|Thomas Jefferson's "Monticello"|
Upon gleaming pillars
Monticello rests, stately
beneath trees majestic
enjoying sea views
of red clay farmlands
of a mountain's blue ridge
whose walls hold dear
hummed songs sung low
of old Psalms and Scotch melodies.
A foundation seemingly restful
until one walks Mulberry Row
upon a dark history, unseen,
treading a path contemptible.
by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, April 5, 2012
|"Mulberry Row" of Monticello|
I hold Thomas Jefferson in great esteem. I am fascinated with his writings, inventions and architectural genius and I believe he was a fine man. We MUST understand him set within the confines of his society. Monticello is an amazing place, but we also must remember it came in to existence largely in part of slavery.
I believe slavery was an issue Thomas Jefferson struggled with his whole life, and I like to think if he had been a wealthy man he would have freed them all. I believe he had a relationship with Sally Hemings, his slave, and fathered (a) child(ren) with her. Two of Sally Hemming's sons ran away and Thomas Jefferson did not pursue them. I also believe all her children were freed; these actions speak louder than words ever could.
I will be pursuing this issue and others in my next few posts, gathering information as I read the books I bought from my visit to Monticello and from the tours I took as well as sharing my photography from the day my children and I spent enjoying this slice of American history. I believe it was Jefferson's granddaughter who remembered him often "humming and singing low" in his rooms. (She was directly above him in her room) I love that bit of information! I hope you enjoy it.
This will be linked with Friday Flash 55, a story in 55 words, no more or less. I KNOW it is supposed to be a fiction story and I often write non-fiction poetry (not always) but the host, "G-Man" is very forgiving. Try it yourself... it is FUN.
Oh ... and the line "trees majestic" really DID work once. Take a look at this tree (all 8 kids sitting on the stump with room to spare ... the two boys are lying down) ... it and a twin "sister tree" on the other side of the house where chopped down just a few years ago...