Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Thursday. 3d.

Saturday. 5th.

Friday. 4th. CFA Friday. 4th. CFA
Friday. 4th.

Fine morning. I went to the Office but not until after I had occupied myself in reading some time.

My memory is so treacherous that I forget to put things in their right places. It was not today but on Wednesday that a gentleman called upon me and spent two hours about a scheme to purchase Monticello for Mrs. Randolph.1 He said his name was Hart from New York. He gave no account of himself but talked with the utmost freedom of all the principal persons in the Country–My friend this and my friend that. He was shrewd though exceedingly discursive in his remarks. His Account of his success and the various modes in which he had been received was laughable enough. He did not ask me to subscribe probably gathering my opinion from my conversation.

Time at the Office in Accounts. Walk. Afternoon, Benjamin Constant and Cicero. Evening for a wonder, quiet at home. German.

1.

After Jefferson’s death in 1826, Thomas J. Randolph, the executor of Jefferson’s will, sold Monticello to Dr. James T. Barclay in return for Barclay’s properties in Charlottesville. Barclay lived in Monticello until 1834, when he sought to dispose of it. Efforts at that time to reacquire it for Jefferson’s descendants failed, and it was sold in 1836 to Uriah P. Levy, then a naval lieutenant, later commodore. Levy’s intent to have Monticello pass to the Nation at his death miscarried, and it remained in the ownership of the Levy family for nearly ninety years until the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation was organized in 1923 to acquire it (Paul Wilstack, Jefferson and Monticello, N.Y., 1939, p. 213–223).