The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers

The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers

Thomas Fleming

Language: English

Pages: 480

ISBN: 0061139130

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers from Smithsonian Books, historian Thomas Fleming, author of The Perils of Peace, offers a fresh look at the critical role of women in the lives of Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison. Fleming nimbly takes readers through a great deal of early American history, as our founding fathers struggle to reconcile the private and public–and often deal with a media every bit as gossip-seeking and inflammatory as ours today.

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Jefferson later recalled, “They crowd[ed] around him, some…crying, others laughing.” They lifted the protesting Jefferson in their arms and carried him to the portico. Martha and Maria Jefferson and James and Sally Hemings received equally warm greetings.21 There was much more than affection for Jefferson involved in this greeting. If Jefferson had died in Paris, or had been lost at sea, Monticello’s slaves would have faced catastrophe. They would have been sold or handed over to Jefferson’s

they would “not prove anything conclusively.” All he ever hoped to do was provide some “objective evidence that would bear on the controversy.” He and his fellow researchers “had not changed our position.”19 Three days before Dr. Foster’s letter appeared, Thomas B. Moore, a lawyer with a wide background in medical litigation, wrote an even more critical letter to the New York Times. On the basis of the evidence Foster presented, Moore declared, “no court of law would hold that Thomas Jefferson

335, 339–40, 413 Thornton, Anna Maria, 375 Thornton, William, 375 Tilghman, Tench, 220, 222 Todd, Dolley Payne, see Madison, Dolley Payne Todd Todd, Payne, 366, 368, 372, 399, 400–401, 404–5 Trist, Cornelia Randolph, 320, 401 Trist, Eliza, 356, 357 Trist, Nicholas, 324, 401 Trist, Virginia Randolph, 324 Tristram Shandy (Sterne), 266–67, 276, 288–89 Trollope, Frances, 329 Troup, Robert, 216–17, 231, 238, 244, 246, 247 Truman, Harry S., 352 Trumbull, John, 154, 297, 298 Turgot,

woman who had offered him a mother’s love. His future years would reveal the depth of his trauma.16 VII With peace restored, Ambassador Franklin had one more decision to make. Should he stay in France and continue to enjoy Madame Brillon’s adoration in Passy, Madame Helvetius’s effervescent charm in Auteuil, and the devotion of a half dozen other ladies in Paris? He was the most famous American in Europe. Distinguished men and women from a half dozen countries visited him to pay their respects.

Abigail called Callender, described John Adams as “that strange compound of ignorance and ferocity, of deceit and weakness.” He said the voters’ choice lay “between Adams, war and beggary, and Jefferson, peace and competency.” As usual, Abigail read every word of these clotted pages of invective, shuddering with each blow. The party of two returned to Quincy for the summer, and the newspapers told them of even more damage inflicted on John’s hopes for reelection. In a series of trials,

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