Personal


The 1,200-pound Cheese

Dear Mr. Jefferson,

        I visited your home, Monticello, last Friday, and I had a few
questions to ask you about it.  It is a lovely home, and I enjoyed my
visit very much.  It was especially interesting because we have been
studying it, and your life, in my class, and to get to see it all again
was great.  My favorite room is (not to be improper) your bedroom.  I
love the skylight and the bed in between the two rooms, and the view out
of the window of your room is splendid.  By the way, I have heard that
you spoke several languages fluently, and I was wondering whether or not
one of them was Spanish.  I realize that French was obviously one, along
with Greek and Latin, but what others were there?  I love languages, and
I am taking Spanish 4 this year, and I experimented with a year of French
last year.

        Another question I have for you is whether or not a story I heard
about you and the University of Virginia is factual.  I heard from a
tertiary source that when the University opened, you were idealistically
believing that the young men who would attend the University did not need
rules to guide their behavior because young men of Virginia birth would
behave because it was the right thing to do.  The story continued that
the young men in attendance did not live up to your expectations of them,
and that you were so overcome by emotion that your ideals had been
shattered that you cried while rebuking one of the students; making him
feel terribly guilty that he had upset the Great Jefferson.  Can you tell
me if this is true or not?

        My last question for today, I promise, is whether or not you
liked the Baptist cheese offering.  We learned how all of the Baptists
had saved the milk from the Sunday milkings of their cows from the date
on which you were elected until the date on which you were inaugurated,
making for you a 1600 pound cheese, made only from "Democratic Cows"  and
not any republican cows.  It has been reputed to have remained for 6
years, and so I hope that you enjoyed it, because that is a lot of cheese
to be eaten.  And people complain about leftover turkey from
Thanksgiving! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my letter!

			  Sincerely,
			  Sabrina


Dear Mistress Sabrina,

	I am pleased that you enjoyed your recent visit to Monticello. 
I do indeed speak a number of languages and you have mentioned
them all. In addition to those that I can speak, I am able to read
in Anglo Saxon, Italian, Greek, and Spanish. I taught myself to
read Spanish on the boat to France. German is one language that 
I have never been able to master however.

	It is true that I did not set up a system of rules when the
University was first opened. It was not until after a series of
riots in 1825 that such rules were instituted. I was indeed dismayed
with the actions of the students, of whom one was a nephew 
of mine. It was one of the most painful events of my life. I did not
however cry while rebuking one of the students. I left it to others
to rebuke.

	It is true that in the summer of 1801 Elder John Leland persuaded 
the ladies of his Baptist congregation in Cheshire, Massachusetts to
manufacture a mammoth cheese. I understand that the cheese utilized
the milk of 900 cows and was formed in a cider press that measured 
six feet in diameter. The cheese was transported late in November by 
Mr. Leland and arrived on December 29, 1801. It was presented to me 
by Mr. Leland in a small ceremony at the President's House on New 
Year's Day, 1802. Mr. Leland claimed that the cheese was produced by 
the personal labor freeborn farmers with the voluntary and cheerful 
aid of their wives and daughters, without the assistance of a single
slave. When I later measured the cheese I found it to be 4 feet 4 1/2 
inches in diameter, 15 inches thick, and 1,235 pounds. Indeed it was 
a lot of cheese and it did last for quite a number of years. I last 
recall seeing it at a reception in 1805. It has always been my policy
while in office to refuse gifts and so I paid Mr. Leland $200 for the 
cheese.

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






Jefferson's Birthday

Dear Thomas Jefferson,
     I am from Oakland, Maine and I am wondering about birthday. 
I read that you were born on April 2, 1743 and then the calendar 
some how changed on 1752 and your birthday is now on April 13. 
Why is that? How did the calendar change? And is that true?
 
                     	 Your Firend,
                     	 Stephen 



Dear Master Stephen,

    Thank you for your recent letter. I was indeed born on April 2, 
1743 O.S.  The O.S. stands for old style and refers to the Julian 
calendar which was named after Julius Caesar. You might be interested
to know that our month of July is also named after Julius Caesar. 
Because the Julian calendar had some problems, by 1580 the calendar 
was ten days off from the solar year. Pope Gregory X111 decided to 
correct this error and in 1582 started the calendar that we know 
today, known as the Gregorian calendar. Many countries listened to 
the Pope and changed their calendars in the late sixteenth century. 
The countries of the British empire did not like to take orders from 
the Pope, so they did not follow his rules and did not change their 
calendars until several hundred years later.  By that time, the two 
calendars were 11 days apart and those eleven days had to be added 
to make up the difference. By adding those eleven days, my birth 
date is now recorded as April 13. 

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





Jefferson's Clothing

Dear Mr. Jefferson,

We will be visiting your Monticello home in June, 1999.  Our
Grandparents showed us  your picture on our $2 and the picture of the
signing of the Declaration of Independence which is on the back.
We are curious about the type of clothing you men are wearing.  Were the
knee trousers and hose comfortable (ours today would be because our new
fabrics stretch and give).  Also tell us a little about your buckel
shoes.  Were they just for dressy occasions?
What fabrics were used in your clothing and were they warm?  Did you
have different "costumes" for the summer?

Thank you for taking time to answer us personally.  Everyone is eager to
see your beautiful home.

Sincerely,
Tyler,Carol Ann, Parker, Matt, Alison and Marisa



My dear children,

	Thank you for your recent letter. I am pleased to hear that you 
are to travel to Virginia soon. I hope that you enjoy your visit.	
My clothing is quite comfortable. I have never been know to be one to 
wear the latest fashions and never would be called a macaroni, but 
I do make certain that my clothes are always neat and in good repair. 
Knee britches and hose are indeed quite comfortable. I have recently 
taken to wearing long pants on occasion and have found them to also 
be quite comfortable. I am interested to learn more of your new stretch 
fabrics. Do they grow well in warm southern climates?

	As for my shoes, the buckles are both functional and decorative. 
Shoes can fit either foot and the buckles hold them on. I also have 
a number of other kinds of shoes and boots, but the buckle style is 
quite common. You must remember that many people do not wear any 
shoes, because they can not afford them.

	I have always suffered from the cold and tend to have my 
clothing, especially my winter clothing, as warm as possible. Most 
of my winter clothes are wool, except for my cotton or linen shirt. 
I also have many garments that are lined in some manner with wool 
or fur. As you may imagine, my summer clothing is much less heavy 
and is usually made of linen, silk, or cotton. Hemp is also used 
as a clothing fabric at times. I am also kept somewhat cooler in 
summer since I do not make it a habit to wear a wig at any time 
of the year. I did have to wear one while I lived in Paris, but 
soon tired of spending too many hours under the hands of the 
hairdresser.

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




Jefferson's Education

Dear Mr. Jefferson,
     We are adult learners in Wilmington, DE, and would like 
to know about your schooling before you went to college.

             Thank you,
             Earl, Madeline, Billy and Nedda 



Dear Students,

    Thank you for your recent letter. My father placed me at 
the English school at five years of age; and at the Latin at 
nine, where I continued until his death in 1757. My teacher, 
Mr. Douglas, a clergyman from Scotland, with the rudiments 
of the Latin and Greek languages, taught me the French; and 
on the death of my father, I went to the Reverend M. Maury, 
a correct classical scholar, with whom I continued two years; 
and then, to wit, in the spring of 1760, went to William and
Mary College where I continued two years. I then read law under 
the direction of Mr. Wythe of Williamsburg. 

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






Eyecolor

Dear Mr. Jefferson,

        I would like to know what color your eyes are.  I'm 
drawing a picture to put in my report, and I need to know.

        I'd also like to know if you had a special horse 
when you were a boy.

        Thank you....Melinda
                         Grade 2
                         New Jersey



Dear Mistress Melinda,

	Thank you for your recent letter. I pray that I am not 
too late in answering for you to complete your portrait of 
me. My eyes are hazel, but sometimes have been know to be 
blue. I did not have a special horse when I was a young boy, 
but I have always been a strong admirer of a fine horse.

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




Frontier Life

Dear Mr. Jefferson,

We are Michelle, Tori and Molly. We are students at Laidlaw 
Elementary in Western Springs. Have you ever gotten a letter 
from Western Springs before our class? What was your life 
like on the American Frontier? Was it hard to be one of the 
first presidents? Are we asking too many questions?

Sincerely

Michelle, Tori, and Molly
Grade 5


Dear Mistresses Michelle, Tori, and Molly,

	Thank you for your recent letter. Please excuse my lateness 
in its return, but I have been away from Monticello of late and 
have only recently returned.  I do not believe that I have ever 
gotten a letter from your school before your class recently 
sent me its letters.

	I enjoyed my early childhood at Shadwell, my father's 
plantation. I was however taken from that home as a young child 
and brought to Tuckahoe plantation where my father became the 
guardian for my orphan cousins. Shadwell was a remote plantation 
and we did not always have the latest of things, however my 
father had a nice library and the lands around were beautiful. 
As a child I would often see Indians traveling the three chop 
road on their way from the valley of the Shenandoah in the 
West to the capitol at Williamsburg.

	I have often referred to the office of the presidency as 
one of splendid misery. No man will ever bring out of the 
presidency the reputation which carries him into it.

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





Jefferson's Height

Mr Jefferson:

Could you please tell us how tall you are?  Your beds at 
Monticello seem very big and we wondered how tall you are.

Megan 
Kindergarden



Dear Mistress Megan,


	Thank you for your recent letter. I am 6'2 1/2" tall. 
Many people consider my height to be quite tall, however 
my father was also a  large man. How tall are you?

	My alcove bed is 6' 3" long and it is generally consider 
more healthy to sleep with your back raised up on a number
of pillows.

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





Jefferson's Death

Could you please tell me what mr. Jefferson died from...was 
it old age or some other ailment. Also, was Mr. Madison ever 
aware that he had outlived Thomas Jefferson..

Thank you.
 

Jefferson died, perhaps appropriately, on the fiftieth anniversary 
of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. On June 24, 1826, 
Jefferson's physician was called to his bedside because of an illness, 
and his condition worsened until he lost consciousness on July 2. 
From then on, Jefferson slept fitfully, waking only to inquire whether 
it were yet the Fourth of July. Around noon on the fourth -- 
the Jubilee of Independence -- Jefferson died in bed at the age of 
eighty-three. Coincidentally, his friend, colleague, and co-signer of 
the Declaration of Independence, John Adams, died just hours later 
that day.

Mr. Madison was indeed aware of the death of Thomas Jefferson. James 
Madison did not die until 1836. Due to the slow speed of communication, 
Mr. Adams was not aware of the death of Thomas Jefferson.

Mr. Jefferson's scribe






What Languages Did Jefferson Speak and Read?

Dear Mr. Jefferson,

        I visited your home, Monticello, last Friday, and I had a few
questions to ask you about it.  It is a lovely home, and I enjoyed my
visit very much.  It was especially interesting because we have been
studying it, and your life, in my class, and to get to see it all again
was great.  My favorite room is (not to be improper) your bedroom.  I
love the skylight and the bed in between the two rooms, and the view out
of the window of your room is splendid.  By the way, I have heard that
you spoke several languages fluently, and I was wondering whether or not
one of them was Spanish.  I realize that French was obviously one, along
with Greek and Latin, but what others were there?  I love languages, and
I am taking Spanish 4 this year, and I experimented with a year of French
last year.

        Another question I have for you is whether or not a story I heard
about you and the University of Virginia is factual.  I heard from a
tertiary source that when the University opened, you were idealistically
believing that the young men who would attend the University did not need
rules to guide their behavior because young men of Virginia birth would
behave because it was the right thing to do.  The story continued that
the young men in attendance did not live up to your expectations of them,
and that you were so overcome by emotion that your ideals had been
shattered that you cried while rebuking one of the students; making him
feel terribly guilty that he had upset the Great Jefferson.  Can you tell
me if this is true or not?

        My last question for today, I promise, is whether or not you
liked the Baptist cheese offering.  We learned how all of the Baptists
had saved the milk from the Sunday milkings of their cows from the date
on which you were elected until the date on which you were inaugurated,
making for you a 1600 pound cheese, made only from "Democratic Cows"  and
not any republican cows.  It has been reputed to have remained for 6
years, and so I hope that you enjoyed it, because that is a lot of cheese
to be eaten.  And people complain about leftover turkey from
Thanksgiving! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my letter!

			  Sincerely,
			  Sabrina


Dear Mistress Sabrina,

	I am pleased that you enjoyed your recent visit to Monticello. 
I do indeed speak a number of languages and you have mentioned
them all. In addition to those that I can speak, I am able to read
in Anglo Saxon, Italian, Greek, and Spanish. I taught myself to
read Spanish on the boat to France. German is one language that 
I have never been able to master however.

	It is true that I did not set up a system of rules when the
University was first opened. It was not until after a series of
riots in 1825 that such rules were instituted. I was indeed dismayed
with the actions of the students, of whom one was a nephew 
of mine. It was one of the most painful events of my life. I did not
however cry while rebuking one of the students. I left it to others
to rebuke.

	It is true that in the summer of 1801 Elder John Leland persuaded 
the ladies of his Baptist congregation in Cheshire, Massachusetts to
manufacture a mammoth cheese. I understand that the cheese utilized
the milk of 900 cows and was formed in a cider press that measured 
six feet in diameter. The cheese was transported late in November by 
Mr. Leland and arrived on December 29, 1801. It was presented to me 
by Mr. Leland in a small ceremony at the President's House on New 
Year's Day, 1802. Mr. Leland claimed that the cheese was produced by 
the personal labor freeborn farmers with the voluntary and cheerful 
aid of their wives and daughters, without the assistance of a single
slave. When I later measured the cheese I found it to be 4 feet 4 1/2 
inches in diameter, 15 inches thick, and 1,235 pounds. Indeed it was 
a lot of cheese and it did last for quite a number of years. I last 
recall seeing it at a reception in 1805. It has always been my policy
while in office to refuse gifts and so I paid Mr. Leland $200 for the 
cheese.

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






Jefferson's Middle Name

Dear Mr. Jefferson,
I have read many books about but, I am unsure about a 
very important thing.  What is your middle name?  Or did 
the families in your era not give their children middle 
names?  Thank you very much. 
 
Your friend,
Sarah




Dear Mistress Sarah,

	Thank you for your recent letter. I am pleased to hear 
that you have been reading many books. As for my middle 
name, I know of many people with middle names, but I do 
not have one. 

	Th.Jefferson







Music

Dear Mr. Jefferson, 

    I have just visited Monticello today.  I think it is 
the best house in the world.  Mr. Jefferson was such a great 
man.  I am so honored to see his house.  I am 12 years old.  
When I go to college at UVA, can I be a tour guide at Thomas 
Jefferson's Monticello?  And I also was wondering what kind 
of music did Mr. Jefferson like to play the most on his violin?  
Thank you so much.  I will come and visit his house as soon as 
my Mommy will take me.   

Love,
Sarah



Dear Mistress Sarah,
	
	Thank you for your recent letter. I am pleased that you 
enjoyed your visit to my beloved Monticello. Music is the 
passion of my soul, and fortune has cast my lot in a country 
where it is in a state of deplorable barbarism. I greatly 
admire the works of such European composers as Corelli, 
Campioni, Boccherini, Hayden and Vivaldi. Are any of these 
composers still popular in your day?

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






Old Style vs. New Style Calendars

Dear Thomas Jefferson,
     I am from Oakland, Maine and I am wondering about birthday. 
I read that you were born on April 2, 1743 and then the calendar 
some how changed on 1752 and your birthday is now on April 13. 
Why is that? How did the calendar change? And is that true?
 
                     	 Your Firend,
                     	 Stephen 



Dear Master Stephen,

    Thank you for your recent letter. I was indeed born on April 2, 
1743 O.S.  The O.S. stands for old style and refers to the Julian 
calendar which was named after Julius Caesar. You might be interested
to know that our month of July is also named after Julius Caesar. 
Because the Julian calendar had some problems, by 1580 the calendar 
was ten days off from the solar year. Pope Gregory X111 decided to 
correct this error and in 1582 started the calendar that we know 
today, known as the Gregorian calendar. Many countries listened to 
the Pope and changed their calendars in the late sixteenth century. 
The countries of the British empire did not like to take orders from 
the Pope, so they did not follow his rules and did not change their 
calendars until several hundred years later.  By that time, the two 
calendars were 11 days apart and those eleven days had to be added 
to make up the difference. By adding those eleven days, my birth 
date is now recorded as April 13. 

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





Presidential Friends

Dear President Jefferson,

        Greetings Mr. Jefferson.  We are citizens of the 13th state, 
New Jersey.  We are 5th graders attending an elementary school.  Our 
names are Stephanie & Amanda.  We are learning about your life in school.  
So we would like to ask you some questions.  We were wondering if you 
were close friends with President Washington or any other presidents?  
When Mr. Washington was elected to be the 1st president did you think 
that you could once have that honor? We were also wondering why you ran 
for a second term?  Why did you become a Democratic - Republican?  Do 
you think you were a great president?  We do!

		  	  	   	 	   Your interested friends,
						   Stephanie & Amanda



Dear Mistresses Stephanie and Amanda,

	Thank you for your recent letter. I have much respect for Mr. 
Wahsington. He possessed the love, the vereration, and confidence 
of all. I am also well aquainted with Mr. Adams; we did not always 
get on well in our politics, but have been good friends in our 
correspondences of late. Mr. Madison and Mr. Monroe are also among 
some of my closer friends, as well as being close neighbors to my 
home at Monticello.

	As for my asperations of being president; neither the splendor, 
not the power, nor the difficulties, nor the fame or defamation, 
as may happen, attached to the First Magistracy, have any attractions
for me. I served for two terms because my country needed me and asked 
me to run for office.

	The federalists wished for everything which would approach our
new government to a monarchy, the republicans to preserve it 
essentially republican. This was the true origin of the division, 
and remains still the essential principle of differences between 
the two parties.

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




Jefferson's Religious Beliefs

Dear Mr. Jefferson:
 
   I was reading a biographical sketch of your life 
and was very interested in learning that you religious 
views were closely aligned with those who call themselves 
"atheist" or "agnostic."  Would you please comment on 
your theology? 
 
 	 		   Sincerely,
			   Joshua
 
P.S. How does the character of Thomas Jefferson in Mr. 
Ostrow's musical drama "1776" compare to your true character?                                                            



Dear Master Joshua,

	Thank you for your recent letter. I believe that you are 
mistaken in your assumption that I am an atheist or an agnostic. 
Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously 
reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and
his Maker, in which no other, and far less the public had a right
to intermeddle. I inquire after no man's religion, and trouble 
none with mine; nor is it given us in this life to know whether
yours or mine, our friends' or our foes', is exactly the right.

	As for your second question, I am afraid that I can not 
comment on it as I am not familiar with the drama of which you
refer.

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







The University of Virginia

Dear Mr. Jefferson,

        I visited your home, Monticello, last Friday, and I had a few
questions to ask you about it.  It is a lovely home, and I enjoyed my
visit very much.  It was especially interesting because we have been
studying it, and your life, in my class, and to get to see it all again
was great.  My favorite room is (not to be improper) your bedroom.  I
love the skylight and the bed in between the two rooms, and the view out
of the window of your room is splendid.  By the way, I have heard that
you spoke several languages fluently, and I was wondering whether or not
one of them was Spanish.  I realize that French was obviously one, along
with Greek and Latin, but what others were there?  I love languages, and
I am taking Spanish 4 this year, and I experimented with a year of French
last year.

        Another question I have for you is whether or not a story I heard
about you and the University of Virginia is factual.  I heard from a
tertiary source that when the University opened, you were idealistically
believing that the young men who would attend the University did not need
rules to guide their behavior because young men of Virginia birth would
behave because it was the right thing to do.  The story continued that
the young men in attendance did not live up to your expectations of them,
and that you were so overcome by emotion that your ideals had been
shattered that you cried while rebuking one of the students; making him
feel terribly guilty that he had upset the Great Jefferson.  Can you tell
me if this is true or not?

        My last question for today, I promise, is whether or not you
liked the Baptist cheese offering.  We learned how all of the Baptists
had saved the milk from the Sunday milkings of their cows from the date
on which you were elected until the date on which you were inaugurated,
making for you a 1600 pound cheese, made only from "Democratic Cows"  and
not any republican cows.  It has been reputed to have remained for 6
years, and so I hope that you enjoyed it, because that is a lot of cheese
to be eaten.  And people complain about leftover turkey from
Thanksgiving! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my letter!

			  Sincerely,
			  Sabrina


Dear Mistress Sabrina,

	I am pleased that you enjoyed your recent visit to Monticello. 
I do indeed speak a number of languages and you have mentioned
them all. In addition to those that I can speak, I am able to read
in Anglo Saxon, Italian, Greek, and Spanish. I taught myself to
read Spanish on the boat to France. German is one language that 
I have never been able to master however.

	It is true that I did not set up a system of rules when the
University was first opened. It was not until after a series of
riots in 1825 that such rules were instituted. I was indeed dismayed
with the actions of the students, of whom one was a nephew 
of mine. It was one of the most painful events of my life. I did not
however cry while rebuking one of the students. I left it to others
to rebuke.

	It is true that in the summer of 1801 Elder John Leland persuaded 
the ladies of his Baptist congregation in Cheshire, Massachusetts to
manufacture a mammoth cheese. I understand that the cheese utilized
the milk of 900 cows and was formed in a cider press that measured 
six feet in diameter. The cheese was transported late in November by 
Mr. Leland and arrived on December 29, 1801. It was presented to me 
by Mr. Leland in a small ceremony at the President's House on New 
Year's Day, 1802. Mr. Leland claimed that the cheese was produced by 
the personal labor freeborn farmers with the voluntary and cheerful 
aid of their wives and daughters, without the assistance of a single
slave. When I later measured the cheese I found it to be 4 feet 4 1/2 
inches in diameter, 15 inches thick, and 1,235 pounds. Indeed it was 
a lot of cheese and it did last for quite a number of years. I last 
recall seeing it at a reception in 1805. It has always been my policy
while in office to refuse gifts and so I paid Mr. Leland $200 for the 
cheese.

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

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