Tomorrow At Monticello

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  • Mon 71° / 43°
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  • Wed 41° / 29°
  • Tha 50° / 30°

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On the Welshness

In his Autobiography, Jefferson wrote:

The tradition in my father’s family was that their ancestor came to this country from Wales, and from near the mountain of Snowdon, the highest in Gr. Br. I noted once a case from Wales in the law reports where a person of our name was either pl. or def. and one of the same name was Secretary to the Virginia company.  These are the only instances in which I have met with the name in that country.

Snowpocalypse 1772!

We are having some calamitous (for Virginia) weather lately - an astonishingly brutal winter altogether so far, in fact.  I'm told the kids are calling it "Snowpocalypse," or "Snowtorious B.I.G."   So I thought it would be nice to shamelessly mooch off some splendid research done by one of my colleagues and bring you a snow-themed post in honor of this snowy weekend; something to do for about 3 minutes while you're snowed in, or, if you are not snowed in, something to feel real good about.

Weekend at Jefferson's

There was a little mini-explosion of chatter over the last week on What Jefferson Thought About Intelligent Design.  I wasn't aware that Jefferson thought about intelligent design, but as we all know, if you use Thomas Jefferson's name in your argument, you automatically win.  Double points for including a relevant quotation.

CSI: Natchez Trace

As I believe I mentioned in a previous blog post, this fall will mark the 200th anniversary of Meriwether Lewis's untimely and weird death on the Natchez Trace.  To prepare for the momentous occasion, I felt the need to read up on the whole debate on the nature of his death: was it suicide, or murder, or something else?  Since at work I have the attention span of a gnat, I am having to keep my background reading cursory, and so my program consists entirely of reading

Alcorans, and the acquisition thereof

Since I set up my Google Alert, which allows me to track when new mentions of "Thomas Jefferson" appear on the Internet, I've been amazed to see that there is almost always a tiny little wave of rhetorical consultations of TJ in reaction to each big news story.  In essence, every time something big happens, people start asking themselves and others, "What would Thomas Jefferson do/say/think about this?" and quoting his writings on the topic and talking about how he dealt with similar problems.  TJ apparently had lots to say about the recent bank crisis; he had the solution to the Somali pirate

An open letter to American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition (2009)

Dear American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition (2009):

That's Al-BE-marle Pippin to you

I was unaware of this, but it seems that our beloved local apple, the Albemarle Pippin, is in fact a native of New York (just like Your Correspondent, here).  The Big Apple has decided to get serious about jettisoning the image of the vile-tasting but very photogenic Red Delicious Apple in favor of the homely-but-yummy Pippin.  This all goes along nicely with the cresting wave of the local food movement, as well.  A blog entry

A wave of pirate comparisons

Jefferson's got something uncannily insightful to say about everything (or so it seems), so I suppose it was only a matter of time before comparisons of the current Somali Pirate Situation to Jefferson's Barbary Pirate Situation starting popping up like daffodils. Just a sideways mention at first. Then a more direct one.

That quotation does exist

I've been curiously watching the flutterings about this in the news for the past week or so - the Seattle Atheists are running a bus ad campaign featuring quotations by Jefferson and some other people. (You can see images of all three ads here.) Before anybody asks, that is in fact a genuine Jefferson quote - it's from a letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787.

A remarkably Jefferson-like habit

The National Weather Service bestows awards each year for outstanding-ness in their Cooperative Weather Observer Program; the award is, appropriately enough, named after Thomas Jefferson.  This year's winner is Brother Anselm of Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas.  TJ would be proud!