Translated from Italian as “Little Mountain”, is Monticello, third U.S President Thomas Jefferson’s plantation estate. Acquired by Jefferson in 1777, the renowned Founding Father’s property near Charlottesville Virginia, as well as its workers, to this day, hold a significant place in U.S history. The Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which has preserved, and maintains the 5,000-acre property, notes that “to understand Jefferson, one must understand Monticello; it can be seen as his autobiographical statement.”
The iconic property is a national landmark, and has been the subject of quite some interest by American, and international scholars. Whilst there is a plethora of documentation regarding Jefferson’s primary home, there has been a push by academia and archaeologists alike to delve deeper into the original use of the property and the activities which took place within its grounds. The initiative taken was not for nothing however; a discovery was made which has left historians astounded. Not only in regard to the livelihoods of the people who lived there, but in regard to what it meant for the history of the United States. Let’s take a look at what they found!
A President’s Plantation
As Thomas Jefferson’s primary residence, Monticello was his home before he moved to the White House in 1801. Today, the estate is preserved by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Open to the public, it is regarded as a historical landmark. Construction of the expansive estate commenced in 1768, with its renowned sprawling grounds well-documented and well-known.
Fun fact; an image of the plantation’s main house is ingrained on the flip-side of the U.S. nickel! Intense research and constant study of the property had not yielded a find quite as fruitful as the one recently uncovered by historians. A mystery which had baffled historians and political scholars for the years seemed to be hiding in plain sight.