Letter 96

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Representative Mark Walker (R-North Carolina, Sixth Congressional District)

1305 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-3065

Photo: It looks like a postcard! A full frontal view, taken from the garden, of Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. It has a colorful (ill-advised pun intended) past that cannot be forgotten. Thomas Jefferson’s beloved plantation home does a good job of addressing the ethical issues surrounding the ubiquitous Southern slave-holding manse. They do not hide the realities of life in the antebellum South and explain Jefferson’s ambiguity with aplomb and frank openness. Some may find preserving houses like this one to be glorifying the past, and that is something that we all struggle with when it comes to controversial historical preservation. But there is a lot to be learned about our nation’s history – Monticello serves as a testament to political ingenuity and technological achievement, while also confronting  the inconsistencies and cruelty of human nature in the crucible of revolution.

 

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