tv Derek Baxter In Pursuit of Jefferson CSPAN July 4, 2022 5:50pm-6:46pm EDT
president, this image on the right is a romanticized image of tyler receiving news of harrison's passing in his elevation to presidency. >> watch this program and thousands more online at c-span.org/history. >> now the main event, we are thrilled to have derek baxter here with us today, author of the% of jefferson traveling through europe with the most perplexing foundingin father joining us today from fairfax, virginia where he lives with his wife and children and in his words, they live a peaceful life there before following his travel advisor crop your so he's going to tell you more about the book and we are thrilled to have him here, derek baxter, everybody. >> great. thankkou you and thank you for everybody watching. this book is about me following jefferson's travels across
europe it was a chance to learn about a different side of jefferson we don't often hear about. we all know about the younger jefferson who wrote the declaration of independence at the age of 33 and republic know something about jefferson as an older man when he was president but this gave me a chance to explore the different side of jefferson he was middle aged in the 1780s, jefferson was going into his 40s and almost didn't travel to france at all, he'd been asked twice to go over to be ambassador from the unitedte states and declined it both times but thereer were two traumatic events that changed his mind and life in the early 1780s that led him to take this trip. one was he was governor of virginia for two years during the revolutionary war and wound up being a difficult time. jefferson, a brilliant guy but not a good wartime governor,ll
many challenges, he had trouble calling the militia up against the british wound up overrunning the state and jefferson was talmost captured and charged up the mountain and came with it a few minutes of catching him and jefferson left office and criticized by this incident and was stung by criticism from a bit of a sensitive guy and he was done with politics, he wrote that he retired to his farm and his family and field and nothing would separate them from them again but the next year, the next event happened, his wife martha died, unchartered happiness and was devastated as you might imagine, he was in a stupor of mine, dead to the
world as his late wife was he even wrote to one friend hinting at suicide so this is not the jefferson you might think of, people didn't even know he'd written declaration of independence for the most part, it was kept secret to make the documents seem it was the work of the congress of the whole so he is out of politics, his family life ruined and he just wanted to get away so james madison this, a close political ally and arranged for congress to ask him for a third time to go to paris and this time he accepted and it was over there as you can see maybe from this painting that jefferson can join himself again and started to find joy in life so he's directing in this manner, he discovered harrison found so
much to love there and fell in love with art galleries and intellectual salons and the music and the culture paris had to offerll and he came back in a way, not only got a new lease on life so to speak but one of learning so much when heur was n europe learning about different topics he could contrast with what was going on in america and come back to america with new ideas so he wound up taking several trips across europe from paris, he spent five years as ambassador and took three great trips away from the capitol where he really got to explore someone was the south of france and italy, one was england and one was the netherlands and germany and he learned about different subjects, he refined his political ideals and my theory was this time in france
that put him back on france rise to the ranks in the government and eventually become president it was toward the end of his stay in europe in 17882 young americans came to him, these were sons of friends of his back home and planning a great trip around the continent and who better to get advice from and jefferson, the ambassador? the front of a father? jefferson, the ultimate overachiever, he didn't just give a few names here and there, go check this out, he wrote the 5000 word letter to these two twentysomething guys gave it a title : his two americans traveling in europe. he sketched out thiser itinerary for them to follow gave ideas of things to do. he had insight from his trip he
could share about things to do over there and he thought it was important these young men not just over europe and have a good time although they wouldit hopefully enjoy the trip, itrn s about learning, he gave them homework and jefferson set out what he called eight objects of attention he thought were particularly important for americans to learn about agriculture and landscape gardens and architecture and royal courts. i have are question here in the crowd, which of these subjects you can see you think jefferson thought was particularly worth great attention for americans? there wereub several subjects he wanted to explore and was interested in but one in particular was worth the attention. agriculture was one right up there but not one for that
particular quote. anything else he's known for? >> architecture, absolutely.y. this in pursuit of jefferson bookmark for your reading pleasure. architecture was one he was fascinated by and something he wanted people to explore so this spoke to me and it came at an interesting time in my life and i saw a few parallels, i want to overdo it but i was about the same age as jefferson when i came across this, about a decade ago so i was pushing 40, about the same agege jefferson plus, m from virginia so i've seen a couple things but i was fascinated by the fact that jefferson, my hero growing up in virginia, a he wrote this guide and set out these challenges so i was looking for something else
to do in my life, a bit of a midlife crisis and thinking about what else didnd i want to do? this idea of following this itinerary start to finish and exploring different places and learning about the subject, so i started thinking about going out and do it, i had a job and didn't file could go off for a yearev and do this long trip but to break it into pieces and do the travel and find out what would happen and what i might learn along the wayhe so one subject was particularly interesting to me, how was i going to learn about wine? and jefferson's travels, i'll go back to the map here, you can see where g the wine glass and
wine bottle is, if you know anything about ordo, one of the most exclusive wineries in the world so jefferson since the traveler there and makes a big deal out of it and felt that i was going to follow these travels, i have too figure out how to go but the problem is you can't just waltz in there, these are exclusive vineyards that don't let anybody off the street, you have to have in in. i was trying to figure out if i'm going to do travels, how could i go to bordeaux in particular? i came across something else, in bordeaux theyr, have a marathon every year but is not just any marathon. you dress up in costume and you get to go in to the different châteaux and they serve you wine and these are vineyards reducing $500 bottles of wine. my wife and i thought about it. we wondered if this was be in i was looking for and finally we decided to go do it.
so here we are starting off this wine marathon, it was a strange way, a bit of a travel hack to wget into ordo and the cash was we had to run a marathon and dressed in costume so that year i did it, the theme of the marathon was history. ... efore the before the the marathon i was i did some research i had to find out why was jefferson so fascinated by wine? so, you know, he's a very serious guy, you know, he's not joking around a lot and you know wine doesn't seem like that serious topic for a founding father, but he put all of these different wine references in his travel guides. in fact, he told the travelers he listed 13 different types of wine that he wanted them to find so i learned about it and so eventually as i'm gonna read just a short passage from i learned about it.bo going to read a shortrt passage from a book about why wine was important to jefferson. jefferson battles to southern france as well as italy and
germany. part of this quest for the perfect bottle of wine. this was not just too could lay out the best table in america, although he would do that too. until independence americans had drunk overly sweet madera, forced on them by the english and the restrictive trade policy. now the wines of france were open to american importers. which ones were the best? there were no guides, jefferson would have to make discoveries for himself. he selected might be grown back in america. jefferson were the fastest growing and drink and back home was corn whiskey. he did not want his beloved farmers goingip on and vendors. he imagined them sipping find yet affordable wine by the fire at night reaching virgil in the original latin and discussing democracy. so jefferson rambled through the vineyard as he put it. talking and observing winemaking and finding deals.
he recorded how women plucked snails off the grapes and men grafted vines. he about vine cuttings to experiment with in his garden and bottles to sample at home. these were the happiest days of his life he wrote later. after his trip, jefferson was used as rankings of bordeaux to guide his purchases which he may directly with the wineries whenever possible. middlemen inevitably cheated the consumer he wrote. adulterating winds, switching vintages and producers and storing it poorly. only the producer itself provided genuine article it be suicidal for them to do otherwise. he would travel home from france with three to 63 bottles in tow mostly whitee bordeaux. that was just for his immediate use. the rest of the best wine collection was shipped in crates. so, we went off to the marathon i'll write you ace short passage in the end of the marathon print thinking about a lot of things this is my first jefferson
travel experience. i was looking for ways to make connections between his time and hours. i was thinking about the history of when jeffersonre was there ad when these two young men made it to bordeaux. one of the men all went jefferson's private secretary in a bit a crisis of himself. he was wondering if he should stay in europe for the rest of amhis life or follow politics. by the end of the marathon we were just thinking about finishing breads was our first run, it was a hot day. we areo drinking wine, we weren cost and we are just hoping to survive. by now at least small sips of bordeaux no longer dulled the a throbbing in her knees with the blistering on our feet. even that mild whiny buzz has disappeared. call that the spectators look concerned her name is onbu her running bib but i wonder why she is garnering such attention.
then i see she is bright red is a nice cabernet. despite all the pageantry and wine it's still a marathon. a first-grade doubts about this whole expedition creep in. how did vote for plans the following hints to w americans f we fail on this inaugural leg. we walk briskly but ie know what north of six hours into the race closing in on the seven hour limit. with cloud hundred 38 is a welcome sight. we are on the home stretch it's time for the most famous stop on the journey, a table filed piled high with heaps of oysters put their stops along the way you get gourmet food along this wonderful wine. t there is a time limit in the sweeper if you fall behind the sweeper they arere running at te slowest pace you can do and still be in the marathon. she run to slow they can kick
you out. with shock the oysters at a snails pace.e. i drink white from a plastic water bottle. this lush drink almost puts me in a trance. i could lie down, stop running and drink some more preferable is into guitar music pretty reached my hand out for a second period she shouts three from the edge of the tent, i cannot hear her but managed a shrug. smelt weekly and take another swig. she looks upset as if she'd eaten a bad oyster. puts dramatically at a hill i follow her finger pressing a hilltop hundred meters ahead of us. behind them a gaggle of writers cling to the tree of hate begging for penance the sweepers and the acolytes disappear over the hill brushing the juice from our dreams. or about to be placed in the van and hauled back to the starting line. my hint test run a failure.
on monday and be back on the commuter train getting to work by 9:00 p.m. just like those wines i will be confined in a classification that is impossible to break out of. my mind flashes back to jefferson these young men following his advice. am i going to be leaving themuto soon? i know william short wrote a letter to jefferson from bordeaux. consider carefully jefferson counseled and return letter who be sorry to lose short as it sucker chip at young man had to find his own path throughgh durable happiness. it's really involved hard work. this is not a world in which heaven rains riches into any hand that will open itself jefferson wrote. whichever of these courses you adopt delay is loss of time. as soon as the race began the sooner the price will be obtained. i feel almost electric jolt course through me. i am not ready to abandon this
race, this prize, this pursuit of happiness. without a word we rushed forward, revolutionary storming the barricade. we put pain out of mind. we charge up the hill sweeping past the sweepers. on a runner site blisters and he forgotten we clock our fastest kilometer as the river comes into sight. flies crisp in the wind our hearts pounding in unison. our minds drag our exhausted up bodies behind them. she is purple like merlot and determine. the clock ticks seven hours we crossed the line holding hands. we finished the marathon. now the hard journey begins. we decided to continue as you can tell from that reading. we decide that first run that test run was fun and enjoyable, we made connections. we set out. as i did the trips we wound up
combining about a trip a year during part of this itinerary in europe. in may come back home to virginia look for smaller trips we could do in virginia to see how jefferson put all of this knowledge and put it into practice. this is the it vineyard in virginia. i'm proud to see here. jefferson tried to grow wine after all these europeann experiences of learning and he failed. there are several reasons why. the crops were not untrained grapes are not working they did not shake because of this aphid we have in the u.s. it was attacking the roots of this vine. the european grapes he brought over cannot take hold hearing good wine grapes for it eventually jefferson tied what would be a solution for the end of his life people started sending him grapes, different
kind of grapes, wine grapes that grew here in p america. which hopefully people might know the name of those grapes. the grapes here. in the hand is this store is named after this wine grape among the river. european grapes would not grow in america. native groups avoid. jefferson with baby a little hyperbole had a very fine and aromatic flavor to it. he was not successful growing his grape ultimately predict kickstart what became the american wine culture that we have today. we continued on our trip. and i think the stop we learn to travel like jefferson was in amsterdam.
this is king's day. it happens once a year it is to celebrate the royal house ofje orange. when jefferson went to amsterdam he saw something a little similar. he was also there for the celebration of the prince's orange birthday party had to wear orange. he bought an orange to join the celebrations. jefferson is traveled by start. think travel tips are interesting. one thing he wrote in this guide the first thing you should do would you go into a city, a place you've never been to before, is to buy a map which makes sense. a guidebook. you should really get practical information. in the next stop is to go to the highest place you can find in the city. the highest point.
perhaps a church steeple or the city walls for the ideas to look down below you get an aerial view ofgh the place. kind of like you might through google earth satellite photo today. and then his next piece of advice was to go out there and as he put it, gulp down culture. he generally recommended you know how the city plan looks common to go out there and find certain sites you know you want to see. reminded the travelerr you might never be back at this place again. if you have any questions or doubts as to whether he should go see something, go do it. but he also said on the other hand look for some balance. you could not possibly go to a museum and see everything in it. that would burden the mind. she then she really have to but you don't have to se' absolutely everything in the place.
recommended meeting real people. getting to know a bit about the real life of the place you are in. he said one place to do that iss to go to public markets for that is an ideal place you can buy something, you can talk to people, you can get to know little bit about them. and he also recommended going to taverns and ends. actually drinking local. he said do not order a foreign wind or going to adulterate it and mark it up or drink what everybody else is doing. and ultimately jefferson thought travel was a great way of learning, experiencing and seeing new things. there's think you're experiencing with what you know about your ownnd life. about how he was an and in printed everything in him just in two suitcases but he said he had so few cares. at that time he was happy.
she was sitting in the room and his in and travel can do that. y it can give you a chance to reflect about everything you have seen and think about where you're going. we continued on our travels. we did a number of them of their children are pretty young at the time. this is in england. tlandscaped garden, english gardens are basically the only thing jefferson liked aboutan england. they really did love them pretty went to 19 different gardens, which we did as well. estelle was one of his favorites were jefferson took a lot of ideas back from the lancet guards he saw. look at the follies the small temples putting what they call eye catcher's way off in the distance. i'm kind of painting a tableau rmthrough landscaping. he would go back pretty thought this wasas a great art form is a
very important art form in the 18 century specially for in aristocrats with the states. ohad ideas that landscaping woua do at monticello who leave the base of his mountain very wooded and wild. you go up the mountain to the top is telling the story at paint obtaining the land. in america expanding. jefferson learned so much of that from his travels in england. another trip we took which had to be the most popular for the family. certainly do the kids was italy. jefferson wrote who ali continued italy print we learned about the different kinds of agriculture and food one of
which is pasta near naples jefferson asked the young men to stop there and give him h a macaroni mold which they did. back home he could make a macaroni. jefferson this is at factor that had similar molds how they made pasta in the old days. this is something jefferson became very popular for he populates pasta in the presidentshe house. surprise people are eating. one guest said that the process elongated onions for they did not note to make of these new flavors. hey popularized a lot of italian dishes keep it even french dishes had a front shop in the presidents house. it basically a of french fries.e
another passion of jefferson's. think notes about technology and the canal came to saw. we looked up from his carriage jwindow and saw a farmer laborg with what was he called an inefficient clout plow. he sketched outan the design ple of the uses of human life. at one of the main areas where he did that was through promoting fishing and whaling. as an ambassador in paris where he was to promote business interest which these were big industries for the u.s. and new england at the time. he studied fishing, his study
whaling to find out the different migratory patterns of animals in the sea and better ways of fishing. so here we are cometh here i amt a fish market. at a fish auction. we come to we talked about earlier the subject he thought was worth great attention, architecture. is this a building you think you have possibly seen before? it's a bit of a trick question. it's a forerunner of monticello before he traveled to paris to get version of this belt not finish.
he just took his design ideas from books, the great renaissance architect. he had not seen any ideas like this in person but it's really not a bad design but nothing like the monticello b although you've ever been there if you've ever looked the back of a knuckle unit monticello has a dome this isav missing. i suppose have a dome, it's flowing. it's kind of box he. and said in your pete really got his architectural idea. so this building probably looks a lot more like monticello. this is in paris. witnesses favorite building. he wrote in fact he is violently smitten by it. this is a manchin that was built neby adjournment prints for it happened the construction happen the very thing here jefferson was in paris. here go out there from his
manchin. not too far from the eiffel tower on the left effect. he would come down and sit in his garden and a lawn chair it would crane his neck as far as he could to look across the span and watches building being built. who come home at night with his neck hurting from looking at it all day long. showing off a new style of architecture. a little different than the old classical forms. and said there was a real emphasis on flow, on humility, on restraint. this was a building with three stories that was meant to look like it was just one story. jefferson took some of these ideas back pretty certainly took the endowment back appreciate the idea of skylights back. on it love this idea of eimmodesty and no way of makinga large building appeared to be a cozy one story building.
so at monticello the third story is hidden. the second story very low to the ground. it's a bit of a trek making monticello seemhi much bigger tn it actuallye is. another he learned in europe was building material. here i am in dilute, an ancient marble quarry the romans used michelangelo got marblem e from. the best marble in the world. jefferson asked these young men who were following his guide to stop and execute a commission for him. give it to the workers there they can make him marble chimney piece for monticello. so i brought that back prettyur what he discovered of course this is so expensive you cannot use much of it in your building. instead what regina it was famous for its red clay. jefferson realized thatat the signature look of the buildings would come from the bricks he
used instead. so here is an older picture of it monticello. you can see some of the ideas that he brought back between the building materials, between the well-known buildings he saw, he makes them altogether and socrates a lot of creativity and come up with his own ideas for building. throughout the travels, as i said no but on these trips. they were great adventures. even going to the path was a manic cap adventure. it's kind of dangerous going around all these curves. we certainly experience a lot. and we learned a lot went back home to virginia to try to understand how he puts his ideas into practice. but what i learned more and more as the trips went on and i realize i had to deal with a wareally significant ways i
contemplated jefferson, as i thought about these travels, was the issue of slavery. i knew jefferson was a slave owner. the disappointing fact i thought about. i do not particularly think these journeys would be that focus on slavery. jefferson took his european travels by himself or with a hired french servant. he had two enslaved people at different times with him mpr's for james fleming's for the whole stay and sally fleming for part of it for they did not go on these trips with him.ot this is certainly a very troubling side of jefferson. but not the main focus of his travels. as i went on i realize that wass wrong. slavery had every inch of the travel. as i explained more these subjects i realize the architecture ideas he had came back home to put in place he was sent out there building the building they are largely built by the slight people. the landscaped gardens, the agricultural ideas hede brought
back, also were all going to be engaged -- were carried out by enslaved people. it was very disappointing to see. but i realize an issue i reckon with more than i had been including the very fact jefferson established himself. on these other plantations that was funding his work. and i had to pay more attention to everybody that lived on the mountain by jefferson enslaved over six other people in his lifetime. he only freed ten. disappointingly popes during t this time of his life it was a difficult time because it's her in 80s in france that he retreated his view, his role as an advocate for gradual emancipation. he had pushed for that in virginia and the congress pretty start to step backwards when he
was in paris for the political reasons, for the debt he was in. who's never quite that same passionate advocate is very quiet on the subject. instead he realized he needed the money enslaved people were giving him from the work in the field, and even at times when he sold them.fe bracket generate 1785 jefferson was in his first year in paris he found himself deeper in debt needing money and authorizes overseer back home toat sell 31 people at auction. so i start to be a deaf person differently when i saw just how important slavery was to his entire life pretty could not teseparated out. jefferson the architect is one thing, jefferson slave owner was differently but they're all connected pretty start to pay more attention to the lives of these other people at
monticello. kind of off script. i've put down following jefferson around europe sure ton focus more on the lives of some people in their own life. not just in their relationship to jefferson. how they live their own life, past the freedom they might found to get out of the mountain. tin maker, a blacksmith at monticello. this is a story i explore more in my book. with a reverend had a very fascinating life i think. he was a hemming, his father, joseph a blacksmith son of mary emhemming manual labor with enslaved people did on the plantation. but jefferson died in 1826. peter was only 11 and all of a
sudden his life completely changed. families were broken up. 130 people were auctioned after jefferson's death. joseph was actually one of the people that were freed. but peter was not. he was sold to a master very cool master who forbade him to read. who whipped him. it was a time of suffering for this young man who left monticello. he tried to escape, was caught and brought back. eventually joseph foster -- met with some help of some friends was able to buy his son's freedom. in the whole family moved to ohio. peter fossett became a reverend. he became a caterer, had a successful business, work with the underground railroad. and years later as in 1900 is 85 at this time, he was invited back to monticello. but at this time that jefferson had long since left the house.
a jewish family that was very inspired by jefferson's commitment to religious freedom. they welcomed peter back home. so he had auctioned off he walked back in as an old man to the front steps. so the journey is in many different places in europe, and my mind, considering this man had once beenll my hero and nowi saw more critically. but at the at left me very enriched. definitely thinking that we do need to member jefferson along all these other people at the mountain on monticello mountain. at the waiver numbing the whole time. that we share in our history as americans. and it still left me with many stories of jefferson and i looked out despite the problems
as well. his commitment to public education, to religious freedom. very grateful i went on the trip. i read about now in this book in pursuit of jefferson, through your for the most perplexing founding father. the combination of my own travel with jefferson with a history. describe a half half. half travel half history. you can find out more if you are interested in. jefferson travels all comments my website were written a lot moreth about the journey you hae other pictures other thought and stuff that didn't make it into the book. given the questions i'm happy to take it. but what about the language is human to the different
countries? was he rather fluent in languages? that is a great question. he thought he was a little more fluent than he was free love languages he loved french. he had a real problem speaking french with conversational french and he got there. he read it fluently but he had trouble making himself bee s understood. he would sometimes use an interpreter or translator for his written documents. he knew latin and greek. he wrote that he taught himself spanish by reading don quixote on the ocean on ship right over. i know if you can completely learn spanish through that book but it's a greatan start. he told young americans are asking for advice definitely pointed them in the direction of spanish and knowing is going to be very important language for hour country. he did pretty well overall. i think we ran into trouble was
when he went to germany and said he did not know german. he was at a loss pretty try to alwayskn language including lat. people inpeak to latin trying desperately to make himself be understood. thousand bit of an uphill battle. >> questions when he brought back the architecture was the storm more or less from en masse? was that the idea behind the dome? >> that's also very interesting question when the romans had domes. and that the classical architecture and he knew about domes from books. but the techniques were very difficult in terms of having them be built in america.it it was a challenge to build with all of that masonry. it was so heavy. jefferson came across i in paria wooden zone. he was covering a gray marketde
that the interlocking wooden slats. he loved that idea. eventually it burned down it was would -- made out of wood. jefferson s love the technique, studied that and got matures for that. she brought back those ideas but he came back to monticello with the design and he said he wanted a dome that workers had never seen one could nonetheless follow these plans and build one. he would happily called sky room pretty it was up top. you love the geometry of it as well. end of having a dome obviously at monticello. and the rotunda at the university of virginia the school that he founded. he put one there too which is beautiful. it's obviously still there today. the rotunda has little touches from throughout his travel. has koala marble for example. it's really one of his
masterpieces. [inaudible] >> and he went to europe that is before the revolution he washe back before the revolution. he really enjoyed the french. i'm not very from ire would jefferson be like the french. that trip impact his politics a lot when he came back togh the states went on through the presidency? yes, yes absolutely. i have a whole chapter on jefferson and lead out. but really propelled him into his politics. of you remember back in the different subjects he set up for the american politics by this he meant how do common people live? how the politics of the country affect them? he loves traveling around and trying to get the politics and political situation based on how
people are t living. when he went to germany to hold collection states it was not unified. he would go through one that was more capitalistic that had free market maybe some elements of democracy. you go to another and it was a complete hypocrisy. he wrote how we sell beggars. itd was taking note of the form of government affected how people live. then in france it was a case study. jefferson was there, louis the 16th was an absolute monarch but had run into d major probles freeze deeplyn into debt in part because of france's role the american revolution. but for other reasons as well. jefferson was following all of this i was there for the first year of the frenchun revolution. this was the war of moderate times. was way before the guillotine. this is jefferson's friends was
one of thef leaders and became the leader for brief period of time. jefferson thought that was the best that france could do that they could hope for. i was very instrumental behind the scenes. jefferson lasted in the early version of what became the universal declaration of human rights. the france declaration of the rights of man which also includes that universal declaration. he is behind the scenes working with lafayette on promoting liberty and promoting the new national assembly and taking a greater role. they cameca back to america very inspired. he did not foresee the reign b of terror on the bloodshed that would happen but did not know the french revolutionary wars would happen a 1790s yet. he came back thinking france is basically going to do what we
just did. we are going to have a successful republic. it took him a long time straight from that idea. as a proponent with the french were doing he clashed with hamilton in the cabinet. much more pro-british. i think eventually jefferson and madison formed but they called the republican party the democratic republican party we often call it today. it was inspired in part by what happened in france. they're kind of sticking up for the french revolution. in trying to keep us from aligning too closelyly with britain. i think there's parallels between the democratic republican party in lafayette's patriot o party. social moderate and democratic. i do think it did influence his ideals and give him the momentum because the one to re-create what he thought lafayette and erothers were doing in the u.s. when he got here.
[inaudible] >> he really fought it back. and that ultimately succeeded when he was elected president called the revolution of 1800. he thought it was important its own way is a revolution of 1776 for the person that the transfer of power exit from one party to another. jefferson's office as the voice of common people. of farmers, urban artisans very much carrying on the work of the french revolution pretty wroteas the french revolution was just the first chapter in the history of european liberty. he thought it was spread to all the countries in europe and it wound up taking a while. text just out of curiosity i don't know much about jefferson. 200 in your book about enslaved people. he wrote the declaration of independence all men are created
equal. that you look at that contrast and how he felt about the different age of his life. another is a lot of discussion between him and john adams was olderhi. it was her discussion on them because at the real contradiction if you look at it is in it? >> it certainly is with one jefferson did not resolve his life them at all. an asset said earlier is pushing to do more on slavery. he knew it was evil he wrote that it was a hideous institution. he wrote god would judge people like him that were slave owners but he knew we had to move on as a country from it. thought find the memes to do it for himself that is for sure. he had been pushing more to end it earlier and then walk that back. he talked about in private nonpublic. very famously rekindled their
correspondence they became good friends was here in france. adams of the diplomats would jefferson got there. benjamin franklin john adams awere already there as a baddet best sitters. the continental congress bonded even more. here in paris jefferson visit adams in england and toured the english guards together. over the politics of the 1790s and their retirement they rekindled the correspondence for they did not talk about slavery almost never. i suspect it was because adams did not bring up because he knew this was a painful subject. he did not like confrontation jefferson did it. this magnificent letter writer it's almost like how it poetry.
shying away from one-on-one confrontation. adams in a way let jefferson off the hook he did notn' push him n the correspondence. some others did. younger slave owner in virginia who was an admirer and freed his slaves and bring them into freedom. he was able to take his convictions that way. jefferson had so many reasons he rationalized to himself that he did not follow suit. and he did not resolve the conflict spread heatedly with these words were to live up to today. >> you think his travels to route through your document really impacted and led him and has a politics, change our spolitics here today to some
degree. >> i think i played some rope i don't say everything from his european travels. certainly thinkac coming back inspired by france, definitely wanting americans, republicans, those interested in liberty to rally around france. that was definitely one of several one key rallying cry for the early republicans. so i think that played a role. i think his travel, certainly played a role in too many other fields into architecture uses a jefferson audio architecture government buildings, banks, what have you. so muchh that is due to jeffersn and his travel. even some landscape gardening ideas. not all of the ideas panned out. i did not tell the story during my talk. one thing jefferson w tried to o was bring italianate rice back to america.
about piedmont rice in italy he wanted to bring back. so planters in the carolinas could plan to pretty thought it was superior. it would be illegal under should bring it out of deliberate jefferson stuffed his pockets full of this rice and smuggled it out and sent it to the planters in south carolina who then said thanks but no thanks is going to intermingle with what wepe have. he kept t experimenting, he kept trying. found a different typeth of race that did not have to be grown in water. he wrote was maybe one of the greatest services eat ever rendered to his countries bringing this new plant back. i thank you so much of jefferson from ao cultural side, from a political side, agricultural side whatever. so much of it came from his travels. and i just encourage everyone to find a way to do some traveling like that yourself. whether it is in your file at least travels like i just sent
out over here closer to home. it's so valuable in terms of making your own discoveries and thinking critically about it. okay thanks very much appreciated. >> on the presidency first lady from lady bird johnson to melania or trumper talk about the role of the first lady. their time in the white house and the issues important to them. here's a portion of a program featuring nancy reagan. they are all the rage ♪ ♪ at this spring fashion show at ♪ even in my trench coat with fur collar ♪ ♪ ronnie about for 10 cents on the dollar ♪ ♪ gowns, old hand-me-downs, the china is the only thing that is new ♪ ♪ even though they tell me i am no longer clean ♪
♪ did ronnie have to buy me that his sewing machine? secondhand clothes, secondhand clothes ♪ ♪ i sure hope so's. [laughter] i guess i came around to thinking well, all right we will try. it cannot be worse. [laughter] so she said recently they thought i would make fun of the press. and i said no, no i am not going to do that. the only whit we could do this as if i make fun of myself. i make fun of myself. then maybe i have a 50/50 chance here as you all know that first year was not -- nobody was
really crazy about me. [laughter] and i don't think i would have been crazy about me, reading what i did about me. >> the press was rough? >> the press was rough. and i really don't know why. it started before i ever got here. they did not know me. i never did quite figure out why, but anyway i did not know until i read it in your book that they were having meetings about me over in the west wing and i was at a liability and everything like that. i guess maybe i was. i was pretty gun shy. it had been rough. your inclination is to run and hide in a closet and lock yourself in. you tend to pull back, i do
anyway when it is that rough. which is the wrong thing to do, you should not do that. but i do. >> learn more about first lady's firstname.lastname@example.org/history. >> today, during history month we are incredibly fortunate to welcome assistant director and curator at the james monroe museum and fredericksburg, virginia for a presentation that showcased a selection of original items from the life of elizabeth courtwright monroe. elizabeth monroe's story is a fascinating one. from her childhood in york to her experiences as wife of the minister to france and later u.s. fifth president. illustrate a little elizabeth live music museumly collections that have been handed down through generations of the monroe family. i bet about our