This is the next in a continuing series of photos from our week in Virginia this October past. If you want to ‘Like’ the series, please do so here at the first post.
Although he is pictured on Mount Rushmore and has a beautiful memorial on the Potomac River in Washington, DC, I do not admire Thomas Jefferson nor do I believe he deserves such accolades. To me he too often fails the admonition, “Let deeds, not words, by your adorning.” Jefferson could write beautifully and majestically, but failed to live up to the ideals he expounded. He could be sly, manipulative and duplicitous and remained throughout his life a spendthrift, so that despite the wealth he was born to and married (and despite, of course, the sage advice he gave others) he died deep in debt. That he had at least four children with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, (who was probably his wife’s half-sister) and that the affair started in Paris when Sally was 15 (or at most 16) and the maid of his daughter, can hardly be denied.
But there is no denying that he was a central figure in the Revolutionary War and the politics of the day thereafter. And like him or not, his estate, the magnificent Monticello (the Small Mount) remains a beautiful and elegant reminder of a flawed life in that all too often flawed era of great ideals and revolutionary standards.
So who, you may ask, out of that era do I most admire? Washington is high on the list, but it is not him, nor Benjamin Franklin, nor the recent surging-in-popularity Hamilton. The Founding Father I most admire is Abigail Adams.
As always, special thanks to my dearest spouse Lyn, who does all the heavy lifting in selecting the photos. And thank you sincerely for dropping by the Book of Bokeh. I would also like to invite you to visit my Book of Pain poetry blog.
All photographs and comments ©John Etheridge with all rights reserved; not to be used without the expressed written permission of the copyright owner.