The Feb. 15 Style article "First Ladies of Preservation: The Mount Vernon Story" described the efforts of Frances Payne Bolton in preserving the view from Mount Vernon. Mrs. Bolton's contribution might have been in vain, however, if it had not been for the Accokeek Foundation (created in part by Mrs. Bolton), the Alice Ferguson Foundation and the Moyaone Association, whose members owned and lived on land adjacent to what is now Piscataway National Park. Both the Accokeek Foundation and the Ferguson Foundation donated land for the park.
Members of the Moyaone Association, whose properties make up a large part of the view from Mount Vernon, joined the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association in petitioning Congress to establish Piscataway National Park to "preserve the view from Mount Vernon." The appropriation of funds for the federal park hinged on the donation of scenic easements by a sufficient number of private landowners.
At one time, a plaque just off the portico at Mount Vernon described the contribution of the neighbors across the river. A plaque listing the names of individual scenic easement donors remains within the park on the property managed by the Accokeek Foundation.
DAVID A. SWICK
The writer is a former president of the Moyaone Association.
It is not quite accurate to say that Ann Pamela Cunningham and her Mount Vernon Ladies' Association "launched America's preservation movement."
In 1834, more than two decades before the association bought Mount Vernon, U.S. Navy Lt. Uriah Phillips Levy bought Thomas Jefferson's Monticello from James Turner Barclay, who had bought the place from Jefferson's heirs in 1831. At the time of Levy's purchase, Monticello was, as one visitor put it, "in dilapidation and ruin."
Uriah Levy repaired and restored Monticello. It remained in his family until 1923, when it was sold to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which runs Monticello today.