Hoo Knew? University of Virginia Founder: Fun Facts

Posted on: Apr 18, 2013


TJ Loves Mockingbirds
Thomas Jefferson thought of Mockingbirds as “superior beings in the form of a bird.” He had several pet Mockingbirds, but his favorite was named “Dick,” a somewhat underwhelming name when compared to the names of his horses and dogs (Cucullin, Fingal, Bergere, Armandy, etc). TJ cherished Dick “with a peculiar fondness,” and the bird returned his affection. Dick often flew freely around the room, and would perch on Jefferson’s shoulder to eat bits of food from his lips. When it was time for the afternoon siesta, Dick would hop up the stairs to Jefferson’s bed chamber and literally sing him to sleep. (Monticello.org)

University of Virginia Founder Thomas Jefferson TombstoneWe are all familiar with the famous inscription on Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone at Monticello, but did you know that TJ and his boyhood best friend, Dabney Carr, pledged that they would be buried together under the oak tree where the tombstone is currently located? Jefferson and Carr used to rest under the same tree when playing on the site where Monticello now stands. TJ was in Europe when Dabney passed away and he was buried in a local cemetery, but Jefferson ordered his friend’s remains disinterred and reburied under their oak tree as soon as he returned to Virginia. The cemetery now holds Thomas Jefferson and his family along with his dear childhood friend. (trivia-library.com)