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Read what Monticello staff members and guest authors have to say about Jefferson, Monticello, and how they experience Jefferson's experiment every day.

 A sample of Letters from the new collection (Privately Owned).
Thomas Jefferson loved to play chess, sometimes engaging in “four hour games” with his close friend James Madison. Unfortunately, not all of Jefferson’s gaming was so enjoyable. According to his granddaughter Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge, while Jefferson was serving as minister plenipotentiary in...More >>
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Reconstructed pump and cistern
When Jefferson started to build Monticello in the 1770s, he understood that water would always be a scarce resource on the mountaintop. To help solve the problem, the self-trained architect planned to install four cisterns at the corners of the two terraces to collect rain falling on the roof and...More >>
Terry McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia, was the featured speaker at Monticello’s 53rd Annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony—the oldest continuous naturalization ceremony held outside of a courtroom in the United States. Governor's Speech Full CeremonyMore >>
YALI Mandela Fellows at Monticello
This year’s Mandela Washington Fellows have officially arrived on the grounds at Monticello. The 25 young, bright African leaders arrived early yesterday morning. Their first stop at Monticello: a tour of the house! The Fellows eagerly listened as they were guided through the house by Mr. Ed Imhoff...More >>
A wood chip by itself is very modest. Small in size, light-weight, it could easily be lost or thrown away. Happily, the wood chip Thomas Jefferson cut from William Shakespeare’s chair during his 1786 trip to Stratford-upon-Avon comes with an explanatory note. "A chip cut from an armed chair in the...More >>
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Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson Library, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello May 1 – October 31, 2015 Two hundred years ago this week, ten wagons carrying Thomas Jefferson’s personal library set off from his home at Monticello in the Virginia Piedmont on their 125-mile journey to Washington, D.C. Jefferson had sold his...More >>
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Figure 4. Léonie Bell Rose Garden at the Center for Historic Plants; Champneys’ Pink Cluster is the tallest rose on the right side of the image. (Click for a larger image.)
In my family, when it comes to plants named after people, we can't help but speak about them as if they are people too. Someone might ask, "What kind of clematis is that there?" and my mom would answer, "Oh, that's Nelly Moser, she's such a refined and dependable lady." Nelly Moser, the clematis,...More >>
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Watch Rep. John Lewis's speech at Monticello and the entire 272nd commemoration of Jefferson's birthday.More >>
An unusually cold and snowy winter has not deterred Monticello's archaeologists in the quest to advance our knowledge of Jefferson's mountaintop. From November through January, our intrepid crew of archaeological field assistants, led by Field Research Manager Crystal Ptacek, explored the North...More >>
Roof being installed on the reconstructed Mulberry Row slave dwelling.
This winter, as part of the exciting multi-year effort to restore Monticello to its appearance in Jefferson’s time, we are recreating a log dwelling that likely once housed members of the enslaved Hemings family. The recreated 12’ x 14’ log quarter is being reconstructed on Mulberry Row, “the main...More >>



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