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Community Guidelines

"It is for the happiness of those united in society to harmonize as much as possible
in matters which they must of necessity transact together."
--Thomas Jefferson,
Notes on the State of Virginia

The guiding principle of this site is Jeffersonian at its core: we would like it be a place of civil and useful conversation among respectful persons of many perspectives.  Accordingly, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation invites you to interact with its site and other members of the online community, subject to the following conditions:

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Comments

Fred Fichman's picture
Hello to the community! I just joined and wanted to say hello. I hope to become a regular participant with information, comments and contributions to the discussion. To learn a bit more about me you can go to my website(s). Happy to meet all of you here online. Fred, www.frederickfichman.com and www.geographicwestproductions.org
Frederick Fichman
MaximilianGSG's picture
Hallo Im new here. Im currently carrying out research on how Thomas Jefferson was influenced by his mother, father etc. Dös anyone know where I can find suitable information on this Tonic or dös anyone know something? Would be really nice if you could help me out
MaxiGSG98
Julie Stafford's picture
Thank you, Chad!
Julie S.
Julie Stafford's picture
I love the yellow in the dining room. Is there anywhere I can find that shade of yellow for a room in my own home?
Julie S.
cwollerton's picture
Julie, There is a Monticello Yellow in the Ralph Lauren paint collection. We worked with them to develop it, and it is as close as you can get in a commercial paint. Here's some background on it: http://secure.ralphlaurenhome.com/products/paint/Monticello.aspx
Chad
Claudia's picture
The History of the Hemings family is a fascinating piece of American history. I had found it surprising that no one had noted that Jefferson was not just a Great Mind, a Founding Father, a Slave owner, but also a pedophile. He not only owned Sally, he was 3 times her age when the affair started! The age difference alone was enough to have had control over her without slavery! I say this, but I see that this same information is used by Mike R above to insist that the relationship could not have existed. I say no such thing. I do have a question about the children of the other slaves. Does no one else consider the possibility that some number of them are also children of Jefferson? There was something like 6 years between the death of his wife and the start of the relationship with Hemings. Is there some reason to believe that he was faithful to Hemings as she grew older? What we know now about Jefferson / Hemings is just the first step to knowing about all of the offspring of our slave owning founding fathers. Fascinating facts wait to be discovered. Thank you.
Claudia
powersherm's picture
Does anyone use citing? If you cannot name your sources, you are only presenting blather. Please, as I disagree with your statement, if you would only provide some reference. Otherwise, you present only your opinion. If you did not personally know Jefferson, you are potentially libeling him and that is a violation of this website discussion. Can you please provide some citing so I can give you an intelligent and researched response. I would love that!
StudyStrong
cbogart's picture
Thank you, Chad for the answer to my question about the writing machine! I must say that to get to this site, to this comment/question board, has got to be the hardest path I have ever found in any educational process! Please note there is not a 'box to check' where it asks the visitor to 'check this box to receive comment updates to email'. The pulldown is there, yes, but not a 'box' to check. Maybe that is why I am not receiving notifications! Is there a way to make this a bit more user-friendly? I work with these sites every day, and truly, the Monticello site is daunting to the point of frustration at times! Thanks for letting me know if it is better suited to a specific browser, perhaps? (We are using FF at school).
carol b
cbogart's picture
A few years ago on this site I used a wonderful interactive page with my students and I can't find it now. Is there still a page where they can interactively operate the polygraph? Thank you so much for your help!
carol b
cwollerton's picture
Carol, Here's the page for the Polygraph: http://www.monticello.org/images/media/polygraph.mov And here's the Monticello Explorer, which I think your class would enjoy: http://explorer.monticello.org/
Chad
Jsalameh's picture
Our class is studying the Louisiana purchase. Would anyone be able to Skype with my class as an expert to answer any questions they might have. I am a teacher in Louisville, Ky with 31 fifth grade students that get tired of my voice. This would be an informal session with 5th graders. Please email me at: jad.salameh@jefferson.kyschools.us. Thanks
Mr. Jad
mbowyer's picture
Mr. Jad, I'm emailing you directly. We would be happy to work with you on a session with your class. Thanks for contacting us, and I welcome other teachers to get in touch with us if they have similar requests Melanie Bowyer Manager of Digital Education Outreach
Melanie Bowyer
Robert H. Woodman's picture
Could someone please verify the following quote ascribed to Jefferson (with citation to the original document in which it is found)? <i>On every question of construction, let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed. – Thomas Jefferson</i> The quote sounds somewhat like Jefferson, but the only sites I have found using it are political/social conservative sites, with no reference to the original document. That makes me suspicious of its veracity. Furthermore, there is no context for the quote, which makes me wonder what occasioned the comment by Jefferson.
Robert H. Woodman
aberkes's picture
It is a real Jefferson quote, except for one minor textual difference (he didn't say "let us"). It's from a letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823. Here's the letter as printed in the Ford edition: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t3pv6bn68?urlappend=%3Bseq=255 (the letter is actually being printed in the footnotes, not in the main text - it starts on page 226).
Anna Berkes
FactsBeforeFaith's picture
I'm reading Jefferson's, "Notes on the State of Virginia." Does anyone know what the abbreviations "1 El., c. 1" mean from the following quote? "...till the statute of the 1 El., c. 1, circumscribed it..." It's found on the second page of the Religion / Query XVII section. Thanks
FactsBeforeFaith
aberkes's picture
The Peden edition of Jefferson's _Notes_ clarifies this - it refers to a statute in Chapter 1 of the first year of the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1559).
Anna Berkes
Mike Rembrandt's picture
I have read all of the information published about the DNA connection of the Jefferson family to the Hemings family. The evidence shows that there is a POSSIBILITY that Thomas Jefferson fathered some of Sally's children. There are other members of the Jefferson family, including Jefferson's younger brother Randolph, who also could have been the father. Dr. Eugene Foster, who conducted the DNA testing, was very clear about the limitations of his testing. Those who accept this flimsy evidence as fact are, in effect, accusing Thomas Jefferson of rape, since Sally was a slave and Jefferson had control of her life. Such limited evidence would never stand up in a court of law. A tour guide at Monticello told me (and others in the group) last week that Jefferson fathered five of Sally's children. Without conclusive evidence, that is simply a lie.
Mike R
Anne T Pettus's picture
WE NEED YOUR HELP! A JEFFERSON BUILDING IS AT RISK! The Jefferson-designed courthouse in Charlotte Court House, Virginia is considered the most-well preserved and perhaps best example of Jefferson's Virginia courthouses. The village of Charlotte Court House is intact as a historic small town. The courthouse square, with its open grove of oaks, is surrounded by 19th c. buildings: a jail, Treasurer's office, clerk's office and handsome tavern. Across the street are three temple-fronted early 19th c. buildings which function as lawyers' offices. One is owned by the APVA. The courthouse is being upgraded for security purposes. The entire square and integrity of the existing building is at risk of being destroyed by a thoughtless design process which has received no scholarly or professional critique. Please contact me if you are concerned.
Anne T Pettus
nmstaub's picture
How well documented is the relationship between Jefferson's father-in-law and Betty Hemmings? I am always surprised at how much of a given it seems when writers reference the relationship. But I've never read an article or source that first proves the relationship. Could you offer a suggest for a source that addresses the relationship? Or perhaps offer why historians/writers reference it as an indisputable fact?
NM Staub
aberkes's picture
There are a couple of sources for this - see our article on John Wayles (footnote 3): http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/john-wayles
Anna Berkes
whitey12's picture
The Ying and the Yang of Thomas Jefferson Why does Thomas Jefferson fascinate us so? It is amazing that such conflicting components, such seemingly contradictory thoughts, theories and actions are all contained under one roof or should I say in one head. Here is my short list of the Ying and Yang the double sided coin that is Thomas Jefferson. Spoke out against slavery --- Owned slaves his entire adult life Man of the people --- A man of wealth and expensive taste Interpret Constitution narrowly when it came to the Bank---Interpret it widely when it came to moving the Capital to the Potomac Limit executive power---Purchase Louisiana through an executive prerogative Great organizational and administrative skills---Also known as a “disorganizer” Support military action against Barbary pirates---Reduce the size and scope of the navy Honored and supported George Washington---Dishonored and undermined George Washington Friend of John Adams---Enemy of John Adams Against party or faction---The center of the coalescing Republican Party Did not envision a multi-cultural society---Created a mixed race family All men are created equal---well not all The ridiculous to the sublime---Theory about “generations”---the writing of the Declaration on Independence There you have it just some of the incongruous facts about TJ. Craig Werner
Craig Werner

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