Thursday, December 6, 2018

December 2018

Saving Monticello: The Newsletter
The latest about the book, author events, and more
Newsletter Editor - Marc Leepson

Volume XV, Number 12                                                  December 1, 2018

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

MEET THE FAMILY: The day of the evening of September 20 when I did a talk on Saving Monticello on the mountaintop, I sat down with a Monticello video crew in one of the upstairs rooms to talk about the Levy family.

The result is a recently released short video in which Monticello’s long-time curator Susan Stein and I give the highlights of the debt we all owe to Uriah P. Levy and his nephew Jefferson M. Levy for their decades of stewardship of Thomas Jefferson’s iconic “Essay in Architecture.”

A link to a one-minute version of the video, entitled “Meet the Family That Saved Monticello,” was sent out to Monticello’s friends and supporters in an email late in November.

You can watch it yourself on YouTube at  The Foundation also posted a two-minute version on its Twitter feed.

JML in the SAR: I remember thinking when I learned that Jonah Phillips—Uriah Levy’s grandfather and Jefferson M. Levy’s great grandfather—had joined a Philadelphia military unit during the Revolutionary War that all of his descendants would be eligible for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Sons of the American Revolution.
I pointed out that fact during many of my talks on the book and the family, after giving a brief synopsis of Jonas Phillips’ life.

But I had no idea until a few weeks ago that Jefferson Levy actually did join the SAR, which was founded in 1889. It is a descendants group in which full membership requires documentation that you are directely descended from a patriot—someone who served in the Continental Army or otherwise supported the Revolutinary War

I discovered Jefferson Levy’s SAR membership when a friend and colleague, Maral Kalbian, was digging throuhg 19th century documents on line and found Jefferson Levy’s 1894 application to join the then-new SAR. The image to the left is the application’s first page.

EVENTS: Just one scheduled event in December, a holiday sale on Thursday, December 13, with a group of vendors at a private house near Leesburg, Virginia. I’ll be signing copies of Saving Monticello and my other in-print book from 11:00 to mid-afternoon. Interested? Feel free to email me and I’ll get back to you with details.

There may be another last-minute talk or signing popping up before the end of the year. For the latest on that, go to the Events page on my website at

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.

For info on my latest book, Ballad of the Green Beret, go to
For details on other upcoming events, the page is

GIFT IDEAS:  Want a personally autographed, brand-new paperback copy of Saving Monticello? Please e-mail me at  I also have a few as-new, unopened hardcover copies, along with a good selection of brand-new copies of my other books: Flag: An American Biography; Desperate Engagement; What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, a Life; and Ballad of the Green Beret: The Life and Wars of Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler.

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