By Marc Leepson
Saving Monticello deals the 1st whole post-Jefferson background of this American icon and divulges the fantastic tale of ways one Jewish kin kept the home that grew to become a family members domestic to them for 89 years -- longer than it ever used to be to the Jeffersons. With a dramatic narrative sweep throughout generations, Marc Leepson vividly recounts the turbulent saga of this fabled property. two times the home got here to the threshold of wreck, and two times it used to be stored, via diversified generations of the Levy kin. United by way of a fierce love of state, they honored the Founding Fathers for developing a religiously tolerant and democratic country the place their kin had thrived because the founding of the Georgia colony in 1733, principally freed from the persecutions and prejudices of the previous international.
Monticello's first savior used to be the mercurial U.S. military Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy, a colourful and debatable sailor, celebrated for his profitable crusade to prohibit flogging within the army and excoriated for his obdurate willfulness. brought on in 1833 through the Marquis de Lafayette's inquiry approximately "the most lovely condo in America," Levy stumbled on that Jefferson's mansion had fallen right into a depressing country of deterioration. buying the ruined property and committing his significant assets to its renewal, he begun what turned a tumultuous nine-decade courting among his relations and Jefferson's domestic.
After passing from Levy regulate on the time of the commodore's loss of life, Monticello fell once again into not easy occasions, farm animals being housed on its first ground and grain in its as soon as stylish higher rooms. back, remarkably, a member of the Levy kin got here to the rescue. Uriah's nephew, the aptly named Jefferson Monroe Levy, a three-term manhattan congressman and prosperous actual property and inventory speculator, received ownership in 1879. After Jefferson Levy poured millions of greenbacks into its fix and maintenance, his leader gift used to be to stand a vicious nationwide crusade, with anti-Semitic overtones, to expropriate the home and switch it over to the govt. in basic terms after the crusade had failed, with Levy mentioning that he may promote Monticello merely whilst the White condo itself was once provided on the market, did Levy relinquish it to the Thomas Jefferson starting place in 1923.
wealthy with memorable, larger-than-life characters, starting with Thomas Jefferson himself, the tale is solid with such figures as James Turner Barclay, a messianic visionary who owned the home from 1831 to 1834; the fiery Uriah Levy, he of the six courts-martial and teen spouse; the colourful accomplice Colonel Benjamin Franklin Ficklin, who managed Monticello in the course of the Civil battle; and the eccentric, high-living, deal-making egoist Jefferson Monroe Levy. Pulling again the veil of background to bare a narrative we suggestion we knew, Saving Monticello establishes this such a lot American of homes as extra actually reflective of the yank adventure than has ever been totally appreciated.
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Extra resources for Saving Monticello: The Levy Family's Epic Quest to Rescue the House that Jefferson Built
Saving Monticello: The Levy Family's Epic Quest to Rescue the House that Jefferson Built by Marc Leepson