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Virginia Connections

by John Ragosta Thomas Jefferson, on his way to college at William and Mary, first met Patrick Henry at a holiday party in 1759 at the home of Nathaniel West Dandridge. (The home, known as Oldfields, still stands.) Henry, six years older than the aspiring student, was already married with several children. Yet, with good […]

Morven, the University of Virginia, and the Summer Jefferson Symposium

By John Ragosta Earlier this week, Althea Brooks from Lifetime Learning in Alumni and Parent Engagement sent me an article concerning Morven, the 3,000 acre property which John W. Kluge donated to the University of Virginia, most of which had in its time been purchased by Thomas Jefferson for his secretary, William Short. Those that had […]

Sex and Monticello: Jefferson, France and the politics of secrets.

By Andrew Burstein Source: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/02/thomas-jefferson-france-lafayette-monticello-103303.html#.UvoWw7RDVCM In the final years of Thomas’s Jefferson’s life, America’s best friend in Europe was also the last surviving commander of Continental Army forces. The Marquis de Lafayette was a fatherless French aristocrat, inspired by the Declaration of Independence, who outfitted a vessel and sailed the Atlantic to commit to the […]

Thomas Jefferson’s Friends, Family and Foes

Dear Alumni, Parents and Friends: Every person tends to fit others into their own worldview. In our minds, we shape them to our own understanding. This tendency was particularly strong in Jefferson. Thus, when George Washington became concerned that Jefferson’s and Madison’s Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions threatened the union and convinced Patrick Henry to enter […]

What would Jefferson think of a MOOC?

By John Ragosta I know that it is a silly question in many ways: Imagine first explaining to Tom computers, video, the internet, and then modern education. You can see where this goes. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Classes), though, have become one of the hottest topics in higher education as lawmakers and administrators look to […]

Jefferson and his Family of Friends

By John Ragosta A pending auction of a small survey map (smaller than a standard piece of paper) has historic collectors all aflutter. It is a 200 year old plat for a 1300 acre farm in central Virginia originally called Indian Camp. What is generating all of the excitement is that the plat was hand-drawn […]

Thomas Jefferson and George III

by Andrew O’Shaughnessy (Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello) On September 14, 2004, Andrew J. O’Shaughnessy, the Saunders Director of Monticello’s Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, presented a talk on King George III’s role in the American Revolution and Jefferson’s view of his former sovereign. This talk was […]

Thomas Jefferson’s Love of the Written Word: Concluding Thoughts

by John Ragosta I had a wonderful time this weekend, not only meeting a lot of fine folks, but also learning some things. Thinking back briefly on the conference, I had a few immediate thoughts. First, in a conference about Jefferson’s love of the written word, one might have more methodically explored his famous texts […]

“The Worlds of William Short” at U.Va.

by Laura Voisin George My Spring 2012 history seminar, “The Worlds of William Short,” confronted U.Va. students with the words of Thomas Jefferson and William Short, his private secretary and close friend, and challenged them to learn what these words do – and do not – mean.  The students worked with microfilms of Short’s correspondence, […]