Extract from Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge’s Essay on Thomas Jefferson’s Finances
Much has been said of the elegance of Mr Jefferson’s establishment at Monticello but there is no person of candour who has ever visited there who could not testify to the contrary of all this. The house has been fifty six years building and is still unfinished. A great deal of the work has been done by Mr Jefferson’s own slaves amongst whom there were many tradesmen. There was but little furniture in it and that of no great value, and many of the articles made by the negro workmen. The furniture which he had owned in Paris & Philadelphia, he had sold on his first retirement from public life, as of a kind not proper for a country house.