Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thomas Jefferson Considers Gifts to His Grandchildren

Poplar Forest, a plantation Jefferson inherited at his wife's death, was a significant source of income. In 1805 he wrote to his Poplar Forest estate manager:

“The time is now approaching when I shall wish to be parceling off some of my lands to my grandchildren. This renders it necessary that I should understand the separate value of each portion of them distinctly. As no person is so well acquainted with them as yourself, I must ask a favor of you to consider the questions on the paper enclosed, and to write at the end of each the answer in figures, and to send me the same paper to Monticello, by the first post.”

The previously unknown letter is now for sale.

In that same year of 1805, Jefferson began work on this octagonal house.

 Poplar Forest
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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