“but tho’ an old man, I am but a young gardener.” Thomas Jefferson

Cinder Stanton and Peter Hatch are retiring from Monticello this month.  Cinder, the Shannon Senior Historian, began working there in 1968.  After time away, she returned in 1979.  Peter Hatch, Director of Garden and Grounds, came to Monticello in 1977 from Old Salem and Moravian gardens.   The two have recently come out with new books at this important juncture of their lives.

At Cinder’s March book launch for Those Who Labor for my Happiness: Slavery at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello,” she received a lengthy standing ovation from the full auditorium at Monticello.   Cinder has worked for more than 20 years on the lives of those enslaved at Monticello as well as many other subjects.  She has advised other authors such as Pulitzer Prize winner Annette Gordon-Reed as they studied this complicated issue.  Even in retirement I am sure she will continue her work on the Getting Word Oral History Project that she began in the 1990’s with other colleagues and the Central Virginia History Researchers’ website.

Peter will launch his book, “A Rich Spot of Earth”: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello on April 23 at Monticello.  Published by the Yale University Press, it promises to be rich in images and information.  Thomas Jefferson wrote to Charles Willson Peale in August 1811: “but tho’ an old man, I am but a young gardener.”  Jefferson continued to accumulate garden knowledge after his retirement from politics.  I hope that Peter, in his retirement, will continue disseminating his knowledge to gardeners of all ages.

These two retirees are actual Jefferson encyclopedias.  We are fortunate to have some of what they know included in other books that are on JMRL’s shelves.  Peter Hatch’s book mentioned above will be included as soon as JMRL can get it.

Peter Hatch:

Fruits and Fruit Trees of Monticello

The Gardens of Monticello

Thomas Jefferson’s Flower Garden at Monticello

Lucia (Cinder) Stanton:

Free Some Day: the African-American Families of Monticello

Getting Word: the Monticello African-American Oral History Project

Jefferson’s Memorandum Books:  Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767 – 1826

Slavery at Monticello

~ The Reluctant Blogger

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