The history of an institution is said to resemble the lengthening shadow of a great man. Certainly the vital element in the history of a country or a part of it is biographical. The Monticello Association is a family group of descendents of Thomas Jefferson. It is asking too much for lightning to strike twice in the same spot. There has been no second Mr. Jefferson. The Jefferson family can be proud of the fact that a very considerable number of Jefferson's descendents have been and continue to be citizens of talent and, indeed, distinction; still there is no one whose stature anywhere nearly approaches that of the patriarch of the clan. But there has been a sprinkling of governors, senators, cabinet members, and other citizens of character; for the most part they do not stand forth very high above their fellows in the generality of mankind.
One of the