American Jefferson

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American History


Written by:

Gregory G


Date added:

November 25, 2016








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5 / 1123


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After authoring a book on a politician such as John Adams, Ellis seems to have felt a need or want to focus on Jefferson, presumably because of his status as founding father and main contributor to the constitution. Ellis's thesis in American Sphinx can be summed up by the quote in the prologue by James Parton: "If Jefferson was wrong, America is wrong...
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If America is right, Jefferson is right." However, Ellis gave the impression that he was brought reluctantly to the task of researching and writing so extensively on Jefferson. Perhaps he was spurred on by the rebirth of interest in the Jefferson legacy. In recent years, the exposure of Jefferson's affair and subsequent illegitimate children to a mulatto slave named Sally Hemings, and Ellis's own experience of watching another scholar of Jefferson imitate him to near perfection probably inspired Ellis to add a few more notches to his authoring resume...
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