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tv   The Presidency  CSPAN  December 21, 2014 11:59pm-1:11am EST

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1836 and is buried somewhere under the streets of kansas city. he lived to be quite an old man. harrison was having political problems before the battle, and when they returned to van sends after the battle, a lot of prominent indiana and kentucky families suddenly found themselves with dead sons. there was a lot of criticism because of that. it was uncertain whether the battle was really a victory or not because of the heavy losses. harrison ran for president for the first time in 1836 against martin van buren. he had in the intervening years parlayed the victory here, such
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as it was, into a national political campaign and a nickname for himself. he was called old tip. you probably would not have been able to spin the victory here into as big of a thing as it was had he not been subsequently a successful general in the war of 1812. he ran for president in 1836, was unsuccessful. he ran again in 1840 with john tyler as his running mate. there was a large campaign rally here that attracted some 30,000 people. a rally in 1840 was probably the first modern style campaign rally of the type we see today. probably the number one question i get here at the museum is, what does tippecanoe and tyler to meano? harrison ran for president with tyler as his running mate. the meaning was, if you vote for tippecanoe, you get tyler too.
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they won the campaign that year, and harrison died three days after the inauguration, and tyler became president. the battlefield today is surrounded by a wrought iron fence. the fence pretty much and closes the perimeter of the army camp. because there are dead u.s. military servicemembers buried, it is treated pretty much as a cemetery. there isn't much in the way of interpretive materials. there is a large monument that was elected in 1908, but this battle secured the old northwest territory for the united states. it stabilized what had been a significant strategic vacuum, and it enabled the westward movement of the country to really proceed forward.
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>> throughout the weekend american history tv is featuring lafayette and west lafayette, indiana. we traveled there to learn about its risks -- rich history. earn will gnash learn more at -- learn more at c-span3.kend on >> will hear about the five years during which thomas --ferson stir -- served in as the minister to france. author james thompson describes it as a transformative experience with his friendships with french revolutionaries and progressives turns him from a political loner to an activist.
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mr. thompson is the author. he spoke at the virginia historical society. this is about an hour. >> the summer of 1784, thomas jefferson traveled to paris as minister of the united states to france and lived there for 5 years. he made a series of excursions with pierre, an influential member of french society. he appointed jefferson not only to the city and its people but when the enlightened ideas of french thought. today's speaker will talk to us about this transformative period and thomas jefferson's life. james thompson studied philosophy as an undergraduate and graduate student at the university of virginia and as a grad student, he lived on a farm of thomas jefferson's eldest daughter, martha jefferson. during his four years, he began what has been an ongoing investigation into the philosophy of thomas jefferson.
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mr. thompson developed an interest in the history of ideas, teaching courses on philosophy, religion, and western civilization at strayer university in alexandria. he is the author of several books including "the under the veil of reason," which he wrote while a fellow at the jefferson center for international studies at monticello. the birth of aristocracy and thomas jefferson's enlightenment. please join me in welcoming james thompson. [applause] >> good afternoon. my name is james thompson. i am honored to be here today
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and i consider the virginia historical society to be one of the truly great cultural institutions of our country. i would like to thank dr. nelson lankford for making this program possible and mr. lee shepherd for his kind introduction and thank you, the members of the audience for joining me today. i am going to talk about thomas jefferson in france. i would like to point out that my book has 160 museum quality images. it is almost as much a picture book as a history. i have some of the same pictures and the program today. my program today has five parts. in part one, i present a thesis of my book and background information about thomas jefferson. in part two, i present the
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background information about the french enlightenment. in part three, i comment on the idea man who enlightened friend. in part four, i comment on the salons where their ideas were discussed and debated. in part five, i comment on the circles in which jefferson traveled and his migration into the french reform movement. the thesis has two parts. five years in france, thomas jefferson transformed from a circumstance political loner into and engaged political activist who waged and won the second american revolution in 1800. in the second part of my thesis, i contend jefferson did this by digesting fruit concept of process -- french concept of process and becoming a progressive. what do i mean when i say the
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author of the declaration of independence was a political loner? jefferson held years that could harm his personal relationships and his access to political power. because he understood this, he was careful to keep these to himself. what were they? jefferson was a nonbeliever. he was guided by reason and not faith. jefferson rescued the concept of rights by nature surprisingly. she was trained to argue cases in the common law and not speculate in philosophy. after declaring independence, jefferson self-appointed mission was to dismantle virginia's hereditary hierarchy which he
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undertook to do first in his plan for his state's new government and an active -- and then as a legislator and as a member of the committee of advisors. this picture was painted by howard pyle in 1901. our image of jefferson in france around reports of admiring authors. the three french friends of jefferson. the scene of europe. thomas jefferson and the rights of man in 1951. howard rice and thomas jefferson, the terrific picture book appeared in 1975. george shackelford and in the travels europe, another lovely book. howard adams, the jefferson years in 1977. accounts of jefferson in france
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but not surprisingly they present jefferson as a star for performing on a european stage. they focus on what the star did, not what was happening on the stage behind him. i am going to break ranks today. i am going to place france on the foreground of the picture and look at jefferson through the changing social object of his enlightened host. bear in mind that franklin has been, benjamin franklin arrived in 1776 and had admirers. franklin was familiar with the
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agents of the french enlightenment and the reform movement they were orchestrating. i contended a change. during the 50years prior to jefferson's arrival, france's brightest and most daring men -- let me go back to that. during the 50 years prior to jefferson's arrival, france's brightest and most daring men had waged intellectual
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revolutions. they revolutionized their natural sciences, the science of government, they invented a new science of man and morality. they revolutionized the arts and letters and they revolutionized their relationship to god and the church. when jefferson arrived, a new kind of revolution was getting underway. between 1784 and 1788, the intellectual revolutions automated century were passing through a reform movement on the way to a political revolution. in the light of knowledge, what had been bad had become insufferable. the monarchy was on the verge of bankruptcy. the economy was stagnant and corruption was rampant. there was no investment for france's aspiring petit bourgeoisie. jefferson became aware of these things during the day-to-day interactions with his
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acquaintances. in my book, i conducted these conversations through pierre, who knew and defended jefferson. this is a picture of pierre in his later years. pierre was arguably the best informed man in france. he was a scientist trained in medicine and physiology and the school montpelier. he was a companion to benjamin franklin who he called papa. he believes society could be perfected through the application of knowledge and he was a freemason and member of benjamin franklin's lodge.
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when jefferson arrived, french progressives with encouragement from benjamin franklin were focus on reforming their society and government. their objective was to replace francis a backwards, bankrupt monarchy with a constitutional government based on the bill of rights. i contend that during his first years in france, jefferson became familiar with the ideas that propelled the enlightenment of france and the man who friended them. i would notice how these men connected with each other and what they did with their ideas and where jefferson fit into their business. the enlightenment in france gained momentum after voltaire returned from a three-year
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self-imposed exile which took place between 1726 and 1729. voltaire energized in a 1934 publication entitled "letters philosophical." he commented on english science and philosophy and praised bacon, locke, and newton. his comments precipitated a change in french science which became increasingly newtonian and french philosophy which became increasingly interested in john locke's theory of mind. voltaire became the senator of intellectual network that reshaped france's society and thought. this feature is called "the dinner of the philosophers" and is described as a conversation piece and was painted by jean
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huber around 1772. this man here is huber. pictured are -- this is father adams, who was voltaire's chess partner. a voltaire in the center with the arrow. besides huber, you can see the top of sophie's head. her companion is the poet. martel is thought to be -- grimm was the lover of the madam's sister-in-law.
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in my opinion, the most influential contemporaries of voltaire's was rousseau and franklin. i will make a couple of comments on them. diderut inspired arts and letters. he said that "an encyclopedia should encompass not only the field already covered by the academy which -- but each every branch of human knowledge. he wrote hundreds of articles himself and recruited dozens of the most brilliant men to write more. among these were rousseau.
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everyone was to benefit from the insights. rousseau's reputation was that philosophy were characterized made as the noble savage who conducted an enslaved itself by joining society. he later revised his position by claiming that society rest on a social contract which empowers the general will of the people. society's problems, rousseau, claimed would be as people -- and their general will. france's underclass led by lawyers agreed. france's and rousseau's social very -- social theory. in discourse on the origin and foundation of the quality which he published in 1775, rousseau his argument for social equality with the jeffersonian claim that
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"the fruits of the earth belongs to us all and the earth itself to nobody." and his back to major "men are free but everywhere in chains." he traces these chains to medieval feudalism which perpetuated and unnatural caste system. trying glues this day and all the pass was a major terms were of economists throughout europe in the late century and similar concerns inspired other rebellions against virginia's pseudo aristocracy.
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this is a picture. he framed idea that society is perfectible. he prepared to become a priest originally but chose to serve humanity as agent of the government. in 1761, he became the administrative district which was one of the poorest regions of france. during 13 years of service there, he applied video credit principles -- video -- physiocratic principle. the king appointed him patrol general of france. as france's chief financial officer, turgot implemented a program to reduce that was the natural economic oracle -- implemented a program to prevent taxes that prevented the free movement.
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turgot is remembered today for his revolutionary ideas and he argued that human society is progressive. he believed that over time, this process would leave society ever closer to a state of perfection. when jefferson arrived, the man in france and the men and women shared this view of society and history. they were in other words, progressive. this is helvetius. he pioneered a new science of man and more relative. he based on the materials of mind which first appeared in
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john locke's essay and 1689. he agreed with locke that is the causal -- he went on to say that capacities to learn and manipulate ideas are products of external sensations. and that intelligence is not a natural aptitude but rather determined by personal experience. even more controversial where his claims that the fundamental law of human behavior is this search for pleasurable sensations. and that the standard for right behavior is at the good, and act produced in the community. david characterized this idea as utility. adam smith, jeremy, john mill and their followers embrace. by making pleasure seeking
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fundamental of the understanding of right behavior, helvetius made it any central component of social reform. french progressives during jefferson's time in france accepted the training of people. to find pleasure and actions was a vital part of perfecting their society. crystallize progress into a law of nature. condorcet was a protége. like turgot, he believed that in the ever-expanding library of human knowledge contained remedies are all deals that conflict mankind for his doctrine of progress he asserted that as men resolve society's afflictions, society will progress to a state of ever-increasing perfection.
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he confirmed that diderut and rousseau's revolutions were beneficial. benjamin franklin, i've already noted that benjamin franklin was a celebrity in france. turgot praised him as said -- franklin persuaded france's that america's new republic was the ultimate destination and the march of human progress. moving on to the salon part of my talk. the salons of paris were places where the enlightened ideas of these men, they were discussed and debated. there were 4 celebrated hostesses during the golden age
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of salons which was in the 1750-1780 period. the first madames. some of you probably have seen this picture. that's another conversation piece. i put it in today to show, to highlight the idea that it does salons were a reinforcing network to make the golden age of salons memorable. the best and the brightest people of paris and france were all connected. the arrows above the heads show from left to right, rousseau, voltaire, diderut and turgot. the circles are the leading hostesses.
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she was a personal friend of thomas jefferson's. she was also a friend of thomas jefferson. this year, in 1780, the women of the french salons, amelia observed the most remarkable period and close with the death of madame du defand. when jefferson arrived, noticeable solos were led by madam helvetius here.
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she was the widow of claude. and she was rousseau's former flame. and she was the mother of a very close friend who jefferson in his last years in france. each hostess, i do not know if you can read this. each hostess had followed her own thing.
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she promoted progress through advancement of scientific knowledge. she followed on rousseau's path by -- and she followed the lofty station by -- these look a little confusing but i do not expect you to remember everybody's name. at the center is a picture of the duchess. it hangs in her home. her château and 40 miles downstream from paris. her economic salon was a form of for economies -- forum for economists and the enlightened gentry. i am going to bill my comment around, louisa 15th -- louis the 15th's advisor.
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up here, up on the right. famously crystallized these problems saying, poor peasant, poor kingdom. poor kingdom, poor teen. in the course of the conversations, they developed a diagram. his protége, dupont, invented the name physiocrat and measured the technique of an analytical
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measure of managing the success of the physiocratic policy. turgot followed. dupont collected and analyzed quantified the benefit of reforms that turgot proposed. dupont probably formulate the questions that jefferson responded to that appear in the notes in virginia. notes on virginia. the political salon was known as a gathering place for americanistas. traced to her friend with -- this man here. who had -- who was the son of one of her old friends. returned to france in 1781 after
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nearly 30 years of living in america. madame welcomes him into the salon and introduced him to members of her circle. [indiscernible] jefferson or franklin and later jefferson enjoyed similar celebrity. he helped shape their view of america as a wilderness utopia. his maps fascinated king louis the 16th who was an amateur cartographer. this is a more flattering picture of madame helvetius.
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she is with the niece of the great hostess. turgot, who attended the salons, was said to have proposed marriage twice. regarding madame helvetius's science alone, turgot seem to be introduced a few months after -- commenced his medical studies from by the summer of that year, cabanese moved. his housemates, martin laroche, became the editor of the paper's of madame helvetius's husband. turgot introduced franklin
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shortly aftercabe -- after cabenese settled in. you probably saw the series that was on public television a few years ago. it portray's the visit that abigail adams paid to madame helvetius's salon. i looked at that and i am fascinated and jefferson doesn't seem to be present at that event which took place in late august. the series focuses on madams idiosyncratic personality and her friends.
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what i find interesting about abigail's on complementary account of the affair and if you remember it, if you read it, the haphazard way that franklin introduced his colleagues' wife to the great hostess. madame was completely surprised to find that franklin had brought a guest. and it disappears, franklin probably treated gems of the same ambivalence leaving it to jefferson -- treated jefferson with the same ambivalence. jefferson went to france to replace franklin when the village returned home. jefferson appears to have used the interim and he left in june of 1885. jefferson mastered his diplomatic duties and to create and publish his notes on
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virginia. this picture here, it a portrait of franklin that madame helvetius owned and kept in her bedroom. one other thing i would like to mention is that the new world order, novis ordo, freemasonry was a major force. it shows the man who were -- it shows the men who were masons. i think probably half of jefferson's acquaintances were freemasons. every literate segment of french society were joining the brotherhood, self-improvement place at the forefront of france's reform movement. the lodge of the sisters is one of the most famous and celebrated lodges in friends. madame helvetius helped to found
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it the year that jefferson arrived. franklin became his master in 1778 during his two years and this post. franklin initiated the voltaire to the brotherhood. william short, also affiliated, jefferson secretary, also affiliated with the lodge. during his six months in paris, jefferson apparently concentrated on the business of being a diplomat. this is kind of an interesting slide. is a painting by a man, which is in paris. you can see it.
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i've doctored it. i suppose i will be sued by somebody. you will recognize the stanley arthur's portrait of thomas jefferson which is in this museum. this will short, a portrait by charles peale, maybe rembrandt peale in the art museum of william and mary. when not engaged in diplomacy, jeffs and busy transforming his notes on virginia into a manuscript. his notes on virginia kind of mysterious documents. he describes them an autobiography in his words when he arrived in france "these memoranda were old newspapers, bond without order and filled with duplications." they were not a manuscript in other words. it is not surprising the project of transforming the pages into a book took nine months to complete and probably would've taken far longer had jefferson
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-- william short was the cousin of his deceased wife. if we sure had not been there to help him. -- william short had not been there to help him. this is by a man named ferris. beneath jefferson's head is john paul jones and i'm taking liberty with it today. jefferson replace franklin as the american ambassador asked -- i believe it was after his elevation that jefferson began to circulate in a parisian society. i am sorry i do not have more room for this map current it is a terrific reproduction and you
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can blow this up to a huge size and look at the script on the streets. i have circled the three locations. this -- this circle is -- and of you are most of you know jefferson sent his daughter to a boarding school in paris. this where the boarding school was. somewhere on this street, i am not sure exactly where, but somewhere on the street as were lafayette's townhouse was. this block here was the hotel. in this building is the hotel where dorsett lived. jefferson spent time living -- meeting with laroche in the
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quarters with his mother. by the winter of 1786, he settled into a circle of progressive reformers sustained by of the duke. this continued to be the center of jefferson's intellectual life through the remainder of his time in paris. the group consisted of alexander, duke de laroche and he penned the first french translation of the declaration of independence. he was a freemason. the second member of the group was the marquee during jefferson's time in france, the
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marquee was considered the greatest philosoph. he was the perpetual secretary of the royal academy of sciences. he was also a member of the french academy whose members were literary. he was affiliated with -- the society which was also the duke's lodge. the third member of his inner circle was lafayette. like other members of the group, lafayette was a dedicated opponent, of african slavery and energetic freemason. these men were center forces and don't reform movement -- in the reform movement and the society, friends of the black.
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she introduced him -- lafayette to the duke after lafayette returned from america in 1785. jefferson had corresponded with lafayette during his second term as governor of virginia but did not meet the trusted lieutenant until lafayette returned to paris from america. i wish i had more time to talk about these fascinating women. although, the american ambassador is a welcomed guest at the gatherings of the best and brightest men in friends, he seems to have preferred traveling on his own path. the time he had after his diplomatic engagements and his interactions with the duke's circle of performers, he seemed to enjoy the company of a few distinguished women.
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these were -- angelica schuyler church, this woman here on the right. angelica church was the wife of wealthy -- and the daughter of philip schuyler of upstate new york. choose the wife of wealthy british parliamentarian john barker church and the sister of elizabeth schuyler hamilton, the wife of alexander hamilton. dingham is in the center, the daughter of the first banker of the united states. she was said to be the most beautiful woman of her age. countess deteste was lafayette's wife.
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she was the sister law of the scandalous french ambassador to america. who traveled with his sister-in-law and offending most proper americans of the day. maria cosway was the wife of richard cosway. and madame nether, over here, the far right was the wife of a famous financier. friends of jefferson played prominent roles in the french reform movement. [indiscernible] cologne advised that these individuals would consent to new levies even though for the first time that would have to share
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the payment because otherwise they risk losing their privileged status. the king followed the ministers and vice and in late december -- advice and in late december, he had 140 notables. jefferson looked on as lafayette and others were sworn in. because of the corruption that played the existing system and the queen, the meeting did not go well for the king. the assembly ended when the notables refused to authorize new taxes.
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the pot simmered for several months after that. on 25 august, 1788, the former's general, who collected the taxes that paid the king's debt suspend repayments of the government's debts. on 17th -- the regional parliament refused to authorize new taxes and having no alternative, the king summoned the state general. for the first time in 190 years, i think. it shows how desperate he was. jefferson attended the opening session and watched several of his friends -- he watched several of his friends take their seats.
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if you look at this picture, it is versailles, you go to the top of the stairs and you can see it. it is as big as the wall. i have marked out -- and this is sitting up here out of reach. this is the man who was managing the finances. this is the mc of the program. here on the right are the notables. where the aristocrats sat. lafayette and laroche were sitting there, blocked by their portraits. you can see jefferson sitting in the audience up there. and then down here in the front,
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these were the commons. and including one of madame helvetius' part of her entourage. tracy, part of her entourage and dupont. and behind them is bowe who became the leader of the first national assembly a few months later. the refusal of the need to vote separately precipitated an immediate crisis. this crisis was resolved when they declared himself a national assembly. when members from the two orders
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joined them, france had a new government. the first business of the new government was to write and approve a constitution. by general agreement, this document would be based on a bill of rights which would enumerate the rights of the french people. while jefferson went on to prepare -- well, jefferson, lafayette asked jefferson to review drafts he had written to submit for a review of the assembly bill of rights that jefferson was going to fine-tune. johnson prepared a charter of rights and sent it to the king outside of that channel. while he was doing this, he received a copy of the newly ratified after touche and of the united states of america to which he objected on the grounds that it did not have a bill of rights. the opening shots of the french revolution occurred when 14 july, a few weeks after this assembly. when a hungry, angry mob murdered. on this fateful day, louis the
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16th who was in versailles wrote a single word in his diary -- three words -- july 14, nothing. that night, the king was roused from his sleep by the grand master of the ward wrote. duke de laroche. what is it, the king asked. the bastille has fallen. but is it a revolt? no, it is a revolution. on august 25, lafayette arranged for jefferson to host an emergency meeting so 18 members of the national assembly could settle a critical disagreement over the role of the monarchy in
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france's new government. of the eight men who attended, 4 shared the fraternal bond of freemasonry. lafayette himself. duport. jefferson claimed to have been a silent witness to the negotiations which continued for six hours. the assembly subsequently approved a suspense of you know which allowed the king only to delay implementation of new laws. on september 17, at the hotel, johnson hosted a farewell dinner for his most intimate friends. they're in attendance were the duke, lafayette, jefferson himself. on 20's in september, he set sail for home. he took with him and unwavering
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admiration for the french efforts to reform their government and their society. and a conviction that progress depended on preserving the american republic. and that was the essence of his transformation in friend. so, i think i have a few minutes if anybody has a question. i've gone through a lot of information and wish i had more time to discuss in detail but i would be happy to answer questions. if you would raise your hand, we will have a microphone brought to you. ok. yes? >> thank you for your lecture. i am a board member. a 1951 graduate of university of virginia. as you know, thomas jefferson was born in 1743, so in 1780 he was 45 years old. would you like to comment on any
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relationship that thomas jefferson may have had with sally hemmings? [laughter] >> who? kind of a different take on this. i would answer this way. there's been a lot of -- about 25 years ago, this became a focal point of discussions thomas jefferson. and i don't have a -- it's not really relevant to my conversation. [laughter] i think it is time for a new conversation about thomas jefferson to form around the man that came back from france and waged the second american revolution. whether johnson had a relationship with sally hemmings -- jefferson had a relationship
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with sally hemmings, it seems plausible but as far as i see there's no concrete evidence. that is about all i have to say. >> along those lines, how did jefferson view about slavery and his relationship with lafayette, how did his views about slavery evolve and change it during this period? >> he was in an awkward situation when he went to france. i think he went to france to start his life again. his wife had died. his world had collapsed. he made -- he was invited to go to france 4 times and he finally departed in june of 1774. and his purpose was to join the society of the enlightened society.
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when he got there, he discovered by stages that the people he wanted to be close to where arch anti-slavery advocates. he didn't say much about that. i think in his notes in virginia he had a long passage, i think he wrote that by himself in france after november -- between november and april 1785. before he entered and began circulating in society. he had a book published before he discovered his friends were arch opponents of slavery. and then i think basically, he kept it to himself. other than that, i am not sure. he tried in many instances to solve the problem of slavery to a certain extent and at the end, he said we have done all the good we have.
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i think that -- passed on to the next issue. so, i do not have any definitive comments about his final views on slavery unfortunately. >> thank you very much. my question is about the louisiana territory purchase. you mentioned that jefferson was in france watch wrote times and one of those times he would -- >> the only real connection between the louisiana purchase and france is that the man who signed the agreement for the french was the same man that cindy jefferson the questions to answer and 1780. he was a consul of his times. and i guess, it would be right to say that jefferson saw this large opportunity but that was not something that was topical
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during his period in france. it was when he was president of the united states. yeah? >> thank you very much. i am interested in the mechanics of the notes on virginia. someone in france sent him an outline or a series of questions, did he circulate all of those or did he circulate just portions of the people in the colony are virginia that he thought would know about the questions? >> well, i had the pleasure of seeing the original copy of stairs before the talk. i think it is a very interesting subject. he started working on these in the middle of 1780 when he received shortly the 23 questions from -- and he sent a
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response. i cannot remember if it was in the fall of 1781. he continued collecting information about these 23 questions for the next 2.5 years. when he came to france, i was always under the impression that he had a book ready to print. he makes it sound that way because he's communicating how he tried to find charles thompson on his way to catch his vote for friends. he decided -- boat for friends. he decided not to print it in philadelphia what print in france. if you look at it, he said he had a total debts bundle of loose leaves -- loose leaf pages that had no order.
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in reality what happened was she took this bundle and organize it according to the 23 questions and did that in france. it took them 6-9 months to organize all of that. as i was explaining earlier, you can go online to the massachusetts historical society and they have the document. that one the original galley proofs to this book. it has all of his inner linings and changes and flap over where he added new stuff. this was him revising his notes. he had to transcribe. in the winter of 1785 and the transcription was given to the printer sometime at the end of the winter. and that was produced in to 200 original copies.
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they have been distributed out. i might put out a paper on it. somebody, maybe a historian here traced where all those two hundred copies went. 170 of them are pretty much defined and 30 are missing altogether. after he printed adult books and pass them out, he gave one copy to one man who printed a french translation. then it was pirated a few times. he had done in england by john stockdale. and is what most people see now and buy a copy of that transcription. i do not think he had a book before he arrived in france. surprising. yes?
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>> yes, what for some of the most important results of jefferson's second american revolution and how did they link back to what he learned in france? >> well, i do not want to attend i am wrote knowledgeable about his presidency but he did learn that -- to me, the most important thing that he brought back from france was his commitment to the picture of howard pio and him by himself. writing the declaration of independence.
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