Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

A Renaissance Man: Our 3rd President

Over the course of the last few months, we have worked with Thomas Jefferson's Monticello on a visitor analysis project. This presidential home is a cultural institution that truly has something for everyone! Designed and constructed from 1769 to 1809, Monticello is the only American residence deemed a United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO). 

While most people remember Jefferson as one of our early presidents, the author of The Declaration of Independence and the facilitator of The Louisiana Purchase, there are many other layers to this innovator, botanist and politician. Some of the interesting things we have learned about him, recently include:

  • The Politician: Served as Vice President to John Adams (1797 - 1801),Secretary of State (1790 - 1793), Minister to France (1785 - 1789). We also can't forget his organization and leadership of the Louisiana Purchase that resulted in doubling the size of our country's territory. 

  • The Innovator: Inventions of Jefferson's that can be seen at Monticello înclude the great clock, which is powered by gravitational pull cannonballs, a polygraph that duplicated his writing so that there was a copy of his letters and the swivel chair

  • The Gardener: Originally set on 5,000 acres, Jefferson used his gardens as a source of food, botanical experiments and as a laboratory of plant material. He housed 330 varieties of more than 70 different species of vegetables including 20 varieties of beans and 15 types of English peas. His fascination in beans resulted in an ornamental arbor of types of a flowering scarlet beans. Many of these bean varieties were collected during Lewis and Clark's expedition. 

  • The Author and Scholar: Not only did Jefferson author The Declaration of Independence but also the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in the late 1770's, which protected people's right to worship. Additionally, the 6700 books Jefferson left after his death became the foundation ofThe Library of Congress.

And finally, we cannot forget Jefferson the Educator, founding the University of Virginia in 1819 with guidance from the original Board of Visitors that included Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe

An Instagram Feed Not to Miss
Our friend Booth Parker, has done an amazing job, in just a few years, of establishing, Haley & the Hound (@haleyandthehound), the go to for preppy, wearable clothes that also travel great. One of our favorite parts about her clothes, is that her best-selling Parker tunic line is Made in America. Check them on when you have a second!

Daniel Luiken