Thomas Jefferson

Dear Mr. Jefferson: Letters from a Nantucket Gardener

By Laura Simon

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A modern gardener/historical romance novelist combines her thoughts on creating a thriving garden with Jefferson's own writings on the subject to craft a dialogue between avid horticulturalists, past and present. Also available on audio.

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Flight from Monticello: Thomas Jefferson at War

If your early education taught you something about Thomas Jefferson, it likely included facts on his part in authoring the Declaration of Independence, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Jefferson was an ideas man—a deep thinker. Well-educated in the classics at the College of William and Mary, he stayed out of the usual undergrad troubles by keeping at his studies and socializing with the professors while classmates spent their time drinking, gambling, and racing their horses through the streets. As historian Michael Kranish relates in Flight from Monticello, he made plenty of friends, but they were from the same landed gentry class as himself.

He first encountered an upstart farmer named Patrick Henry at a friend’s dinner party. Jefferson was not impressed by his dress, candid manners or frank speech, which drew a crowd of admirers. Not so much the classical scholar, Patrick Henry was already a practicing attorney while Jefferson was still in school.  While Jefferson carried on learned conversations with his professors, Henry was winning cases—not with references to Greek and Roman scholars but by spelling out the plain merits of the case and the rules of law. Jefferson found his courtroom arguments crude but admired his ability to turn a phrase and set a crowd on fire.

Thomas Jefferson: Third President of the United States

By Jim Hargrove

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Traces the life of the tall red-headed Virginian, from his early education and involvement in the American Revolution to his activities as the nation's third president and last years at Monticello.
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Thomas Jefferson: A Picture Book Biography

By James Cross Giblin

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"Builds on incidents from Jefferson's life to uncover the shy, quiet nature of the man who would become the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States. Important dates in his life are appended, as are quotes from his lectures."
From the publisher's description

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Monticello

By Michael Burgan

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Relates the history of Thomas Jefferson's home in western Virginia, including what life was like there for himself, his family, their slaves, visitors, and descendants, and how Monticello became a museum.

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Prodigy Houses of Virginia: Architecture and the Native Elite

By Barbara Burlison Mooney

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The grand houses created by 18th-century Virginians are a huge tourist draw, but what does their design tell us about the natures of the men who built them?  The auhor "illuminates the fortunes, motivations, and aspirations of the wealthy and powerful owners who built their 'homes'  with the object of securing their status and impressing the public."
Among those included are the houses of Governor Alexander Spotswood, William Fitzhugh, the Lee family of Westmoreland, and Thomas Jefferson. Historians and students of architecture should enjoy this unusual approach to the time period.

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Great Lives Series: Thomas Jefferson

On Tuesday, January 26, 2010, the University of Mary Washington invites the public to a free lecture on Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson and Slavery

By Sue Willis, CRRL Staff

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

Notes on the State of Virginia by Thomas Jefferson.
The only book that Jefferson wrote was undertaken as a matter-of-fact commentary on the resources and institutions of Virginia and developed into one of the more thoughtful books of the time. His cherished goals were the emancipation of slavery in Virginia and the reformation of Virginia's constitution. However, some of the ideas in his Notes are in opposition to these goals, giving creedence to Jefferson's reputation as a conflicted man. It should be noted that the Notes were written in 1781, and Jefferson did try to improve the slaves' lot before his death in 1826.

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy

By Annette Gordon-Reed

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Annette Gordon-Reed, a professor of law, doesn't take a position for or against the proposition that Sally and Jefferson had a loving relationship. However, Gordon-Reed has strong evidence that they could have had a long relationship.

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The Wolf by the Ears: Thomas Jefferson and Slavery

By John Chester Miller

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Chapters include Slaves and Revolution in Virginia, Racial Inferiority, Blacks and Indians, Jefferson as a Slavemaster, and Sally Hemings.

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