Monticello’s Gardens: Classroom Activity
In 1790, while Secretary of State, Jefferson wrote a letter from Philadelphia to his oldest daughter Martha, who was home at Monticello. In it, he asked her to tell him everything that was happening at home, with the family, and in his garden. “There is,” he wrote, “not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.”
Your challenge: Answer Jefferson’s letter on behalf of Martha, giving him a detailed report of the season’s weather and the status of plants in the garden. Base your letter on your research or onsite visit, and post below.
Not visiting Monticello? Write about your home town! Jefferson corresponded with people living all over the world and was always interested in learning about their local climate and growing seasons. In fact, in 1825 Jefferson wrote to the former Governor of Ohio asking if reports of their “mammoth” cucumbers were true. Include your hometown’s name and describe what grows in your native area—he would have wanted to know!
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