Journey to Charlottesville

    11–13 April 1959

    THE Colonial Society’s visit to Charlottesville began for certain members with a visit en route to the Henry Francis duPont Museum at Winterthur, Delaware, on Saturday, 11 April 1959. Mr. and Mrs. Ebenezer Gay, Mr. David McKibbin, Mr. Charles R. Strickland, Mr. and Mrs. John B. Paine, Jr., Mr. David P. Wheatland, and Mr. Gilbert R. Payson were at Winterthur, and spent the day visiting the Museum through the kindness of our Honorary Member, Mr. duPont, and his Director, Mr. Charles F. Montgomery, who arranged for a special opening at a time when the Museum is ordinarily closed. Mr. duPont gave a luncheon for the members of the Society at his house.

    Mr. and Mrs. Paine returned to Boston from Winterthur, but the others continued to Charlottesville where they were joined by Mr. and Mrs. Julian P. Boyd and Mr. and Mrs. Walter Muir Whitehill who had arrived earlier for the meeting of the Directors of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, by Mr. David McCord who had come from a lecture at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, by Mr. Lester J. Cappon from Williamsburg, and by Mr. and Mrs. Duncan Howlett from Washington. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas H. Gordon of Baltimore were also there as guests of the Society.

    In spite of spring weather during the preceding week the visitors were greeted by a snowstorm on the afternoon of Sunday, 12 April, which continued intermittently into the following day. Although this made walking somewhat inconvenient it in no way diminished the pleasure of arrangements made indoors. On Sunday at 4 p.m. there was a tea at the Alderman Library at the University of Virginia in connection with the opening of an exhibition of pictures of Monticello arranged by James A. Bear, Jr., Curator of Monticello. This first event at the Alderman Library gave the Society an opportunity to see its Corresponding Member, Francis L. Berkeley, Jr., in his native habitat. At 5 p.m. our Non-Resident Member, Charles C. Abbott, Dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration gave a cocktail party at Pavilion VI East Lawn. It is worth noting that of the four members of the Society on the Faculty of the University of Virginia, three are attached to the Graduate School of Business Administration, Dean Abbott, Dr. John D. Forbes, and Dr. William Rotch, who were present with Mr. Berkeley and with their wives throughout the Society’s visit. Dean Abbott had invited to this party a number of Faculty members and friends.

    At 7 p.m. President Darden of the University of Virginia gave a dinner for the Society and for the University’s guests who had come to Charlottesville for the celebration of Founder’s Day in the Dogwood Room at Newcomb Hall.

    On the morning of Monday, 13 April, Professor Frederick D. Nichols of the School of Architecture took the members of the Society on a guided tour of the Jefferson buildings at the University. At 11 a.m. President Colin B. Mackay of the University of New Brunswick gave a Founder’s Day address in Cabell Hall, and at 12:30 the members of the Society were the guests of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation for luncheon at the Farmington Country Club.

    After luncheon there was an opportunity to visit Monticello where, at 3 o’clock, an address was given by J. Russell Wiggins, Executive Editor of the Washington Post, after which commemorative exercises were held at the grave of Thomas Jefferson on the hillside below the house.

    After the visit to Monticello a number of the members of the Society began to disappear in various directions. The survivors were given supper by Mr. and Mrs. William Rotch at their house at 806 Cabell Avenue, and attended the Annual Meeting of the Albemarle County Historical Society in the Albemarle County Court House at which Walter Muir Whitehill spoke on the subject “Boston and Monticello,” reading extracts from the correspondence between George Ticknor and Thomas Jefferson. At the close of the meeting of the Society Mr. and Mrs. James A. Bear, Jr., asked the guests to their house in Stadium Road.

    Altogether Thomas Jefferson’s birthday was strenuously celebrated with speech making morning, afternoon, and evening, but with adequate quantities of whiskey and food between the speeches. We cannot be too grateful to our members in Delaware and Virginia for their kindness to the small group who made the trip.