Terror of Monticello
Born to a prominent Virginia family in April of 1743, Thomas Jefferson was raised with every advantage available to a young man in colonial America. It is difficult to say, then, exactly where things began to go wrong.
From a late memoir we learn that the death of Jefferson’s father had a profound effect on his early life. Only fourteen at the time of his father’s death, Jefferson began to slip into a dark world of fantasy. The following statements come from a report by Jefferson’s counselor at William and Mary, made when Jefferson was just 16 years old:
Jefferson: “My mother told me when she worked on death row and they took that dude into hanging and his head popped off and went down them 13 stairs and rolled over by her, it scared the shit out of her. (chuckles) you know, and I said ‘wow, that sure is a far out trip moms.’”
Counselor: “Come off it Thomas, your mother never worked at a–.”
Jefferson: “The head popped off, yeah. She was living in the Blue Moon Café and she hit a dude in the head with one of them bottles of uh, Jim Beam Whiskey. She tried to hustle a few dollars on the corner, but there wasn’t no money…”
Counselor: “WHOA! There is no way that’s true Thomas. You shouldn’t s–”
Jefferson: “Are you so white and pure? (pauses) So, when she jammed this whiskey bottle upside that clown’s head, he went down and she took his bread. ”
During college Jefferson became a member of a secret society known as the F.H.C. Society. Though little is known about his position within this organization, it has been proposed that it was during this time that Jefferson gained his taste for control and dominance. When asked by a reporter about his time within the secret society then President Jefferson had this to say:
“I used to have to lay down and get my ass whipped till I couldn’t walk. No one fault, make strong, good pain, understand pain. Not bad. Pain’s not bad, it’s good. It teaches you things. It teaches you things. Like when you put your hand in the fire, OW! You know not to do that again. Yeah I understand that.”
Perhaps nothing sums up the strange and troubled existence of Thomas Jefferson better than this exchange as recorded in My Remarkable Journey by Larry King:
“We were out on the porch one day in late March when Thomas looks at me and says,
‘You know what I like Lar?’ He always called me Lar.
‘No,’ I said, ‘what do you like Tom?’
‘Killin’,’ he said, ‘killin’ and a-rapin’.’”