Monday, July 13, 2009

A Day at Monticello

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Last Wednesday we spent the day at Monticello, home of the author of these famous words. Thomas Jefferson designed and built his home on the top of a mountain ~ Monticello is Italian for "little mountain". A shuttle bus carried us from the Visitors Center up to the house, where we enjoyed a House Tour highlighting the many fascinating and historic features of the home and furnishings, and a Plantation Community tour, focused on the grounds and the African American slaves that lived on the plantation. It is a beautiful site and all of us found the visit very educational and worthwhile!

Thomas Jefferson was 6'3" tall

Building on top of a mountain was unusual in that day - there was the major inconvenience of having to haul water uphill every day, as well as all other supplies and visitors! But T.J. loved the views and thought that the air was healthier up high. This was his "ocean view" ~ the Atlantic Ocean is actually 80 miles distant, but there is nothing higher than Monticello between here and there!

Mulberry Row - this 1000 ft. lane was lined with workshops like the Nailery, Weaving shop, Joinery, and Smokehouse, as well as slave cabins, and the stable.

Our guide, Marcia, was a wonderful storyteller.

Jefferson's grave

1 comment:

Eve said...

It all looks so beautiful.