Tag Archives: 1743-1826

Thomas Jefferson and the Rocky Mountains: Exploring the West from Monticello

Although he did not travel farther inland than the slopes of the Appalachians, Thomas Jefferson must take his place alongside Zebulon Pike, Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, and Lewis and Clark–the men who blazed the great western trails. Donald Jackson cogently recounts Jefferson’s fundamental role in promoting and shaping the exploration, settlement, and development of the Trans-Mississippi West.

Jefferson Abroad (Modern Library)

In July 1784, Thomas Jefferson, recently appointed to represent the American Congress in Paris, sailed from Boston with his daughter Martha, bound for France. Jefferson was eventually installed in a house on the Champs-Elysées, where he set about enjoying the special attractions of Paris. He went to galleries and concerts and entertained widely; he made note of the urban engineering and the beauty of Parisian architecture; and he browsed assiduously in local bookstores. Jefferson also made trips around the country and across western Europe, all the while taking notes on what he saw: the soil, crops, livestock, buildings, wine,
and local politics and customs.
Fortunately, Jefferson, who was to become
the third president of the United States in 1801, recorded his impressions in his voluminous correspondence and journals. He wrote to Abigail and John Adams, James Madison, George Washington, and also to a number of women friends and his children, so a variety of styles and levels of intimacy adds to the fascination of these accounts.
This volume has been selected from Jeffer-
son's letters by Douglas L. Wilson and Lucia Stanton, scholars of the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, who have provided a Preface and Notes. In the opinion of the editors, the five years that Jefferson spent in France were arguably the most memorable of his life. "By the time he returned to America in 1789," they write, "Paris–with its music, its architecture, its savants and salons, its leanings and enlightenments, not to mention its elegant social life and distinctive sexual mores–had worked its enchantments on this rigidly self-controlled Virginia gentleman, and had stimulated him to say and do and write remarkable things."

Framing a Legend: Exposing the Distorted History of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings

A penetrating critical perspective on the question of Thomas Jefferson's paternity that will make you rethink recent conventional wisdom. It is accepted by most scholars that Jefferson had a lengthy affair with his slave Sally Hemings and fathered at least one of her children, a conclusion based on a 1998 DNA study published in Nature and on the work of historian Annette Gordon-Reed. Framing a Legend argues compellingly that the DNA evidence is inconclusive and that there are remarkable flaws in the leading historical scholarship purporting to show such a liaison. It critically examines well-known books by Fawn Brodie, Annette Gordon-Reed, and Andrew Burstein. Among other defects in these authors' works, Holowchak notes selective use of evidence, ungrounded speculation, tendentious psychologizing, and unpersuasive argumentation. He delves into what we know about Thomas Jefferson's character by showing that the historical facts do not suggest any romantic interest on Jefferson's part in his female slaves. Turning to the genetic evidence, Holowchak points out that, though DNA analysis indicates the presence of a Y-chromosome from some Jefferson male in the Hemings family line, it is unwarranted to conclude that this must have come from Thomas Jefferson. Finally, he discusses Jefferson's racial attitudes and says that they argue against any liaison with Sally Hemings.

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello: A Photographic Portrait

Specially created in collaboration with Ken Burns for his documentary film series on Thomas Jefferson, these rich photographs portray Jefferson's Palladian masterpiece, Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia, as Jefferson might have photographed it himself — with his own refined intellectual and aesthetic vision. Jefferson died in 1826, the year photography was invented. In the spirit of this early era, award-winning photographer Robert Lautman has captured the house artistically using a unique mid-nineteenth-century method of creating photographs. After shooting the spaces with a large-format camera, and using only natural light — photographing the east side in the morning and the west side in the afternoon, utilizing shutters and doors for lighting control — he printed the images with a platinum-palladium process on hand-coated paper. The resulting photographs display a never-before-seen radiant atmosphere of this enchanting place, masterfully reproduced in this charming gift volume.

Begun in 1768 when Jefferson was only twenty-five years old, Monticello continued to be altered with changes and additions until his death. It remains the single home in America on the World Heritage List of international treasures. Jefferson, the only architect ever to serve as president, believed this house was his individual exploration and expression of classical architecture. Seen here are the harmonious proportions of the building, warm interiors, extensive grounds, romantic gardens, and elegant furnishings, along with some of Jefferson's prized personal belongings.

Jefferson and Religion (Monticello Monograph Series)

Thomas Jefferson's faith was of an eclectic sort; as he said, "I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know." He had a general interest in Christianity, seen through the lens of his Enlightenment philosophical views. He greatly admired the gospels and their central figure Jesus, but gave them a particularly Jeffersonian treatment in his own editing and reordering of them. This essay by Eugene R. Sheridan, is regarded by scholars as an authoritative treatment of a complex topic.
The essay in this book originally appeared as the introduction to Jefferson's Extracts from the Gospels, a volume in the second series of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, published by Princeton University Press in 1983.

The Women Jefferson Loved

“A focused, fresh spin on Jeffersonian biography.” —Kirkus Reviews

In the tradition of Annette Gordon-Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello and David McCullough’s John Adams, historian Virginia Scharff offers a compelling, highly readable multi-generational biography revealing how the women Thomas Jefferson loved shaped the third president’s ideas and his vision for the nation. Scharff creates a nuanced portrait of the preeminent founding father, examining Jefferson through the eyes of the women who were closest to him, from his mother to his wife and daughters to Sally Hemings and the slave family he began with her.

Passions : The Wines and Travels of Thomas Jefferson

This is a biography of Thomas Jefferson at leisure, enjoying two of his passions–wine and travel. Twelve of the sixteen chapters cover Jefferson's five years in France where he served as our minister and traveled through France, England, Germany, Italy and Holland. "Passions" was selected by Robert M. Parker, Jr. as "1995 Wine Book of the Year," and was the winner of the 1995 "Veuve Clicquot Wine Book of the Year" competition. It is a marvelous account of America's first wine connoisseur and gourmet.

Thomas Jefferson and Music, Revised Ed

For more than thirty years, Thomas Jefferson and Music has served as the definitive work on Jefferson’s musical knowledge and activities. Here, Helen Cripe discusses Jefferson's lifelong interest and involvement in music, his skill as a violinist, his knowledge of keyboard instruments and musical innovations, his musical library, the musical education of his daughters and granddaughters, and the instruments the family owned.

In this updated edition, Cripe provides more current information about the music and musical instruments of Jefferson's time, new details about musical activities in places Jefferson lived or traveled, and additional analysis of the importance of music to Jefferson and his family at Monticello. This edition also features many new illustrations, including selections of music from the Jefferson family music collection.

Thomas Jefferson: His Words and Vision (Americana Pocket Gift Editions)

Thomas Jefferson speaks for himself, in words that have retained their force, eloquence, and relevance to the present day. 64-page hardcover pocket gift book with dust jacket, 3-1/4'' wide by 5-3/8'' high.