Color: White

Purpose of Room: Greenhouse for growing plants; location of Thomas Jefferson's workbench; possibly home to a pet mockingbird

Unusual Architectural Features: Part of Jefferson's suite of private rooms that included his book roomwriting office (Cabinet), and bedroom; flanked by two "Venetian porches"

Furnishings of Note: Work table and tools, as well as flowers, seeds, and flats for sprouting seeds

Primary Source References

1780s. (Isaac Granger Jefferson). "My old master was as neat a hand as ever you see to make keys & locks & small chains, iron & brass. He kept all kind of blacksmith and carpenter tools in a great case with shelves to it in his library ... been up thar a thousand times; used to car coal up thar. Old master had a couple of small bellowses up thar."[1]

1807 November 9. (Ann Cary Randolph to Jefferson). "Ellen & myself have a fine parcel of little Orange trees for the green house against your return."[2]

1808 January 22. (Ann Cary Randolph to Jefferson). "I have not been to Monticello since we came from there but Jefferson (Thomas Jefferson Randolph) was there the other day & says that the green house is not done ...."[3]

1808 December 8. (Jefferson to Ann Cary Randolph Bankhead). "... in fact the Mimosa Nilotica & Orange are the only things I have ever proposed to have in my Green house."[4]

1816 November 10. (Jefferson to Martha Jefferson Randolph). "[T]ell Wormley (Hughes) also to send ... about a bushel of Orchard grass seed out of the large box in the Green house."[5]

After 1826. Cornelia Randolph's floor plan of Monticello, drawn after Jefferson's death, includes no. 27, a large "Work Bench," in the South Piazza.[6]

1829 October 7. (Virginia Jefferson Randolph Trist to Nicholas Philip Trist). "By the way, you never answered my inquiries about ... the box of unpacked books in the greenhouse ...."[7]

1828 August 10. (Mary Jefferson Randolph to Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge). "Then we have the sitting room adjoining in which two more can be comfortably lodged, and the green house a very convenient little appendage to our bed chambers."[8]

Further Sources


  1. ^ Isaac Jefferson, Memoirs of a Monticello Slave, ed. Rayford W. Logan (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1951), 29. See also Bear, Jefferson at Monticello, 18.
  2. ^ Family Letters, 314. Transcription available at Founders Online.
  3. ^ Family Letters, 323. Transcription available at Founders Online.
  4. ^ Family Letters, 369. Transcription available at Founders Online.
  5. ^ PTJ:RS, 10:517. Transcription available at Founders Online.
  6. ^ Cornelia Jefferson Randolph, Drawing N-563, "Monticello. Two sketches of plan showing location of furnishings and works of art," post July 4, 1826, Jefferson, Randolph and Trist Family Papers [manuscript] 1791-1874, #5385-ac, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library.
  7. ^ Nicholas Philip Trist Papers #2104, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  8. ^ Special Collections, University of Virginia Library. Transcription available at Jefferson Quotes and Family Letters.