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The Jefferson Presidency

The Jefferson Presidency

The Jefferson Presidency Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Thomas Jefferson, a prolific writer but poor public speaker, gave only two speeches during his presidency: his inaugural addresses in 1801 and 1805.33

Thomas Jefferson, anxious to rebut European theorists who argued that nature in the western hemisphere was "deficient"—that its plants, animals, and even native peoples were naturally inferior to those of Europe—sent crates of animal skeletons and antlers to European scientists. He also instructed the explorers Lewis and Clark to be on the lookout for the giant mammoths that he believed still roamed America's interior.34

Some believe that Jefferson's wife, Martha Wayles Jefferson, extracted a pledge from Jefferson, on her deathbed, never to remarry. He never did, but he did begin, after her death, a sexual relationship with his slave Sally Hemings (who was, ironically, Martha's half-sister) that lasted at least fourteen years.35

Thomas Jefferson, at age 44, dislocated and permanently injured his wrist while attempting to jump a fence to impress Maria Cosway. Jefferson met the much younger, and married, Englishwoman in Paris in 1786. He was infatuated with her, but after a dialogue between "my head and my heart," he talked himself out of an affair.36

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