Thomas Jefferson's funeral was a simple affair. He was buried in the Monticello Graveyard at 5:00 PM on July 5, 1826, a rainy day and the day after his death. At his own request, the ceremony was simple and quiet. No invitations were sent, but friends and visitors were welcome at the grave. The coffin, believed to have been made by John Hemmings and most likely wooden, was carried to the grave by "servants, family and friends." The service was conducted by the Reverend Mr. Frederick Hatch, rector of the Episcopal Church in Charlottesville.
Primary Source References
6 July 1826. (H.H. Worthington to Reuben B. Hicks.) "I have just returned from Monticello. Tho' the weather was very inclement all of the students, and a great many of the citizens of Charlottesville were present. As the deceased requested there was nothing like pomp or ceremony in the funeral."
- "Jefferson." Charlottesville Weekly Chronicle, October 15, 1875. Account of the funeral by a Mr. Andrew K. Smith, originally published in the Washington Republican. Transcription available online in the Family Letters Digital Archive.
- Richmond Enquirer, July 11, 14, 1826.
- 1. James A. Bear, Jr., "The Last Few Days in the Life of Thomas Jefferson," Magazine of Albemarle County History 32 (1974): 77.
- 2. Henry Horace Worthington Letter to Reuben B. Hicks, July 6, 1826, Accession #1368, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.