American Scientist is getting a lot of mileage out of Jefferson lately. In the March-April 2009 issue of American Scientist, mathematician Lawren Smithline helps out the folks at the Papers of Thomas Jefferson by decoding a supposedly-unbreakably-encoded message sent to Jefferson by Philadelphia smarty-pants Robert Patterson in 1801.more »
... Thomas Jefferson made what's considered to be the first American contribution to vertebrate paleontology. Wired.com has the story, and notes that 52 years after Jefferson's scientific accomplishment, Abraham Lincoln made his own technical triumph, becoming the only U.S. president to patent an invention. more »
Most quotations we're asked about sound nothing like Thomas Jefferson, but since I can't pin down their true source, they sort of hang frustratingly out there in Quotation Limbo. So it gives me great satisfaction to be able to actually run one to ground once in a while. I just laid this one to rest:
"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."
Though Thomas Jefferson was always reluctant to reveal his religious beliefs in public, today believers and nonbelievers alike often cite his words. Starting April 1, an excerpt from a letter Jefferson wrote on the subject to his nephew will appear on Seattle bus advertisements.more »
A recent editorial by Thomas Fleming in the Wall Street Journal asks the question, "Was George W. Bush such a bad president?" I mean, look at...Thomas Jefferson, for example! He really whiffed on that embargo thing. Read Fleming's litany of Low Moments in the American Presidency and decide for yourself...more »
Well, it took me all day but I plowed through all of the Google Alerts I've gotten in the past week (even the weekend ones, that's how dedicated I am), just as I said I would, and came up with the following numbers: A total of 22 websites quoted TJ in some form or fashion. (Mind you, the Alert catches only new material cropping up on the Web, not material that's already there.) The total quotes used came to 85, 35 of which were spurious. So if you choose to take my samplingmore »
I'm eagerly delving into a book that arrived just today: Antonio Molina, Patriarch of the Anthony Mullins Family: An American History, compiled by Marjorie O'Brien Casteel. Who is Antonio Molina, AKA Anthony Mullins (or "little Anthony," as Jefferson called him)? Mullins was one of the men brought to Virginia in 1773 by Philip Mazzei, friend and neighbor of Jefferson and collaborator in himore »