"[A]nd our own dear Monticello, where has Nature spread so rich a mantle under the eye? Mountains, forests, rocks, rivers. With what majesty do we there ride above the storms! How sublime to look down into the workhouse of nature, to see her clouds, hail, snow, rain, thunder, all fabricated at our feet! And the glorious Sun, when rising as if out of a distant water, just gilding the tops of the mountains, and giving life to all nature!" - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Maria Cosway, 1786
Nobody spent more time in the thick of the Revolutionary era than Thomas Jefferson, one of the most famous and revered Americans. Jefferson was instrumental in all of the debates before the Revolution, authoring the Declaration of Independence, laying out the ideological groundwork of the notion of states' rights, leading one of the first political parties, and overseeing the expansion of the United States during his presidency.
For all of his accomplishments, Jefferson's reputation and legacy are still inextricably intertwined with the divisive issues of his own day. As the slaveholder who wrote that all men are created equal, and his relationship with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, Jefferson's life and career are still sometimes fiercely debated today.
Few Presidents are remembered for their homes, but Jefferson's Monticello is the greatest exception to that rule, and to this day it remains one of the nation's most instantly recognizable landmarks.
Includes Jefferson's writings about Monticello and its construction
Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
Includes a table of contents