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strange that nobody has figured out what Monticello's true purpose was.
I thought about every twentieth person that visited Monticello would realize that the height
was to throw off the aim of a cannon and then I'd have to have them
swear not to tell the English.
Then twenty people came to visit and left but nobody said anything
and then fifty came and went. I couldn't believe that nobody noticed. When
two hundred came and nobody had figured out why I put in windows that covered two floors I
had a small celebration. It was because I didn't have to prevent spies from hearing
about it and coming by to check it out for themselves. At the same time I could
not believe that I had been that incorrect in my surmisal of others. The
skill to detect such camouflage was far less common than I had thought.
By my death
in that life nobody out of a thousand people had ever figured it out but
now the the number stands at over 25 million visitors and yet nobody has even
figured out what Thomas Jefferson put in a disappearing stairway and all those tunnels for.
1805 everyone knew war with England was inevitable. I knew it was by 1796
so I rebuilt Monticello into the fort it now is. The capital wasn't at all secure
from an invasion since it was very close to the mouth of the Potomac River
and also an easy overland march from Baltimore. They could easily
take the capital long before our army could be alerted, rallied, and gotten
to the capital so that they could defend it. It was obvious that we needed
an alternate location for the federal government that was further inland.
Monticello was chosen so that if an army marched there, by the time they got halfway to it
50,000 of our troops would have converged behind them and cut them off from any hope
It was a big trap for the English.
being 100 miles inland was perfect for an emergency location for the US
Government. Interestingly Monticello is almost exactly half way between
the US capital and the Greenbrier
which was built 150 years later for exactly the same purpose as Monticello was.
only two differences are that Monticello was built mostly above ground
and that it has remained a secret for much longer.
The senators were to stay at Monticello but where would
the Representatives have stayed? At George Divers House.
There are other
building that I designed including George Divers House, which is now The Farmington
Country Club. Built from 1785-1802 you can see the round windows for cannon.
The part that
bulges out on the side looks a lot like a turret on a castle. It was. That side of that building didn't have a clear field of fire as I
recall. It was easier for enemy soldiers to get close to it than on the other
sides. If the enemy army got right under the cannons on that side of the
building they couldn't be shot so the turret was needed in order to be able to easily fire down on them.
I've never been
to Monticello or even Virginia so all this information is from my memories
and what I have found on the internet. I'm certain if I was there I
could point out many additional facts and actually remember much more
There are records
in the war department about the tests of the cannons and other
information. It is labeled as fortress Manhattan, not Monticello. The defenses
at Monticello did their job in a different way than was expected. The
English got a spy to send them copies of the records about the cannons
and their ranges, etc.
During the War of 1812 they assumed 'Manhattan' was a secret fort at Manhattan Island
but they couldn't figure out where it was. They looked and sent men ashore by
long boats at night to look for the fort. Then they assumed it was on
Staten Island, then maybe Long Island.
They had several
sets of contingency orders from the Admiralty in England that were based on where 'Manhattan Fortress' was. They were under strict orders to
locate the fort first and then use the orders specific to the fort being
in that location. The fort could never be located and they were pretty
certain it didn't exist. However they did not have a set of orders
to be used if there was no Manhattan Fortress near New York city. .
England never attacked New York City in the War of 1812. That is the only
reason they didn't attack it. Obviously it was the number two target of the English. Until now nobody has been able to adequately explain why New York was not attacked in the War of 1812
that I had a hand in designing did not have a strong floor under the windows
for cannon but there were slots in a lattice work that could be quickly assembled
which would support 12 pound cannons. There were/are more secret defenses
disguised as common houses around Charlottesville that I either designed or helped design.
Like this one on the right,
it was just a simple suggestion a younger Thomas Jefferson exuberantly
made in 5 minutes presentation to the White House architect. He took it and ran
with it but there was little that I added after that one suggestion.
You don't see
any kind of defense system on this picture of the original 'White House' do you?
Well try this next picture of the stone
walls of the presidents mansion or White House (left) after the War of 1812 when the White House was
burned. Now notice that the easy
to remove wood facade was burned off on the right side of the roof. That is a battlements
just like on old world castles. The slots are called embrasures and were
primarily for cannon. There were other locations on the presidents mansion where riflemen were stationed.
There is a lot
more to Monticello's United States defenses than just these examples.
I'll add them on this page when I remember them. So come back again later.
Like they said in the film, National Treasure 'The clues are right in
front of your eyes'.
missed the rest of it. Instead of map to it being on the back of the 'Declaration
of Independence' the map is the person behind the Declaration of Independence'.
The map who sits at this computer can
guide you to at least 20 national treasures of which the secret Monticello
is only the first.
locate trinkets in Monticello
There are active
archeology projects going on at Monticello and maybe I can remember a
few places with easy to locate artifacts.
There was a
hitching post in front where trinkets often fell out of men's pockets
when they got off their horses. The archeologists could pick them up easily there.
There is a place
in the back where men were directed if they wanted to water their horse. That
location was often muddy and if objects fell they were usually not recovered,
especially copper and silver coins. You can probably find some artifacts
there using metal detectors since even gold coins fell from men's pockets
while getting on and off their mounts. That area may be located by posts in the ground
that were probably broken off at ground level.
However if you
really want to find items that fell out of pockets and were almost never
retrieved then you might want to excavate the guest latrine. Now that
would be a real gold mine as nothing ever got recovered that went in there!.
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