Games at Monticello
Just as he played games with the grandchildren on the West Lawn, Thomas Jefferson taught them games in the parlor, "suitable to the hour and to the place."
Both adults and children played board games at Monticello, such as The Game of the Goose, which resembles Parcheesi and was invented in Italy in the sixteenth century. Chess was one of Jefferson's favorite games, and one that he taught his granddaughter Ellen Wayles Randolph to play. In the summer, the two would carry the chess set outdoors and play under the trees on the West Lawn.
In addition to board games, the family also played word games, as described by several family members. In the winter evenings, sitting around the fire at dusk, the children were encouraged to play games. Granddaughter Virginia Randolph Trist had written: "When it grew too dark to read, in the half hour which passed before candles came in, he taught us several childish games, and would play them with us. I remember that 'Cross-questions,' and 'I love my Love with an A,' were two I learned from him; and we would teach some of ours to him."