Tomorrow At Monticello

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  • Fri 55° / 36°

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Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

A question from a patron prompted me to take another look at the quotation, "dissent is the highest form of patriotism."  This is probably one of the most frequent quotation questions for us, but I haven't taken a fresh look at it for several years.  Google Books has revolutionized the way I search for TJ quotations (which usually turn out to be non-TJ quotations, more often than not), and in this case it helped us pinpoint earlier origins for this quotation.  The general gist is that we can now trace this quotation back to at least the Vietnam era, when it seems to have been

Ask Anna

Ask Ace has Asked Anna again.  This time the burning question regards TJ's celebration of his birthday (or, as it turns out, lack thereof).  I do like the Houdon bust festooned with a pointy party hat.

TJ's Ill-tempered Goat

One of our informants encountered a story, related by one Thomas Bloomer Balch, a Presbyterian minister writing about a visit to Monticello ca. 1839, and remembering his childhood in the D.C. area (published in "Picturesque Narratives. South West Range," The Christian World vol. 3 (August 1843)).  Reverend Balch remembers that during Mr.

Hunting the Wily Jefferson Quotation (Episode 1)

The Internet, it seems, is a breeding ground for spurious Jefferson quotations.  I suppose I shouldn't complain about this, since I secretly (okay, it's not a secret now) enjoy hunting the wily Jefferson Quotation.  Most of the time they turn out not to be Jefferson quotations at all.  I will ruminate on that at some future point, but for now I want to highlight an interesting case in point. 

Don't Go Digging Up the Parking Lot

Sometimes we get inexplicable rashes of questions.  There was the "Jefferson wanting Indians to wear pants" one a few weeks ago (which remains unexplicated).  This past week it's been people asking us if Sally Hemings is buried under the Hampton Inn.  In a disappointing case of fiction being stranger than truth, we don't have any evidence to s