Thomas Jefferson sold his extensive collection of books to the nation in 1815 to replace the congressional library destroyed when the British burned the United States Capitol the previous year. Famously declaring that “I cannot live without books,” he quickly began ordering replacements of titles that were particularly important to him. Despite repeated attempts, however, one title escaped him: a work by John Baxter published in London ca. 1796–1801 and entitled A new and impartial History of England, From the most Early Period of Genuine Historical Evidence to the Present Important and Alarming Crisis.
In Thomas Jefferson’s lifetime, the holidays at Monticello were a time for family gatherings, visiting friends, settling accounts and planning for the new year. For Monticello’s enslaved community, the holiday season was a time for reunion and a possible respite from labor on the Plantation.
Adding a dome to one’s house was unheard-of in America during Jefferson’s time. Domes are complicated to engineer and construct, and when Jefferson brought the idea back from his stint in Europe in the 1780s, it may have seemed an impossible folly.
Thomas Jefferson had an enemy in Alexander Hamilton, a frenemy in John Adams, and his BFF in James Madison. Jefferson and Madison formed a political partnership and personal friendship that made them the dynamic duo of the Founding Fathers.
Monticello has lost a magnificent friend, longtime Trustee (1994-2008), Honorary Trustee (2009-2020), and Summit member, Richard Gilder.
931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway
Charlottesville, VA 22902