A Gift for a Grandchild

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As we all know, website searches don’t always give us what we are looking for. During a recent search on the Smithsonian’s public domain images site, I got this happy surprise.

It’s Thomas Jefferson’s writing desk. Being Thomas Jefferson, he designed it himself. It has a locking drawer for an inkwell and papers and pens. In the summer of 1776, Jefferson used this desk to write the Declaration of Independence. He continued to use it until 1825.

On November 14, 1825, Jefferson wrote to his granddaughter Eleanora Randolph Coolidge to let her know that he was sending the desk to her as a wedding present. In his letter, he said:

Mr. Coolidge must do me the favor of accepting this [gift]. Its imaginary value will increase with years, and if he lives to my age, or another half-century, he may see it carried in the procession of our nation’s birthday . . .

The desk remained in the Coolidge family until 1880 when the family gave it to the United States.

Thank you for living your life and training your children so that your grandchildren can have family treasures. The best one is the one that Timothy’s grandmother gave to him.

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you,
which first dwelled in your grandmother Lois
and your mother Eunice,
and I am sure that it is in you as well.
2 Timothy 1:5

Live Events Reminder


Seventy-seven years ago today, Ray’s father went ashore on Omaha Beach with other Allied forces to their march toward Germany and the defeat of Adolf Hitler. Join our son, John, today at 2:00 p.m. Central as he “becomes” his grandfather and tells One Soldier’s Story, the story of Ray’s dad, Wesley Notgrass. Sign up here.


Join our daughter Mary Evelyn tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., as she shares how to make history fun for students in grades 1 through 4, using Notgrass History. I’m sorry that I gave the wrong time yesterday. Sign up here.




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