Last year I read “America’s First Daughter,” a book I highly recommend. It is about life in the home of Thomas Jefferson and focuses on his relationship with his oldest daughter Martha, also called Patsy.
Jefferson’s home is Monticello in Charlottesville, Va.; and when I learned that it was near my daughter’s home, I had to go.
Her family and I arrived at Monticello on a weekday at about 11:30 a.m. Due to the crowd, we feared at first that we would be waiting in long lines; but not so.
In spite of the crowd, we bought tickets (about $30 per adult) and were bussed to the front door within 15 minutes. Once on top of the “little mountain,” which is what the word “Monticello” means, we took delight in the cool breeze that blew, in spite of the warm temperatures.
We enjoyed the view of rolling hills in all directions, hills that are similar to our own in this ridge and valley district. The house itself is a majestic place built in the American Neoclassical style. It took Jefferson 40 years to complete it.
He designed amenities in the home and invented many devices to enhance the lives of him and his family and to delight the lives of the hundreds of visitors who often came to meet this third President of the new United States. Ultimately, the expense of his desire to entertain and feed guests contributed toward the family’s having to sell the house and most of its contents after Jefferson’s death in 1826 at Monticello on, fittingly, July 4. He was 83. (Later, the house was re-furnished with many original pieces…
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