Family


Grandparents

Dear President Jefferson,

I hope my questions are not too difficult to answer.
My first question is what are your grandparents names.
My second question is after Burr killed Hamilton were you
happy with your second Vice President? What were your
hobbies? My hobby is poetry.

Please write back.

Your eager pupil,

Michelle
Grade 6

Dear Mistress Michelle,

Thank you for your recent letter. Your questions were indeed not
too difficult to answer. My grandparents on my mother's side were
named Captain Isham Randolph and Jane Rogers Randolph. My father's
parents were named Thomas and Mary Field Jefferson.

As for your second question, I can tell you that I was much
more pleased with Mr. George Clinton, my second Vice President,
than I was with his predecessor. I did not however support him
for President after I retired. Instead I supported my long time
friend Mr. Madison.

I have many hobbies and interests. I greatly enjoy music
(it is the passion of my soul), gardening, designing buildings,
reading, and spending time with my grandchildren. I am pleased
that you are an admirer of poetry. Have you perchance read
anything by my favorite poet Ossian. His pieces have been and
will, I think, during my life continue to be to me the sources
of daily and exalted pleasures. I am not ashamed to own that
I think this rude bard of the North the greatest poet that
has ever existed.

I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
Th.Jefferson


Inheritance and Primogeniture

Dear Mr. Jefferson,

I am studying about your life and I have a few questions.
My name isJenna and I am reading a book about your life and
would like to get into more detail.

My first question is about your family. I know that you
came from a large family and I was just wondering if being in
a big family affected your decisions as president (having
experience in a group of people). My next question relates
to your slaves practicing their religion. I have heard that
you allowed them to have their own religion and you were not
worried about them revolting, why is that? This question
is about your estate (Monticello). Why did your father
choose you to inherit the land and not your siblings?

During your life would you say that you spent more
time at home or more time out and abroad, as president.

Thank you for your time.
Jenna

Dear Mistress Jenna,

Thank you for your recent letter. Please excuse me for not
responding to it sooner, but I was away from Monticello and
have only recently returned.

I did indeed come from a family of some size, however it
was not unusually large by the standards of my day. My
daughter Martha has had twelve children - eleven of whom
have survived past early childhood. I do not think that
the size of my family has had an impact on my decision
making abilities. I would probably attribute it more
to my education.

I do indeed allow my slaves to practice their own
religion. I do not follow your argument; why would this
necessarily lead to slave revolts?

As for my inheritance of Monticello, as the eldest
son of my father, I fell under the laws of primogeniture.
The English law of primogeniture assured that the eldest
son received all of his father's lands. My father was
generous to my younger, and only, brother Randolph to
whom he gave some lands along the James River near
Scottsville. My sisters received no land and upon their
marriages were given other kinds of property such as
slaves, money and household goods. Once a woman is
married all of her possessions become the property of
her husband. As for the law of primogeniture, it no
longer exists since I was instrumental in having it
revoked in Virginia.

Your last question is a difficult one to answer
since I have never thought of it before. I have spent
many many years away from Monticello in service to
my country and to my state. Since my retirement in
1809 however, I have spent most of my time either at
Monticello or my Bedford County home, Poplar Forest.

I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
Th.Jefferson


Did Jefferson Have Pets?

Dear Mr. Jefferson:

We are studying about Presidents in my class and I'm your
biggest fan. What was the hardest part about writing the
Declaration of Independence? What kind of pets do you have?
How does it feel like to be a president?

Jakob

Dear Master Jakob,

Thank you for your recent letter. I am pleased to hear
that you are an admirer of mine. I believe that the most
difficult part of writing the Declaration of Independence
was listening to the delegates of the Second Continental
Congress debate its merits.

We have a number of animals at Monticello, but most of
them are farm creatures. I do however have a pet mocking
bird named Dick. Do you have any pets?

You ask what it felt like to be president. I have often
said that no man will ever bring out of the presidency the
reputation which carries him into it. The second office of
the government is honorable and easy, the first is but a
splendid misery.

I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
Th.Jefferson


Did Jefferson Ever Feel Sad?

Dear Mr. Jefferson,

How are you? I am doing fine incase you ask. I am
doing a travel report with my friend. We were to choose a
place to go from the West coast to the East coast just to visit. Karla
and I chose to go to "The Home of Thomas Jefferson". So, here I am
writing (typing) to you. It is a hastle just trying to find something
about this subject. It shall be a 15 day trip. So far we are on the
third day of it. I'd like to know personally from you and not from
anybody other than you, how old are you? Also, was it ever scary or sad
in your house when you used to live there?

Well, I hope to hear from you soon.

Love, Ms. Fisk & Ms. Gonzales

Dear Mistresses Fisk and Gonzales,

Thank you for your recent letter. You ask my age, but I will let
you do the mathematics on this question. If I was born on April 13,
1743, how old am I? I can not say that I was ever scared while living
at Monticello, however I can not say that the same can be said about
being sad. I have had much sadness in my life, especially with the
death of my dear wife Martha after ten years of uncheckered happiness.
I have also lost four of our six children during their early years.
Even my daughter Mary died as a young woman. I am thankful that my
daughter Martha and her strong and robust family spend much time with
me at Monticello and the voices of children can often be heard.

I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
Th.Jefferson


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