Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Trip to Monticello

Monticello was the plantation of Thomas Jefferson. 2,500 of the 5,000 acres are owned by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and they maintain the property which as been open to the public for 90 years. It is located near Charlottesville, Virginia

We first took a tour of the house that he designed and had built after inheriting the land from his father. He also inherited his fathers salves and he was only able to afford to built it by selling some of the slaves. The house is around 11,000 square feet and has 43 rooms. There are also 13 skylights which was something new in that day. In the 40 years he lived there he was constantly designing and redesigning the house. There is also a library which has some of the thousands of books he owned. He was a voracious reader.He sold many of the books to the Library of Congress in DC after a large fire burned most of the Library's books during the war of 1812. There was another fire later and two thirds of the over 6,000 books they received from Jefferson were burned. The Library of Congress, through a generous grant, are attempting to replace the books they got from Jefferson. We couldn't take pictures of the inside of the house but took some of his gardens which are quite extensive. There were 100's of types of vegetables and fruits planned n his gardens and many from different countries.

We also took a tour on slavery and the plantation. It is hard to believe that the person who wrote the Declaration of Independence with its freedom and liberty for all, would own slaves. At any time there were around 130 slaves working on his estate. He was said to abhor slavery and would have worked to abolish it if a piratical solution could be found. However, when he died he still had slaves. It shows that even some of our greatest heroes can be flawed. It was an interesting and enlightening visit.

On our way back to the campground we saw several deer. Our last night in Virginia gave us another beautiful sunset. We are next headed to North Carolina.
Stay tuned ya all.

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