Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March 2018

Saving Monticello: The Newsletter
The latest about the book, author events, and more
Newsletter Editor - Marc Leepson
Volume XV, Number 3                                                                      March 1, 2018

The study of the past is a constantly evolving, never-ending journey of discovery.” – Eric Foner

THE CLOCK (CON’T.) In the January SM Newsletter I wrote about the time in December of 1937 when a Richmond jeweler named Otto Frederick Ostergren was hired to repair Thomas Jefferson’s famed seven-day clock, which has graced the Monticello Entrance Hall since 1805.
The problem was that the clock hadn’t been working properly since the 1850s when Uriah Levy owned the place. 

To do the repair work, Ostergren had to remove the clock from the premises, and take it to his workshop. So that day in December 70-plus years ago, Mr. Ostergren showed up at Monticello and with the help of an assistant, took the clock down and carefully loaded it into the trunk of his car and then drove off to Richmond.  

Bill Bergen, the dean of the tour guides at Monticello—and a subscriber to this newsletter—emailed me after he received it and sent along an image of a photo I’d never seen. It’s an evocative (and to my mind, historic) picture of Ostergren and his assistant gently placing the clock into the trunk of his car.
Thanks to Bill for digging in out; to Jack Robertson, the Foundation Librarian at Monticello’s Jefferson Library, for discovering its provenance; and to the Library of Virginia for giving me permission to reprint it here:

THE MEDALS: The University of Virginia and Monticello will award three Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals—the highest external honors U-Va. (which does not award honorary degrees) bestows—on April 13, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday.

The Medal in Architecture will go to David Adjaye, a world-renowned architect best known for his innovative sculptural designs, including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Adjaye, who was born in Tanzania, was recently knighted last year by Queen Elizabeth for his architectural work, and was named one of the 100 most influential people by TIME magazine. His website is http://www.adjaye.com

The Medal in Citizen Leadership will go to Morgan Carrington “Cary” Fowler Jr., an agriculturalist and the former executive director of the Crop Trust. He has worked for decades on crop diversity and conservation. Fowler founded the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a heavily fortified seed bank located on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in the Arctic Svalbard Archipelago some 1,300 miles from the North Pole. It’s the world’s largest collection of crop diversity, and holds more than 930,000 distinct varieties.

The Medal in Law will go to Frank H. Easterbrook, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, and former Department of Justice official who specializes in antitrust, criminal and corporate law.

The Medal
“Thomas Jefferson was an essential architect of American life. A philosopher, revolutionary, president, scientist, diplomat, educator, farmer and epicure, Jefferson shaped the new nation,” said Leslie Greene Bowman, the president and CEO of the Foundation. “We are honored to welcome the 2018 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal recipients, each of whom, like Jefferson, has made a profound impact on our world and will inspire future generations of leaders.”

The ceremonies on April 13 include free public lectures at U-Va. by the medal recipients, a formal dinner at Monticello and a luncheon in the Dome Room of the Thomas Jefferson-designed Rotunda on the U-Va. grounds. Details at this page on Monticello's website.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: According to a recent announcement in the Charlottesville Daily Progress, The Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the good folks who own and operate Monticello, are looking for volunteers to work at the Monticello Visitor Center (pictured below). For more info, email volunteer@monticello.org or call 434-984-9869.

EVENTS: Here’s a rundown on my March speaking events. For info on my new book, Ballad of the Green Beret, please go to http://bit.ly/GBBallad
·         Monday, March 12  – Talk on Saving Monticello and book signing for the Anna Maria Fitzhugh DAR Chapter in Alexandria, Virginia
·         Thursday, March 29 - Talk on Ballad of the Green Beret for the Rotary Club of Purcellville in Purcellville, Virginia

If you’d like to arrange an event for Saving Monticello—or for any of my other books, including Ballad of the Green Beret—please email me at marc527psc@aol.com

For details on other upcoming events, go to http://leepsoncalendar.blogspot.com

GIFT IDEAS:  Want a personally autographed, brand-new paperback copy of Saving Monticello? Please e-mail me at Marc527psc@aol.com I also have a few as-new, unopened hardcover copies.

Or go to marcleepson.com/signedbooks.html to order copies through my local bookstore, Second Chapter Books in Middleburg, Virginia. We also have copies of Desperate Engagement, Flag, Lafayette, and What So Proudly We Hailed, and Ballad of the Green Beret.