by George Allen
February 15 2015
as published in The Washington Times
Having held Thomas Jefferson’s seat in the House of Delegates living for two years in a converted shed on Mount Alto-Brown’s Mountain overlooking Monticello marrying my wife Susan nearby at James Monroe’s Ash Lawn and now living on land that was once a part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon plantation I have seen how historic properties can be subdivided and developed thereby altering the experience and sense of a personal understanding of important history.
That’s probably why I loved historian Michael Beschloss’ recent New York Times account of the saving Jefferson’s beloved Monticello.
As a Virginian and an American I am grateful to the Levy family and subsequent generous benefactors for preserving Monticello to give future generations the ability to experience the intriguing home designed built and loved by the author the Declaration of Independence the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and founder of the University of Virginia.
Mount Vernon like Monticello was saved not by government but by private citizens — in the case of Washington’s home the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The Ladies of Mount Vernon always get strong applause when they proudly proclaim that they’ve never taken a dollar of government assistance.
Governor George Allen currently serves as Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan Ranch Presidential Scholar and is a member of the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors.