We return to our Jefferson 101 series this week with an episode about Jefferson’s road to the White House. Over the past few months, we've carried Jefferson from his birth in Virginia in 1743 right up to the brink of the time when he became the third president of the United States. We take for granted how our elections work. Back then, they didn't really have a blueprint: no conventions, no caucuses, no primaries, no debates. It was an informal system and we try to sort out how a reluctant person like Jefferson winds up being the president.
This is Jefferson 119.
- Jefferson's Body: A Corporeal Biography by Maurizio Valsania
- Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
- Founders Online: From Thomas Jefferson to Stevens Thomson Mason, 11 October 1798: "for my own part I consider these laws as merely an experiment on the American mind to see how far it will bear an avowed violation of the constitution."
- Founders Online: To Thomas Jefferson from John Page, 21 June 1798: "I think a Party is necessary in a free State to preserve its Freedom—The truely virtuous should firmly unite & form a Party capable at all Times of frustrating the wicked Designs of the Enemies of the Doctrine of Equallity & the Rights of Man."