Subject Source: Local sources
Found in 14 Collections and/or Records:
Scope and Contents John S. Skinner, journalist, agriculturist, and creator of the first successful American farm journal, The American Farmer, visited Monticello in 1820. In his subsequent recollections, he records that Jefferson was entertaining as usual, but on that particular occasion he was somewhat irrational in his conversation and the dinner menu (millet, one of Jefferson’s favorites) was less than satisfactory, precipitating indigestion.
Scope and Contents The larvae of the Hessian fly (Mayetolia destructor), which destroyed wheat crops, began spreading across America from the Northeast in the late 18th and early 19th centuries (it reached Monticello around 1811 and now resides wherever wheat is grown in the United States). Jefferson took an interest in studying and stopping or eliminating the pest but, overwhelmed by political duties (and Federalist stabs at his scientific pursuits of all kinds), left Thomas Mann Randolph and Samuel L. Mitchell...
Scope and Contents Jefferson’s expenditures and receipts for the year 1812-1813 serve as a model for his lifetime struggle to balance extravagant expenses of slaves and family, as well as guests to be wined and dined, with a fluctuating income as planter, politician, and retired gentleman.
Scope and Contents Dr. Benjamin Smith Barton, professor of botany and natural history at University of Pennsylvania, and Samuel Latham Mitchill, physician-naturalist and Congressman, both lauded Jefferson for his passion for and contribution to the science of botany. Barton honored him by naming the twinleaf plant Jeffersonia dyphylla (in the Linnaean nomenclature, introduced in 1753, that Jefferson so admired).
Scope and Contents Ever in search of improvements and innovations in the agricultural life of his country, Jefferson took special interest in importing dry, mountain, or upland rice to replace the cultivation of the coastal rice in America (the swampy plantations were breeding grounds for malaria). He beseeched the Vietnamese Prince Nguyen Anh for the dry rice of Cochin China, with the aid of friend Benjamin Vaughan received from Sir Joseph Banks (influential in English plant exploration and in many ways similar...
"Delicious Flowering Shrubs" and Cape Bulbs in the Monticello Greenhouse by Peggy Cornett Newcomb, (April 1997), E332.2 .A5 1997A
Scope and Contents Jefferson’s interest in all things botanical meant that his garden and greenhouse contained a number of unusual plants that originated in other parts of the world. Many of the European elite maintained greenhouses (orangeries) from the 18th century onward, and Jefferson planned to establish a greenhouse at Monticello to permit him to grow more delicate plants, seeds, and bulbs throughout the year. Initially he planned to have a free-standing, two-story structure on Mulberry Row but ultimately...
Scope and Contents In the midst of 1791’s draining political duties as George Washington’s Secretary of State, Jefferson took a month-long journey north with James Madison for "health, recreation and curiosity." During his travels Jefferson studied the Hessian fly for the American Philosophical Society committee and took descriptive but unscientific notes on the flora (such as the sugar maple and other trees), fauna, and bodies of water featured in each area they visited in New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. In...
Scope and Contents Jefferson had mixed feelings about dogs, as they were both dangerous -- as predators when not properly fed and as disease-carriers when rabid -- and useful farm animals. He obtained Bergère, an intelligent and industrious sheep dog from France, whom the slave Isaac recalls along with some of Jefferson’s other eccentrically named pets and animals. Though Jefferson sympathized with Judge Richard Peters (who in 1810 complained of the dangers of dogs to sheep) and Peter Minor of Albemarle (who...
Scope and Contents Dr. Benjamin Rush, longtime friend of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, was the foremost advocate for introduction of maple sugar as a substitute for the slave-produced cane sugar of the West Indies, and was also a vocal proponent of temperance (highlighting spirits as the real concern). Jefferson shared Rush’s ideals and joined him in his campaign to commercially destroy black slavery in the West Indies, purchasing maple sugar and attempting to grow the trees at Monticello, though Jefferson’s...
Scope and Contents Jefferson sought to raise sheep at Monticello and in Washington, D.C. because of his ardent interest in agriculture and animal husbandry. The desire for fine wool in America precipitated an agricultural craze for the importation of Merino sheep from Spain during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Jefferson hoped to profit from the sale of wool, while simultaneously demonstrating his patriotic spirit (by wearing American-made cloth) and scientific interest in adding new stock to existing...
Scope and Contents Jefferson took delight in farming and kept careful accounts of conditions and production, as evident in comments by La Rochefoucauld and in Jefferson’s Farm Book, a topically arranged agricultural book and broad record of his plantations’ activities. This book as well as his Garden Book, the "Mouldboard plow of least resistance," and the concept of the agriculture school are among Jefferson’s contributions to agricultural science. Includes mention of the Agricultural Revolution, George...
Scope and Contents Captain Joseph Miller and his daughter came to the US on the Lydia in 1813 and finally reached Albemarle County after many delays and disasters brought on by the war with Britain. Miller was well received and Jefferson, pursuing his interest in useful scientific pursuits and a desire to experiment with brewing his own beer at Monticello, soon befriended the British brewer. Miller trained Peter Hemings, who went on to produce fine, much-demanded ale (at first with wheat malt and eventually corn...
Scope and Contents Extracts from Jefferson’s journals of his travels in southern France in 1787, in which Jefferson describes in great detail the landscape and soil; various vineyards, including La Baraque, Chagny, Dauphine, and Bordeaux; red and white wines and their vineyard of origin, cultivation, quality, and costs of production and shipment. [Images: Thomas Jefferson in 1800 by Rembrandt Peale; Château de Chagny, between Beaune and Chalons]
Scope and Contents During his residence in France in April 1787, Jefferson journeyed through the Alps to Italy on a mule. He kept a careful journal of the climate, vegetation, and agriculture on his travels and was delighted to note the geographical link between the adventures in his ancient Latin books (such as Hannibal’s attack on Rome) to his own passage. Jefferson took special interest in the olive as an efficient and multi-purpose tree; he mapped the geographical boundaries of the olive’s cultivation and...