Happy Birthday, Thomas Jefferson!

Thomas Jefferson by Charles Bird King, 1836, after Gilbert Stuart, at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Photo 2016 by Amy Cools

As I rest after completing my term papers, exploring the highlands and islands of Scotland with my dear friends, I find I have little time to write and even less time with good internet connection. So let me share some old things with you, friends, until I can write and record for O.P. again.

In remembrance of Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) on his birthday, here are my tributes to his memory, his life, and his ideas from over the years:

To Washington DC, Virginia, and Philadelphia I Go, In Search of Thomas Jefferson

To Paris, France I Go, In Search of Revolution-Era Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Thomas Jefferson

and my thrilling interview with Clay Jenkinson, Jefferson scholar, of just over two years ago

Interview with Clay Jenkinson as Thomas Jefferson

I hope you enjoy following me as I followed in the footsteps of Jefferson!

~ Ordinary Philosophy is a labor of love and ad-free, supported by patrons and readers like you. Any support you can offer will be deeply appreciated!

Happy Birthday, Thomas Jefferson!

Thomas Jefferson by Charles Bird King, 1836, after Gilbert Stuart, at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Photo 2016 by Amy Cools

In remembrance of Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) on his birthday, I’ll share my tributes to his memory, his life, and his ideas: my traveling philosophy / history of ideas series

To Washington DC, Virginia, and Philadelphia I Go, In Search of Thomas Jefferson

and

To Paris, France I Go, In Search of Revolution-Era Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Thomas Jefferson

and my thrilling interview with Clay Jenkinson, Jefferson scholar, last year

Interview with Clay Jenkinson as Thomas Jefferson

I hope you enjoy following me as I follow in the footsteps of Jefferson!

Ordinary Philosophy and its Traveling Philosophy / History of Ideas series is a labor of love and ad-free, supported by patrons and readers like you. Please offer your support today!

Photobook: Concordia Sculpted Pedestal, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virgina

Concordia, sculpted pedestal of Lord Botetourt statue in front of the Christopher Wren building, College of William and Mary, photo by Amy Cools, 2015

Concordia, a beautifully sculpted vignette on the pedestal of Lord Botetourt’s statue in front of the Christopher Wren building at the College of William and Mary. Norborne Berkeley, the 4th Baron Botetourt, was the governor of the Virginia Colony from 1768 to 1770. The sculpture portrays two young women, one a European representing Britannia, one a Native American representing Virginia, holding olive branches of peace out to one another, mingling them together. I took this photo during my trip to Williamsburg following the life and ideas of Thomas Jefferson in Washington DC, Virginia, and Philadelphia in April of 2015.

Inscription on the other side of the Concordia pedestal

Another inscription on the Lord Botetourt pedestal

Ordinary Philosophy and its Traveling Philosophy / History of Ideas series is a labor of love and ad-free, supported by patrons and readers like you. Please offer your support today!

To Washington DC, Virginia, and Philadelphia I Go, In Search of Thomas Jefferson

Hello, friends of Ordinary Philosophy!

From time to time, I take a trip to some corner of the globe, to explore the lives and ideas of great thinkers in the places where they lived and worked. For this series, I follow in the footsteps of thinkers who are no longer alive, since those who are still telling their own stories. But those who are no longer alive in the body live on in the ideas that they pass on, and in the example they provide for us to follow.

I’m pleased and excited to announce my third philosophical-historical themed adventure, this time in Washington DC, Philadelphia, and various sites in Virginia to follow in the footsteps of…. you may have guessed it… Thomas Jefferson!

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13th, 1743, and in his long life, he accomplished more than most. He was a founding father of the United States, and went from being a young scholar, lawyer, and representative in the Virginia House of Burgesses, to writing the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, to public service as a congressman, as Minister to France, as Secretary of State, as Vice President to friend and rival John Adams, and finally as third president of the United States. Throughout his life, among many other things, he was an inventor, amateur scientist, farmer, avid reader, architect, naturalist, author, founder of the University of Virginia, and of course, philosopher.

He was a fascinatingly complex and contradictory figure: a self-described shy and modest man with a distaste for politics, who time and time again re-entered the strident political arena of his day to eventually reach the highest office in the land; a critic of the national debt and of too much federal power and a strict Constitutional constructionist, who helped create a stronger national government in the first place, and who flouted the Constitution and further indebted the nation to make the Louisiana Purchase; a promoter of personal liberty and a slaveowner; an idealist and a pragmatist.

So off to the east coast I go! There, I’ll visit landmarks associated with his life, and places where he lived, worked, died, thought, wrote, studied, and rested.

I’ll be traveling there from April 18th through the 26th, and will be writing throughout the trip. I’ll be writing not only about his ideas, but about what I can discover about his everyday life in these places, and whatever feeling of the time and place I can capture.

Here’s the story of the trip, and related essays about Jefferson and his ideas: