I just returned from a visit to Monticello, the home of our wonderous third President. He not only designed the home, he helped to build it, landscape it, and oversee the rich life of a world that came out of his head and onto the rich soils of Virginia. He was a genius — with a few problems, some no doubt created by his vast intellect that scarcely could find an equal with which to converse.
There were other problems for Jefferson. His ideal of a world without slavery and the reality that his world would not run without slavery. He freed less than ten slaves in his life and death, yet he tried to give his slaves some skills that elevated their sense of self and also how the world viewed them. He may have loved one slave in a romantic domesticity that bordered marriage.
Thomas Jefferson’s brain was vast. He swore he could not live without books. He could also not live without that pinprick of curiousity that moved him on through life. In the course of his way through his world he left a legacy to a nation and a further legacy to his children — both acknowledged and unacknowledged. It was perhaps a selfishness to use the world around him to enchance his private questions (and answers), but men have been known to be selfish for more bitter reasons.
When one stands on the terrace at Monticello and looks over the seemingly endless roll of mountains it is hard to dislike the person who gave me reason to travel there and marvel at the endless roll of the human mind rather than the frozen heart of evil.