Extract from George Long’s Account of Visits to Monticello

A few days after my arrival at Charlottesville I walked to Monticello to see Mr. Jefferson. I made myself known to his servant, and was introduced into his great room. In a few minutes a tall dignified old man entered, and after looking at me a moment said, Are you the new professor of antient languages? I replied that I was. He observed, You are very young: to which I answered, I shall grow older. He smiled, and said, That was true. He was evidently somewhat startled at my youthful and boyish appearance; and I could see that he was disappointed. We fell to talking and I stayed to dine with him. He was grave and rather cold in his manner, but he was very polite; and I was pleased with his simple Virginian dress, and his conversation free from all affectation ... During my solitary residence before the University opened I visited Monticello several times and occasionally passed the night there. I thought that he became better satisfied with the boy professor; and we talked on all subjects.

Published in Thomas Fitzhugh, ed., Letters of George Long (Charlottesville, 1917), 21–4; Peterson, Visitors to Monticello (Charlottesville, 1989), 100-3. Date based on letter from Long to Francis W. Gilmer, Jan. 1825, in which Long wrote: “I have been settled for some weeks ... I dined with Mr Jefferson last Thursday. He was in good health” (ViU: Francis Walker Gilmer Papers).
Author
George Long
Date Range
Date
January 1, 1825 to January 31, 1825
Collection
Quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson
Repository
Letters of George Long