I get the most wonderful gifts in the mail. This week I received a beautiful pewter cup – the 2009 Virginia Reader’s Choice Award. It arrived in my mail box because middle grade children in Virginia voted The Ghost’s Grave as their favorite book last year.
The pamphlet from Camelot Pewter which accompanied the cup explained that it is called a Jefferson Cup because it is a replica of cups owned by Thomas Jefferson. In 1806 Jefferson received two large silver beakers from the estate of a friend. Later he had a silversmith convert them into eight smaller cups with rounded bottoms. These cups were used by Jefferson from 1810 until his death in 1826. Four of the original cups are on display at Monticello today.
I’ve always had a special fondness for Jefferson, partly because he is the author of the Declaration of Independence but also because his 6000 books were the original volumes in the Library of Congress. Anyone who owns 6000 books is a person I would enjoy meeting. That can’t happen, but I will cherish my Jefferson Cup. Thank you to the children of Virginia.