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date: 06 December 2019

Jefferson, Thomaslocked

(b Shadwell, VA, April 13, 1743; d Monticello, VA, July 4, 1826).
  • Frederick D. Nichols

Extract

(b Shadwell, VA, April 13, 1743; d Monticello, VA, July 4, 1826).

American statesman and architect. One of the great founding fathers of the American nation, he was a self-taught and influential architect whose work was influenced by his first-hand experience of French architecture and his admiration for Classical architecture. ‘Architecture is my delight, and putting up and pulling down one of my favorite amusements’, he is reputed to have said. His major works are his own house, Monticello, VA, the State Capitol at Richmond, VA, and his innovative designs for the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He also conducted one of the earliest systematic archaeological investigations of a Native North American site, excavating a burial mound on his Virginia farm in 1784.

Son of a surveyor working in Virginia, he went on his father’s death to stay with his cousins at Tuckahoe, an early 18th-century plantation still existing on the lower James River. The H-shaped house had ingenious dome-shaped plaster ceilings in the office and schoolroom, possibly an influence on his later work. While a student at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, in ...

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