Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson's grave

Thomas Jefferson's grave
Buried: Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia
Died: July 4, 1826

See Him: The only president buried on the grounds of a World Heritage Site, Jefferson rests under an obelisk he designed on the northern end of the family cemetery. The obelisk has quite a story on its own: it lists the three accomplishments of which Jefferson was most proud. Being president isn’t on the list. Plus, the marker you see on the site today is a replacement, as relic hunters chipped away at the original pretty heavily – even though Jefferson had it made of coarse material so it would be less of a draw to potential thieves!

The cemetery as a whole has its own story – the one piece of Monticello still under direct control of the family, it’s part of the broader controversy over Jefferson’s relationship with Sally Hemings. DNA results have shown that Jefferson fathered Hemings’ children. Does that mean his descendants by Hemings can be buried at Monticello too? Can they take part in the “official” family reunions?

This is just one of the stories you can learn about up on the mountain – there are plenty, and they’re all just as interesting. Drop by for a day – your mind will thank you.

See Also: The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, of course. And no, the statue there will not pick on you as it did on “The Simpsons.”

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