Bedroom Portholes


Thomas Jefferson wrote to his daughter Martha in 1815, "In the closet over my bed you will find a bag tied up, and labelled 'Wolf-skin pelisse,' and another labelled 'fur-boots,' wherein those articles will be found."[1]  The "closet" refers to a small storage space above the bed, ventilated by three oval-shaped, porthole-like openings.  The storage space is reached through the doorway to the right of the head of the bed, which conceals a ladder-like set of stairs.



  • 1. Jefferson to Martha Jefferson Randolph, Poplar Forest, November 4, 1815, in Family Letters, 411.

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The portholes led to the place where Jefferson's dreams lived. Needless to say, it was an interesting place. (Though not true, my falsehood is more fun than the closet reality)

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