Dawn in the Trees

Dawn in the Trees

Thomas Jefferson, the Years 1776-1789

by Leonard Wibberley, Enrico Arno (Jacket artist)
Publisher: Ariel Books
©1964, Item: 93111
Hardcover, 188 pages
Not in stock

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This is the second volume in Mr. Wibberley's Life of Thomas Jefferson and it can be read without reference to Volume 1. Thomas Jefferson was such a complex man that any period of his life will reveal to us much of importance, not only concerning Jefferson himself, but of the young America which he did so much to bring into being. A Dawn in the Trees starts with the assembled founding fathers debating that extraordinary document, the Declaration of Independence, which Jefferson alone had drawn up. We continue to trace Jefferson's life—governor of Virginia, his happy marriage, the birth of his first children, his interest in that great frontiersman, George Rogers Clark, who, with Jefferson's backing, did so much to secure the old Northwest Territory for the United States.

We see Jefferson as a husband and a family man, and we are present at the building of Monticello. We go with him on his diplomatic missions to France and England, and see into the dark night which engulfed him at the death of his wife Martha.

The volume ends with Jefferson's final triumph over his despair at the loss of his wife, when he returns to his beloved Monticello and begins to see at last "a dawn in the trees."

Leonard Wibberley says:

"Why do I write about Jefferson? Because to my mind, he was the most splendid of the founding giants of the nation. He lived among tremendous figures, many of them far more colorful on the exterior and quietly influenced them all. None of his contemporaries—Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr—could match his intellect and learning. Perhaps only old Ben Franklin had a better mind, but Franklin had years of experience behind him when Jefferson appeared on the scene. The America of today is the way it is largely because Jefferson made it so. When I think of him, however, it is not in connection with the Declaration of Independence nor the Louisiana Purchase but in connection with Monticello. I see him carefully tending his fruit trees and his flower garden, making notes on the weather, seeing to the care of his farm animals and supervising the building of his splendid home. This was where his heart was—in his home. And I think it is this that makes Jefferson the greatest of Americans."

—from the dust jacket

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