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Did Jefferson Seed National Parks?

by Jan Schroder

While Lincoln, Grant and Theodore Roosevelt are often credited with preserving our nation’s wonders and launching the National Park Service, Thomas Jefferson deserves some thanks as well.

In 1767, Jefferson first viewed the Natural Bridge, describing it as “the most sublime of Nature’s Works.” Six years later he bought it for six shillings from King George III to preserve it as a “public trust” long before government entered the parks business.

In 2014, the deed was transferred to Virginia, which hopes to designate it as a state park. One more fun fact I learned from listening to Jefferson Hour podcasts.

Chris Schroder, SPR Atlanta

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