This weekend was amazing; it was probably my favorite since arriving in Washington, DC! After visiting Mount Vernon the week before and learning a great deal about President George Washington, I honestly didn't think there was much that could top that experience. However, I had an opportunity to partake in an experience that was even greater by my standards; something that was both enlightening and extraordinary. I embarked upon a two hour journey to Charlottesville, Virginia. I visited Monticello....
While I've always loved history and had a great appreciation for those who preceded us, I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn much more than I previously knew about our founding fathers. In visiting the places where these men lived, it is quite interesting to note some of the distinctions. President Thomas Jefferson was so detail-oriented. It came through in his architecture, his landscaping, his writings, and much more.
This weekend I learned a lot about our 3rd President- Thomas Jefferson, his mansion (Monticello) and the adjoining estate. It was quite the site, especially for the standards of the day. When I sat back and thought about it, I was really amazed. Monticello would be a very nice place nowadays. When one thinks about how things were during President Jefferson's days, it is even that much more impressive.
I also had a chance to visit President Monroe's humble abode. What a difference! It was still a great set-up! The rolling hills and land as far as the eye can see.... Monroe was such a simple man, as compared to Jefferson and there is something comforting in that. While it was a much smaller house and it didn't have many of the luxuries of Jefferson's mansion, President Monroe didn't die in great debt either. It seemed like he was much more responsible and understanding of living within his means.... Just an observation I made.... I wonder how people perceived someone who died in such great debt ($200,000 plus by some accounts).... They didn't have bankruptcy back then to bail a person out. Regardless, it was interesting to make comparisons between the three (Washington- ultra rich, Jefferson- wanted to live like he was, and Monroe- a simple and modest man).