Editorial: Bring it home
Word has it that the agreement between Mathews County and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello is up for renewal. Fourteen years ago, the foundation borrowed, for three months of study, Mathews County’s Campeachy, to determine if it were an authentic early-19th century Campeachy chair built by Monticello’s slave cabinetmakers.
The agreement has already been renewed a few times.
We feel it is time to bring this antique home. The foundation in the past has said it is trying to bring back all Campeachy chairs that originated at Monticello. However, visitors to Monticello this summer learned that the chair is not on display, nor has its place of construction been determined.
When the Mathews chair, which had languished for years in the second floor of the historic courthouse, went to Charlottesville, there was no good place to display it in the county. Now Mathews has a new courthouse, and a new well-established visitor center looking for uses of its second floor. Conceivably this unique artifact of the 19th century could be placed in either spot, and be back where it belongs.
Let’s bring the Campeachy chair home and make it the centerpiece of a collection of county treasures.