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Thomas Jefferson and the Slave Mansion

            In May 1768, Thomas Jefferson inherited property from his father Peter Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson had a picture of his dream house and spent most of his adult life to accomplish his ideal house. Throughout forty years he would construct and redesign the building. He said. "Architecture is my delight, and putting up, and pulling down, one of my favorite amusements." (Monticello) According to Smithsonian Thomas Jefferson's mansion stood atop his mountain like the Platonic idea of a house, to reach it one must ascend what a visitor called "this steep, savage hill." Through a thick forest and swirls of mist that recede at the summit. (Smithsonian) On the surface one would see a beautiful mansion but once everything is stripped away it would be seen as nothing other than a slave plantation. Thomas Jefferson personally designed the layout and setup of Monticello and created the social and hierarchal system of the plantation. Thomas Jefferson named it Monticello. Which is little mountain in Italian. .
             In High School everyone was taught how great our founding fathers were but every one of them had a deep secret. The understanding at the moment is that Thomas Jeffersons only secret was his sexual relationship with Sally Hemings and the children he raised. In Henry Wienceks book. "Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves," he reveals the truth about how vicious Thomas Jefferson was as a slave owner. Wiencek portrays Jefferson as a wealthy man, building and rebuilding the extravagant estate. Engaging in risky financial speculation, mortgaging his property including his slaves, calculating his return in investment, and hiring middlemen to do all the dirty work. Then he cloaked this heinous industry that he has created under his lavish estate. .
             Throughout the design and redesign of the mansion Jefferson followed a fundamental guideline set by Palladio : "We must contrive a building in such a manner that the finest and most novel parts of it be the most exposed to public view, and the less agreeable disposed in by places, and removed from sigh as much as possible.

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