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Melvin I. Urofsky

Melvin I. Urofsky is Professor Emeritus of History at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he continues as director of the doctoral program in public policy. The author or editor of more than fifty books and one hundred articles, his work in recent years has focused on constitutional history. He has recently been awarded an NEH Senior Fellowship to write a biography of Justice Louis D. Brandeis.


The Levy Family and Monticello

Summer 2002 | Essays

When he came of age, Thomas Jefferson inherited considerable property from his father in Albemarle County, Virginia, and he chose a site not far from Shadwell, his birthplace, as the seat of his own estate. He called it "Monticello," Italian for "little mountain," and between 1769, when he first began clearing the land for the house, and 1809, when Monticello reached its present design, he built and tinkered and constantly changed its features. As he told a friend, "Architecture is my delight, and putting up and pulling down, one of my favorite amusements."