Saturday, April 1, 2017

Historically Significant Gardens | Monticello

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Perusing through statistics for a blog I have about genealogical pursuits a significant number stood out. People were very interested in Thomas Jefferson's family, more so than any of the other Presidents genealogy I have researched and posted. 

In 1998 we took a family trip to see Williamsburg, Mt. Vernon, and Monticello. What captured our curiosity was not only the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains but the significant difference in the philosophical style of gardening between Washington and Jefferson. Jefferson sited Monticello at the top of the mountain, more for a view than a productive farm. Mt. Vernon was a working farm, not just subsistence but to bring in additional monies. Included were smoke houses and working quarters, adjacent to it's ideal location on the Potomac to provide irrigation and shipping.


Gardening + History

A pleasant notification greeted me last week from Margaret Roach's blog, A Way to Garden. She was hosting, Peggy Cornett, Historic Gardener and Curator of Plants at Jefferson’s former home, and they were discussing lettuces and beans of the Jefferson varietyGardening plus history is my kind of equation. So, to get an early start on the President's Day Festivities I hope you visit her site and celebrate the knowledge she shares about his gardening.

President's Day
Some of my earliest memories of cold days in January were helping my Grandmother, a second grade teacher, cut out construction paper silhouettes of the Presidents for her bulletin boards. I would usually trace and she would cut. I think Thomas Jefferson had a braid with a bow, along with that patrician nose that defined his countenance. 


His Calender and Journal
Thomas Jefferson's Garden Journal (or manuscript) is available at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston. It includes notes from his family's garden at Shadwell. He lists scarlet beans as one of the seeds included in their plantings. We planted scarlet runner beans this morning. I know it is too early but last year we planted them late and only had a few blooms before the heat of the summer dried it's marathoning spirit. 


A Favorite Coffee Table Book
One of my favorite books is Jefferson's Monticello by William Howard Adams. There are photographs of some of the ingeniously designed, seven-day calendar clock and polygraph along with sketches of garden designs and the important people responsible for maintaining the estate.

What stuck with me the most about Monticello was the air seemed to be more pure than anywhere I have ever been and the view would take your breath away.

So, here is the most visited post from my genealogy blog:

Presidential Genealogy | 3 | Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)


$Brick Walls, Charts, Critical Analysis, Family Stories, Genealogical Writing, Maps, Object Lessons,
 Research Methods and Tips


Descendants of Thomas Jefferson

1   Thomas Jefferson 1675 - b: Abt. 1675
.. +Mary Field 1675 - b: Abt. 1675
...... 2   Peter Jefferson 1707/08 - b: February 29, 1707/08 in Chesterfield County, Virginia
........... +Jane Randolph 1720/21 - 1776 b: February 09, 1720/21 in Shadwell, 
Tower Hamlets, London, d: March 31, 1776

.............. 3   Thomas Jefferson 1743 - 1826 b: April 13, 1743 in Shadwell, Virginia d: July 04, 1826 in 
Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S./College of William and Mary
.................. +Martha Wayles d: in The Forest (her father's plantation)
...................... 4   Martha Washington Jefferson 1772 - b: September 27, 1772
.......................... +Thomas Mann Randolph 1770 - b: Abt. 1770
.............................. 5   Eleanora Wayles Randolph 1800 - b: Abt. 1800
.................................. +Joseph Coolidge
...................................... 6   Thomas Jefferson Coolidge 1831 - b: 1831
.......................................... +Mehitable Sullivan Appleton
............................................... 7   Marion Appleton Coolidge
............................................... 7   Eleanora Randolph Coolidge
............................................... 7   Sarah Lawrence Coolidge
............................................... 7   Thomas Jefferson Coolidge
...................... 4   Jane Randolph Jefferson
...................... 4   Peter Jefferson
...................... 4   Mary "Polly" Jefferson
...................... 4   Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson
.............. 3   Jane Jefferson 1745 - b: Abt. 1745
.............. 3   Mary Jefferson 1741 - b: 1741
.............. 3   Elizabeth Jefferson 1744 - b: 1744
.............. 3   Martha Jefferson 1745 - b: Abt. 1745
.............. 3   Peter Field Jefferson 1745 - b: Abt. 1745
.............. 3   Peter Thomas Jefferson 1745 - b: Abt. 1745
.............. 3   Lucy Jefferson 1752 - b: October 10, 1752
.................. +Charles Lilburn Lewis 1747 - b: 1747

Peter Jefferson (February 29, 1708 – August 17, 1757) was the father of
 US President Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826). A surveyor and cartographer, his Fry-Jefferson Map of 1751
 accurately depicted the Allegheny Mountains for the first time and showed the route of
 "The Great Road from the Yadkin River through Virginia to Philadelphia distant 455 Miles" —
 what would later come to be known as the Great Wagon Road.





























Explore Further:

Article:  Reclaiming Jefferson's Monticello, Elizabeth Hutchinson

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