Saturday, January 16, 2010


In 1809, at the age of 65, after a life of serving his country since 1769, Thomas Jefferson retired to spend the rest of his life with his family at his home, Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia. He had been a Virginia Burgess, a delegate to the Continental Congress, Governor of Virginia, Ministre Plenipotentiaire to France for the newborn United States, Secretary of State, Vice President, and President.

Well, he sorta retired. He held no more public titles and no longer traveled to far-off places like France or Philadelphia. But he still kept up a lively correspondence with statesmen and scientists, and worked on his pet project, a modern university for the state of Virginia, where young men could be educated to be leaders of the new United States of America. Still, his life could finally revolve around his home and family. By 1810, 200 years ago, Monticello was (finally!) mostly finished, and Mr. Jefferson had traded in the role of statesman for that of Sage of Monticello and just plain Grandpapa.

This blog is a window back to that time and place. Like looking through a window, only a small part can be seen, but the view is candid and immediate.

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