Jefferson, Thomas Monticello is Thomas Jefferson's autobiographical masterwork, created and renovated, erected and rebuilt over forty years, and its gardens served as a botanic display, a source of food, and an experimental laboratory for decorative and useful plants from throughout the world. It remains one of America's greatest homes.
When Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, he did not have an independent income. He had given up his own land to be used as a military post, because Virginia did not want the war that was beginning. In order to keep himself financially viable while still serving his country, he decided to write many books. The first book he wrote was called "The Life of George Washington," which was published in 1805. This book showed how much of an influence Thomas Jefferson had on George Washington's life by describing events that happened before they were born together with descriptions of things that happened after they died separated only by several years.
In addition to writing books, Thomas Jefferson also invented things. One invention that has been preserved for today is the automatic sprinkler system. When Jefferson saw that most buildings in Philadelphia were being built with brick, he decided to do the same. However, since bricks were becoming more common than wood, he took it upon himself to invent a machine that would spray water onto the bricks while they were still wet, which prevented them from drying out and cracking over time.
Jefferson, Thomas Thomas Jefferson designed the Gardens of Monticello for his plantation, Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia. Jefferson's thorough historical records of his 5,000 acres include a wealth of information about the gardens' ever-changing contents. He noted the dates when plants were moved and new features added to the grounds.
He also described in detail how he wanted each part of the garden to be arranged. The plans for the gardens can be found in several books by Jefferson including "A Plan for a Garden on the Side of This House," written in 1770 when he was 25 years old. These books are filled with drawings of houses, buildings, paths, and everything else that would be needed to make life comfortable at Monticello.
In addition to designing the gardens, Jefferson owned more than 5,000 acres of land that included thousands of trees. When he died in 1826, his son Robert inherited the estate. Robert took care of business until 1837 when it was transferred to their daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph. She continued to run the plantation until her death in 1859. By then, many changes had been made to the gardens by people who worked at Monticello or visited it regularly.
After Martha's death, the family sold parts of the estate but kept others.
Monticello is well-known for its enormous gardens, which Jefferson, an ardent horticulture, created, managed, and scrupulously monitored. The original garden was laid out by George Washington's architect, but it quickly proved to be too small, so Jefferson began a new one, twice as large, when he moved into the house in 1809.
In addition to its gardens, Monticello is famous for its extensive and excellent library, which at the time of its closure in 1814 contained approximately 10,000 volumes. It is the largest private library in America at the time of its opening.
The library is now housed in the Thomas Jefferson Building at the University of Virginia where it can be visited by the public. This building was also home to the university's law school until it closed in 1825 due to low enrollment.
UVA president James W. Ryan said of the decision to close the law school: "There are more people in America who want to be lawyers than there are jobs as lawyers...It is better to have no law than bad law."
Ryan's statement highlights the fact that without a job, being a lawyer is not a good career choice.
Jefferson, Thomas Thomas Jefferson spent the most of his adult life building and remodeling Monticello, which was built over a forty-year period. "Architecture is my joy," he remarked, "and putting up and tearing down is one of my favorite pastimes." He began construction of its main house in 1769 when he was twenty-five years old. The first floor of the two-story structure was completed within six months, and it was not long before Jefferson's friends began to ask him what kind of house he was going to build him. His answer was always the same: "A house that will be pleasant to live in." He continued to add rooms to it for the next thirty-three years of his life.
The interior of the house was also redesigned by Jefferson who wanted it to have a country feel without being crude or heavy. He replaced the original paneling with pine wainscoting and painted the walls white. A French chandelier lights the entrance hall while another one hangs from the dining room ceiling. There are four bedrooms on the second floor and three bathrooms. On the first floor there are seven more rooms including a library, a dining room, and an office. Outside the house there are more than ten acres of land with several outbuildings including a smokehouse, a tool shed, a chicken coop, and a vineyard.
Monticello was also brimming with Jefferson's one-of-a-kind (and frequently clever) innovations. Among the hundreds of gadgets were a spinning bookstand, a copying machine, a spherical sundial, and a toenail cutter.
Jefferson also created many paintings that are now considered masterpieces of American art. He is best known for his portraits, but he also painted scenes from nature and biblical subjects. Some of his most famous paintings include: The Declaration of Independence, Washington at Mount Vernon, and The President Visiting His Army at Yorktown.
In addition to being the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson was a major philosopher and scientist who helped create the foundation for much of what we know today about our country. He has been called the "Father of America" for his efforts in drafting the Declaration of Independence and writing the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
His ideas about education, science, government, and human freedom have all played important roles in shaping our nation into what it is today. It is because of people like Thomas Jefferson that we are able to go hiking at Monticello or visit world-class museums built by his designs. Without him, there would be no Lincoln Center or Disney World; just more trees and plants filled with birds and animals.
For most Americans, Monticello embodies Thomas Jefferson's intellect. The mansion mirrored Jefferson's hopes for his country. It is a monument to the American dream.
Thomas Jefferson was an influential philosopher and politician who played a major role in drafting the Declaration of Independence and writing the Constitution. He also owned more than 3,000 books and is considered the father of university education in America.
After graduating from William & Mary College in 1761, Jefferson moved to Virginia where he married Martha Randolph on April 13, 1772. They had six children together: Martha "Polly" Jefferson Lewis, Robert "Robbie" Jefferson, John "Jack" Jefferson, Samuel "Sam" Adams, Lucy Elizabeth "Louisa" Lee.
In 1770, Virginia passed a law requiring its citizens to provide for their own education. This inspired Jefferson to write a book about education called "A Summary View of the Rights of British America." In 1776, when the first Congress of the United States drafted a declaration of independence, it was Jefferson who came up with the idea of including in the document a clause stating that all men are created equal - a concept now at the heart of modern democracy.