Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jefferson Family Graveyard, Monticello, Albermarle County, Virginia

The Jefferson Family Graveyard, located at Monticello in Albermarle County, southeast of Charlottesville, off of Hwy 53, the Thomas Jefferson Parkway. These photos were taken in February of 2003. The Jefferson Family Graveyard is open to all direct family members and descendants of Thomas Jefferson and is still used to this day. There are approximately 200 people buried there now.
The site was chosen by Jefferson and a friend, his brother-in-law, Dabney Carr in 1773. Carr was married to Jefferson's sister and he died in 1773. He would be the first buried here, in a spot chosen by Jefferson. The site sits just down the hill southwest from the main house. Jefferson's immediate family surround his obelisk marker at the north end of the cemetery.

The grave of Thomas Jefferson. This obelisk marker was not one chosen by him, it was added later by the United States in 1883, 57 years after his death. His original marker was more modest, as was the inscription, which he chose himself. He made no mention of being President. The epitaph he wrote says:

Here lies buried
Thomas Jefferson
Author of the
Declaration of American Independence
of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom
and Father of the University of Virginia

And his grave faces northwest, directly towards Charlottesville and his beloved University of Virginia.
The dates at the bottom read:
Born April 2, 1741 O.S.
Died July 4, 1826

The O.S. refers to the "Old Style" calender that was in use prior to 1752. Eleven days were added when dates were shifted and many graves of the era show somewhat confusing dates because of this. You can read more about the explanation at the Official Monticello website.

Of all cemeteries I have visited, this is one of my favorites. And as for Presidential grave sites, this is by far and away my favorite. A must see for any graving enthusiast.

No comments:

Post a Comment