitude that everyone reading this has experienced annoyance comparable to my own, and possibly even headaches of the like, when suffering the barrage of misattributed, mutilated, or outright fabricated statements which are not only falsely credited to my own provenance, but which are rapidly disseminated by party enthusiasts more concerned with bolstering their own preconceived notions than with enlarging their incomplete understanding. By way of antidote, as well as candle in the darkness, I offer you the work of Mistress Anna Berkes. She is the research librarian at Monticello’s International Center for Jefferson Studies (or “Me” Studies, as I sometimes like to say…). She continues to augment her library of “debunked” quotes, unshackling me from the reckless ignorance indulged in by certain ardent spirits. This article in the Wall Street Journal presents Mistress Berkes’ project with the solemn respect that is due her diligent service. I have relied on her work many times over the last few years, because, at 269 years of age, I cannot possibly hope to remember everything I said and did not say without some help. 


Monticello’s West Lawn
The winding walk defines the perimeter of the leveled, oval-shaped West Lawn. The “smooth, level” lawn was a favorite playground for the children, although the earliest images of the West Front of Monticello reveal a weedy, disheveled surface. The lawn was probably scythed once or twice a year and its appearance inevitably reflected the pre-lawn mower technology of the early nineteenth century.
While there is a reference to sheep browsing on the choice orange trees Jefferson cultivated in the nearby green house, it is doubtful he would allow them to graze on the lawn in such proximity to his flower borders. Edmund Bacon, a Monticello overseer, was instructed in 1808 to manure the “grass grounds” around the house. Instead, he mistakenly covered the lawn with a heavy covering of charcoal. At times, grounds keeping at Monticello seemed like a comedy of errors.

Monticello’s West Lawn

The winding walk defines the perimeter of the leveled, oval-shaped West Lawn. The “smooth, level” lawn was a favorite playground for the children, although the earliest images of the West Front of Monticello reveal a weedy, disheveled surface. The lawn was probably scythed once or twice a year and its appearance inevitably reflected the pre-lawn mower technology of the early nineteenth century.

While there is a reference to sheep browsing on the choice orange trees Jefferson cultivated in the nearby green house, it is doubtful he would allow them to graze on the lawn in such proximity to his flower borders. Edmund Bacon, a Monticello overseer, was instructed in 1808 to manure the “grass grounds” around the house. Instead, he mistakenly covered the lawn with a heavy covering of charcoal. At times, grounds keeping at Monticello seemed like a comedy of errors.

#monticello #thomas jefferson #Founding Father #Founding Fathers


"…the eye settled with a deeper interest on busts of Jefferson and Hamilton, by Ceracchi, placed on massive pedestals on each side of the main entrance— "opposed in death as in life," as the surviving original sometimes remarked, with a pensive smile, as he [Jefferson] observed the notice they attracted."

"…the eye settled with a deeper interest on busts of Jefferson and Hamilton, by Ceracchi, placed on massive pedestals on each side of the main entrance— "opposed in death as in life," as the surviving original sometimes remarked, with a pensive smile, as he [Jefferson] observed the notice they attracted."

#thomas jefferson #alexander hamilton #bust #monticello #Founding Father #Founding Fathers #Giuseppe Ceracchi

"Mr. Jefferson used to say if the county of Fluvanna (lying directly east of Albemarle) was a lake, and Willis’s Mountain a volcano, his scenery would be perfect. There is, indeed, a lack of water in the landscape, but we should be loth to exchange the masquerading mountain for the burning one. As a whole, there are doubtless more extensive, and even more beautiful prospects than this, but they are rare, and are scarcely ever commanded from points having the climate, soil, and easiness of access which render them desirable sites for human dwellings. In all these respects combined, and in healthiness, Monticello possesses advantages over most other situations which can be found in our country."
-Henry Stephens Randall

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